Brumbies blow past Sunwolves

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

All parties have been sent home happy in Canberra, with the Test trio emerging unscathed and the Brumbies cruising to a comfortable 41-31 win.

David Pocock, Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa were all pulled by coach Dan McKellar with just over 20 minutes remaining at GIO Stadium, the result all but sealed by that point.

They'll be on the first flight out of Canberra to link up with the Wallabies, their Brumbies teammates earning a well deserved break after a second straight win.

The brand of rugby on offer was far from the helter-skelter, 93 point shootout between the Reds and Waratahs the night before but it was effective in the Brumbies' own unique way.

They played structured, efficient rugby which demanded better defence than the Sunwolves could offer, a simple try in the 7th minute through David Pocock opening the scoring.Joe Powell starred for the Brumbies. Photo: Getty ImagesJoe Powell orchestrated the Brumbies attack with poise all afternoon and he was the man that set up ACT's second, spotting a hole at the fringe of the breakdown from 25 out and squeezing through it, popping the ball off the turf to an airborne Lachie McCaffrey, who scored untouched.

The home side were travelling at a point a minute at that stage and after Hayden Parker slotted a penalty in the 22nd minute to open the visitors' account, Pocock showed once again why coach Dan McKellar was so hesitant to leave him out of the 23 this week - forcing a penalty from the following kick off.

The scrum which followed put Tom Banks away and he crashed through Parker and Robbie Robinson on his way to the line.

It had been an effortless yet dominant performance from the Brumbies in the first term and all the statistics indicated exactly that but when a Lealiifano kick was charged down in the 35th minute and the bounce fell into the arms of Jason Emery, the home side had just a 19-10 lead to play with at the break. 

The Sunwolves flew out of the gates in the second term when Parker split some lazy Brumbies defenders, Hencus van Wyk crashing over the line three phases later.Andy Muirhead and the Brumbies had too much firepower for the Sunwolves. Photo: Getty ImagesAll of a sudden, it was game on.

The Brumbies had just a two point lead with 38 minutes remaining, despite their first half dominance.

Andy Muirhead was denied a try on the half time siren by the TMO but he earned his five pointer in response to van Wyk's try, bumping a Sunwolves defender and crashing over the line after a pair of perfect passes from Christian Lealiifano and McCaffrey created space.

Henry Speight then strolled over in the 53rd minute to extend the lead to 29-17, marking the end of the night for Pocock and Sio.

It was comfortable viewing for Brumbies fans from that point forward - Cusack crossing and Speight securing his double in the closing stages.

It was clinical football led by Powell and Lealiifano, a superb Speight performance, smart offloads from the ACT pack and a spectacular try saver from Tom Banks in the 62nd minute which ensured ACT held their ascendency until the final siren.

 

RESULT

Brumbies 41

Tries: Pocock, McCaffrey, Banks, Muirhead, Speight 2, Cusack

Cons: Lealiifano 2, Hawera

Pens:

Sunwolves 31

Tries: Emery, van Wyk, Quirk, Ishii

Cons: Parker 4

Pens: Parker