Nine tries proved just the Super 14 tonic for a refreshed Brumbies side as they breezed past the Cheetahs 61-15 in Canberra on Saturday.
Nine tries proved just the Super 14 tonic for a refreshed Brumbies side as they breezed past the Cheetahs 61-15 at Canberra Stadium on Saturday.
The comprehensive victory moves the Australian play-off hopefuls just two points behind the fourth-placed Stormers, with scores coming through Stephen Hoiles, Patrick Phibbs, Tyrone Smith, Rocky Elsom, Ben Alexander (2), Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Toomua and Alfi Mafi while Matt Giteau added twelve points from the tee.
It was the Brumbies' first try bonus-point of the season but they looked to be making hard work of it during the first-half, as a plethora of handling errors held them back despite their statistical dominance. With 20 minutes gone in the contest, the hosts were enjoying 82 per cent of the ball but had only a 7-3 lead in their pocket.
However, they finally found the necessary fluency and thanks to a bit of luck for the Phibbs try they went in at the break with three quarters of the job already accomplished.
And from then on it was something of a procession for the Brumbies as an in-form flank Elsom's score just three minutes in the second period rubber stamped their win , sending them into next weekend's fixture against the Hurricanes in promising shape.
It was the Cheetahs in fact who took the early lead when Naas Olivier slotted over on five minutes after the Brumbies infringed. But when number eight Hoiles burrowed over from close-range, one felt it was the start of a long evening for the side from Bloemfontein.
Yet it did not prove to be going off the first 28 minutes as mistakes from the hosts allowed the Cheetahs to stay within reach despite giving away a lot of penalties, which Giteau and company snubbed in favour of going for the jugular.
Those breakdown offences and lazy runners were beginning to mount up however, and it wasn't long before referee Bryce Lawrence reached for his pocket and showed Barend Pieterse the first of two yellow cards the away side would receive in the game. The ensuing ten minutes did not cost them.
But as the tackles ticked over, it was only a matter of time as the Cheetahs' damage limitation mindset could not last forever. Forward the Brumbies came and from an attacking scrum, a kind ricochet off scrum-half Tewis de Bruyn landed into the arms of his opposite Phibbs, who finished well.
Not ten minutes later and the lead grew to 21-3 with the Australians beginning to click via their centre combination's simple switch move seeing Smith race over under the uprights. It was a simple conversion for a 100 per cent kicking effort from number twelve Giteau.
As mentioned, the mission was almost complete upon going into the sheds but when Elsom finished off a superb breakout from that man Giteau, it looked like curtains for the Cheetahs. And so it proved as further clinical scores put the seal on the emphatic result.
Man-of-the-match: Sarel Pretorius put in a superb display at scrum-half when he came on for the Cheetahs, but for his 80-minute effort it has to be Rocky Elsom. Tackles, line breaks and a deserved try for the Wallaby, who was tireless in the loose.
For the Brumbies:
Tries: Hoiles, Phibbs, T Smith, Elsom, Alexander 2, Ashley-Cooper, Toomua, Mafi
Con: Giteau 6, Huxley 2
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Pretorius, Strauss
Brumbies: 15 Julian Huxley, 14 Pat McCabe, 13 Tyrone Smith, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Patrick Phibbs, 8 Stephen Hoiles (c), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Mitchell Chapman, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Guy Shepherdson, 18 Mark Chisholm, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 James Stannard, 21 Ed Stubbs, 22 Alfi Mafi.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Wilmaure Louw, 13 CornÃ© Uys, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Kabamba Floors, 7 Barend Pieterse, 6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 Walti Vermeulen, 4 Izak van der Westhuizen, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Wian du Preez, 17 Ryno Barnes, 18 Nico Breedt, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Riaan Viljoen, 22 Robert Ebersohn.
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), Angus Gardiner (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)