Planet Rugby

Brumbies sneak it at Suncorp

17th February 2007 11:00

Share:

reds_brumbies_scrap_330

A bit of biff between the Reds and Brumbies

The Brumbies sneaked a 6-3 win against the Reds in a match that made history - not the kind of history one would like, for it produced the lowest score ever in Super rugby. The Brumbies kicked two penalties to the Reds' one for a 6-3 win at the Suncorp Stadium, in Brisbane, on Saturday.

The previous lowest score had also involved the parsimonious Reds, when they beat the Sharks 6-5. This was 6-3 and no tries. This was worse.

It was humid and the ball was like "a cake of soap" according to Stirling Mortlock. But, as John Roe remarked, that's how it is in Brisbane in February - hot, humid, sticky.

The most enthralling part of the match was the snarling antagonism between the two teams.

Apart from verbals and the odd tug, there were two scraps.

The first one was push and shove, which ended with a talking to for the two flanks, George Smith, who disputed every call against him, and David Croft.

The second spilled over into touch and resulted in yellow cards for Smith and Croft. In this fracas Berrick Barnes may have been fortunate not to get a yellow card and Ben Tune with a flurry of uppercuts aimed at Mark Gerrard may attract the attentions of the citing commissioner.

The worst single act of the match was Lloyd Johansson high tackle on Mortlock. The Brumby cut back which made the Red desperate, but then he leapt, flung left hand at Mortlock's throat and brought him crashing to ground, eventually taken off, looking groggy. Johansson also earned a yellow card and may attract further attentions from the citing commissioner. Johansson went off shaking his head, but in fact he may have been fortunate.

For the rest there was little beyond the closeness of the score and the odd single-handed break to enthrall the 25 000 spectators.

The Reds made a late change to their side, apparently tactically. Peter Hynes moved into centre and Brando Va'alu came off the bench and onto the wing, while Johansson subsided to the bench, whence he rose up for the second half after Hynes, who produced the best breaks of the first half, had hurt an ankle.

That the score was 3-all at half-time bordered on farce. The Reds had had almost total domination. The Brumbies had one chance to score, the penalty kick at goal and took it. The Reds camped in Brumbies territory dominating possession to do so.

They enjoyed the 8-4 penalty count, had three five-metre line-outs of their own and another one where the Brumbies threw in and two five metre scrums. They battered and bashed but on the humid, after-rain evening in Brisbane their hands let them down at times and the Brumbies defence was too good all the time, driving back the line-out mauls, stopping pick-'n-go in its tracks.

They did actually get over for a try for left wing Brando Va'alu but there was apparently a handling error in the lead-up.

The second half was different as the Brumbies got more and more possession and the Reds seemed to lose their heads. The gave up the pick'n-drive that suits them best and instead kicked far more. They kicked 11 times in the first half, 16 times in the second, seven times in the last ten minutes when they were 6-3 behind.

In the second half the Brumby line-out was better. In the first they lost one and threw in skew three times in eight line-outs. In the second they lost one and threw in skew twice out of ten.

But both sides had difficulty in producing tidy ball from line-outs.

Julian Huxley kicked the first penalty goal when Croft was penalised, for the second time, at a tackle.

After much attacking, passing up kicks at goal for close-in line-outs, a great break by Hynes off Rodney Blake and a ploughing run by Roe, Clinton Schifcofske levelled the scores with a penalty goal when the Brumbies went off-side.

Hynes had another great break with a kick and follow and Barnes kicked a magnificent, long penalty to five metres from the Brumbies line.

The Brumbies defence through out was wonderful.

The Brumbies were at least on even terms in the second half. Mark Chisholm went on a characteristic gallop but passed to Tune when he wanted to pass to Mortlock.

Mortlock was off target with a penalty from the half-way line and in front of the posts.

When Johansson tackled Mortlock dangerously, Huxley goaled the straightforward penalty to win the match and the Reds looked more and more rattled.

The siren had gone when the Reds threw into the last line-out, but they were 50 metres from the Brumbies line. They had failed to score from five metres from the Brumbies line and this one, too, was wrecked in a turn-over. The ball came back to Patrick Phibbs who kicked it out with great deliberation.

Man of the Match: Stephen Larkham was full of maturity and commitment for the Brumbies, but or man of the match is the Brumby fullback Julian Huxley whose positional play, fielding and kicking were exceptional and he goaled the kick which won the match.

The scorers:

For the Reds:

Pen: Schifcofske

For the Brumbies:

Pens: Mortlock, Huxley

Yellow cards: David Croft (Reds, 16 - foul play, punching), George Smith (Brumbies, 16 - foul play, punching), Lloyd Johansson (Reds, 72 - foul play, dangerous tackle)

Teams:

Reds: 15 Clinton Schifcofske, 14 Henari Veratau, 13 Ben Tune, 11 Peter Hynes, 22 Brando Va'alu, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Nic Berry, 8 John Roe (c), 7 David Croft, 6 Mitch Chapman, 5 James Horwill, 4 Ed O'Donoghue, 3 Rodney Blake, 2 Sean Hardman, 1 Greg Holmes

Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Ben Coutts, 18 Cam Treloar, 19 Tom McVerry, 20 Will Genia, 21 Quade Cooper, 12 Lloyd Johansson

Brumbies: 15 Julian Huxley, 14 Clyde Rathbone, 13 Stirling Mortlock (c), 12 Gene Fairbanks, 11 Mark Gerrard, 10 Stephen Larkham, 9 George Gregan, 8 Stephen Hoiles, 7 George Smith, 6 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Alister Campbell, 3 Guy Shepherdson, 2 Jeremy Paul, 1 Nic Henderson

Replacements: Saia Saingaa, Salesi Ma'asu, Richard Stanford, Jone Tawake, Patrick Phibbs, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Carraro

Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)

Touch judges: Matt Goddard (Australia), James Scholtens (Australia)

Television match official: Nathan Pearce (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs WaspsLeicester Tigers vs Wasps Preview
Exeter vs SaracensExeter vs Saracens Preview
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs GloucesterLondon Irish vs Gloucester Preview
London Welsh vs NorthamptonLondon Welsh vs Northampton Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale SharksNewcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Leinster vs OspreysLeinster vs Ospreys Preview
Connacht vs ScarletsConnacht vs Scarlets Preview
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs DragonsGlasgow Warriors vs Dragons Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont AuvergneToulon vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821