Planet Rugby

Brumbies run Stormers ragged

09th March 2007 10:35


Brumbies run Stormers ragged

Brumbies try scorer: Adam Ashley-Cooper

The Brumbies, despite their obvious disappointment in not scoring a bonus-point fourth try, produced a clinical performance to beat the hapless Stormers 26-13 in Canberra on Friday.

The scoreline flattered the bumbling Stormers outfit, with the visitors' only try coming from an 80-metre intercept by Gio Aplon, as the Brumbies were pushing for their fourth try. Even a 26-6 scoreline would have been flattering to the Stormers.

The Brumbies did everything right except bag a fourth try bonus point in what was a much improved performance by the Australian team.

Nearly every pass went to hand, while the work at the breakdown saw the home team snatch more turnover ball as easy as someone stealing candy from a baby. There was certainly a lot more urgency in the Brumbies attack, and whilst only three tries were scored - they can count themselves incredibly unlucky not to have bagged more.

The Stormers on the other hand were disappointing to say the least. Any hope of another eye-opening performance that was displayed against the Hurricanes last week, were quickly put to rest. Far too many turnovers, knock-ons, missed tackles, forward passes and avoidable penalties made 80 minutes a nightmare for the men from Cape Town.

After suffering two home defeats so far in the tournament, the home team had to deliver the goods in front of a packed Canberra crowd. They certainly gave their fans what they wanted to see and looked more and more like the threatening side they have always been known to be.

The Stormers will now have to go back to the drawing board and pick up the pieces that were left shattered on the Canberra Stadium floor.

Besides two line-out balls getting stolen, the home team were in control from the moment Steve Walsh blew his whistle to get proceedings underway.

Clyde Rathbone was a thorn in his former countrymen's side and went on several punishing runs in the first half, only to be denied inches from the line on all occasions.

The Brumbies did manage to cross over the whitewash ten minutes into the half after a superb break from full-back Adam Ashley Cooper down the left touchline. Springbok wing Breyton Paulse managed to slap down Ashley-Cooper's pass that was duly collected by Stormers fly-half Peter Grant. The pivot tried to clear his lines, but the kick was charged down by lock Mark Chisholm who managed to collect the ball and scamper over for the try.

Mortlock missed the tricky conversion, but made up for it five minutes later with a penalty kick for Paulse tackling a player off the ball.

Grant managed to put his team on the scoreboard and close the gap with a penalty of his own, but Mortlock made sure it wouldn't last long by using his blue boots to bag another three points moments later.

The Stormers were dealt a cruel blow after number eight Justin Melck was judged to have played the ball off his feet and slowing the game down.

The replay showed otherwise, but referee Walsh flashed his yellow card and the Stormers were not only down to fourteen men - but another three points down thanks to yet another penalty by Mortlock.

That put the score 14-3 to the Brumbies, though it could have been worse if Mortlock hadn't missed a dolly of a kick a few minutes later.

Grant showed that he can also do some work with the boot and kicked his second penalty of the match on the stroke of half-time. That was to be the last points the Stormers would score for a whopping 40 minutes.

The second half started a bit better for the visitors, however they still couldn't find a way around the Brumbies defence. This could partly be blamed on the flat Stormers backline that went backwards instead of forwards.

However, the Brumbies showed their visitors how it should be done after pressure on the Stormers backline resulted in Mortlock crashing over with three defenders hanging on for dear life.

With a string of Brumbies players lined up for the attack, Gregan decided to change direction and hand the ball to a charging Chisholm who made a good couple of meters before offloading on his inside to Mortlock for the try.

Mortlock failed to convert his own try, but the Brumbies were starting to pull away.

The third and the last try of the Brumbies came from some superb work from Ashley-Cooper once again just moments later. The full-back was in full flight and on the angle after taking a well timed pass from centre Gene Fairbanks. Ashley-Cooper bashed through two tackles and was in the clear with the tryline in sight. Paulse made a sorry attempt at bringing him down as Ashley-Cooper calmly brushed the winger off and dived over for the try of the match.

Mortlock made sure of the conversion this time round and gave his side a 20-point lead.

The Stormers were pretty much dead and buried at this stage and substitutions were made on a regular occurrence. The fresh legs helped them out a little bit, but silly errors after some good phases of play didn't help their cause.

Stormers and Bok star Schalk Burger showed his frustration on a few occasions by getting involved in some pushing off the ball, but that didn't help get points on the board for his team.

The Brumbies showed their intentions of going for the bonus point by opting for the touchline instead of three points. The Stormers can give themselves a pat on the back for denying the home team the pleasure of extra points, but the Brumbies can kick themselves for not executing their efforts into that vital extra try.

The Stormers really rubbed the Brumbies efforts in their face by having the last laugh through Aplon's 80-metre interception try after the hooter had sounded.

The Brumbies didn't manage to get the bonus point, but they could still manage some big smiles from a game well played.

Man of the match: To single out one man-of-the-match is very difficult after every Brumbies player put their hand up on this occasion. Gregan showed glimpses of his old excellence throughout the match. Mortlock had a decent day with the boot and penciled his name in the try-scoring sheet. George Smith was his usual self around the park, in other words - superb. And Mark Chisholm had quite literally a Stormer of a match. But our vote goes to Adam Ashley-Cooper. His powerful breaks, lethal sidesteps and brilliant vision (with and without the ball) was enough to cause the entire Stormers team to book themselves in for rugby therapy. Oh, and how can we forget that scintillating try!

The scorers:

For the Brumbies:

Tries: Chisholm, Mortlock, Ashley-Cooper

Con: Mortlock

Pens: Mortlock 3

For the Stormers:

Try: Aplon

Con: Grant

Pens: Grant 2

Yellow card: Justin Melck (Stormers, 28 - repeated infringements, hands at ruck)


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

Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Nic Henderson, 18 Peter Kimlin, 19 Jone Tawake, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Anthony Faingaa, 22 Francis Fainifo

Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Breyton Paulse, 13 Jean de Villiers, 12 De Wet Barry, 11 Corne Uys, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Bolla Conradie, 8 Justin Melck, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Luke Watson (c), 5 Gerrie Britz, 4 Andries Bekker, 3 Eddie Andrews, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 JD Moller

Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Ross Skeate, 19 Francois van der Merwe, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Naas Olivier, 22 Egon Seconds

Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)

Touch judges: Lyndon Bray (New Zealand), Andrew Lindsay (Australia)

Television match official: Bradley Wahl (Australia)

Assessor: Wayne Erickson (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
Friday , November 7
Scarlets vs Northampton19:30
Ospreys vs Saracens19:35
Harlequins vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:45
Newcastle vs Cardiff Blues20:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Ospreys 26 - 11 ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Report
Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 33 - 8 EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table