Planet Rugby

Brumbies get the job done

08th May 2010 10:26

Share:

rocky elsom brumbies v highlanders

KO'd: Rocky Elsom opens the scoring for the Brumbies

The Brumbies needed maximum points against the Highlanders to keep their season alive, and didn't disappoint in their 31-3 win on Saturday.

The four-try bonus point victory pushes the Brumbies into the top four, knocks the Reds out of semi-final contention and sets up an enormous final round clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch next week.

For a moment it looked like the end of the road for the home side as they searched in vain for that elusive fourth five-pointer. It finally came in the 78th minute after Matt Toomua's sniping step and dash for the line salvaged the result and allowed his team-mates, the coaching staff and their supporters to breathe a massive sigh of relief.

The Highlanders simply couldn't live with the pace and intensity of the Brumbies' attacking play, and indeed the physicality and organisation of their Australians' defence. The sheer number of tackles they were required to make depleted their defence and, eventually, their resolve.

Rocky Elsom opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute when he took the ball at the back of a line-out and twisted and turned his way through several opponents to cross over.

The lead swelled to 14 points when Salesi Ma'afu barged over three minutes later and Matt Giteau converted, however the Highlanders slowly worked their way back into the contest as they evened up the possession count.

But it failed to translate into points, with Adam Ashley-Cooper pulling off a desperate, last-gasp tackle to deny Highlanders lock Josh Bekhuis what appeared destined to be a certain try.

The Highlanders finally got some points on the board when Israel Dagg nailed a penalty after the half-time siren.

But the Brumbies notched their third try of the night when Toomua sliced through the visitors' defence to pave the way for Josh Valentine to cross.

The Highlanders were reduced to 14 men when Dagg was sin-binned for a cynical knock-down and the Brumbies came close to notching their fourth, only for prop Ben Alexander to be penalised for double movement.

Tyrone Smith then coughed up the ball 5m short of the tryline after a scintillating break and one wondered whether the Brumbies would be the architects of their own demise.

But while they were denied on two occasions, perseverance paid off after a rolling maul stretched the Highlanders' defence and Toomua was able to take full advantage.

The scorers:

For Brumbies:
Tries: Elsom, Ma'afu, Valentine, Toomua
Cons: Giteau 4
Pen: Giteau

For Highlanders:
Pen: Dagg

The teams:

Brumbies: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Pat McCabe, 13 Tyrone Smith, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Andrew Smith, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Josh Valentine, 8 Stephen Hoiles (c), 7 George Smith, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Mitchell Chapman, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Ben Hand, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Brackin Karauria-Henry, 22 Ed Stubbs.

Highlanders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 James Paterson, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Matt Berquist, 9 Jimmy Cowan (c), 8 Steven Setephano, 7 Alando Soakai, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Bronson Murray, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Chris King.
Replacements: 16 Peter Mirrielees, 17 Keith Cameron, 18 Joe Tuineau, 19 John Hardie, 20 Scott Cowan, 21 Robbie Robinson, 22 Jayden Hayward.

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs BluesHurricanes vs Blues Preview
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954