Brumbies book date with the ‘Canes

Date published: June 20 2015

The Brumbies advanced to the Super Rugby semi-finals with a 39-19 victory over the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.

The Australian team will travel to Wellington next week to clash with the table-topping Hurricanes in the final four, while the Highlanders will head to Sydney to face Aussie conference winners, the Waratahs.

Brumbies winger Joe Tomane's hat-trick inside the first half-hour helped his team gain revenge for their narrow defeat at the same venue earlier this season, outscoring their hosts six tries to one. 

Scott Sio's try on the stroke of half-time meant the visitors took a 24-6 lead into the interval.

Stormers full-back Cheslin Kolbe scored an intercept try from deep inside his own half to give the home fans some hope early in the second period but when Brumbies number eight Ita Vaea crashed over just before the hour mark, the result was all but settled.

The painful predictability of the Stormers' attack meant that every ruck was sure to be promptly populated by Brumbies defenders, making every yard gain by the home side a hard-fought battle. By contrast, the visitors' ability to get behind the Capetonians' line from half chances ensured they had a healthy lead long before halftime. 

The hosts' below-par kicking game when they were playing catch-up didn't help either as the Brumbies were handed possession too easily, far too often. 

Even when the Brumbies were reduced to 13 men in the dying minutes, the Stormers were unable to create the space required to unlock their defence.

In fact, it was the Brumbies who finished with a try via Jesse Mogg to rub salt into the wounds and end Allister Coetzee's time in Cape Town on a sour note. 

Matt Toomua was a late addition to the Brumbies team but his game was almost over inside five minutes after being forced off following a blow to the head. 

Toomua's temporary loss was mitigated by the fact that the Brumbies scored the game's first try before the medics could even reach the stricken centre as Tomane ran onto Nic White's nifty grubber into the corner.  

Christian Lealiifano's conversion effort sailed wide but Demetri Catrakilis had no such troubles with his first penalty after a period of Stormers pressure.

Tomane could double his tally as the Brumbies cash in on turnover ball and used the space out wide. Lealiifano missed the conversion but Tomane was in for his third after a big-hand off allowed him to run down the uncovered blindside touchline for his hat-trick.

Lealiifano hit the target with the extras this time, meaning the Brumbies led 17-3 after 27 minutes.

Toomua had returned but Stormers number eight Nizaam Carr stayed off after head knock, a telling blow to the hosts who were already without Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Burger at kick-off.

The Stormers could pull three points back through a Catrakilis penalty but Sio powered his way over in a pile of bodies as the clock struck half-time. Lealiifano's extra two points took the Brumbies into the changing rooms with a spring in their step and an 18-point lead in the bank.

Kolbe's pace took him almost the length of the field after he latched onto a long pass from Toomua for a try that breathed new life into the game. 

Catrakilis added the conversion and a penalty to cut the gap to eight points but Lealiifano replied in kind.

When Vaea muscled his way over, the writing was on the wall. Henry Speight saw red for a dangerous tackle on Juan de Jongh and Scott Fardy followed him to the sin-bin for a cynical foul, but the Stormers' maul still couldn't deliver against the reduced opposition.

Mogg's late break-away try added some gloss to a deserved win for the street-smart, clinical Brumbies.

The scorers:

For Stormers:
Try: Kolbe
Con: Catrakilis
Pens: Catrakilis 4
For Brumbies:
Tries: Tomane 3, Sio, Vaea, Mogg
Cons: Lealiifano 3
Pen: Lealiifano
Yellow Card: Fardy
Red Card: Speight 

Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Juan de Jongh (c), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Jaco Taute.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Robbie Coleman, 23 Nigel Ah Wong

Venue: Newlands, Cape Town

Referee: Jaco Peyper

Assistant Referees: Craig Joubert, Jason Jaftha

TMO: Deon van Blommestein

By Ross Hastie at Newlands