The Brumbies scored 10 tries in their 66-5 win over the Sunwolves in Canberra on Saturday. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
The Aussie side could not have asked for a better way to head into the June international break. They’ve now won three games on the trot and re-established some ascendancy after suffering a mid-season slump in April. For the Sunwolves, it’s the 10th defeat of the season, and perhaps the break does come at a good time for the Japanese side that has battled to cope with the intensity of Super Rugby.
Following the Waratahs’ impressive win over the Chiefs on Friday, the Brumbies would have been determined to collect the full haul of log points against the Sunwolves, and they had very little trouble in doing just that.
To their credit, the Brumbies produced a composed and clinical all-round performance, running in four tries before half-time, while adding six more in the second stanza as they comfortably closed out the result to take them back to the top of the Australian conference.
As illustrated by SARugbymag.co.za’s Opta-powered stats, the Brumbies completely and utterly dominated the encounter. Not only did they score 10 tries to one, but the hosts made 824m to 229, beat 23 defenders to nine and executed 10 clean breaks to one.
The warning signs were first there for the Sunwolves when Brumbies flanker Scott Fardy scored in the 12th minute, while captain Stephen Moore dotted down soon after from the back of a driving lineout.
In the second quarter, two lovely pieces of interplay created tries for scrumhalf Michael Dowsett and Nigel Ah Wong, and with Christian Leali'ifano slotting all his kicks in front of goal, the Brumbies cruised to a 28-0 lead. To make matters worse for the hapless Sunwolves, lock Hitoshi Ono was shown a yellow card for head-butting just before half-time.
Benefiting from the one-man advantage, Leali'ifano then produced a beautiful break just after the restart, with the move culminating in a second try for Moore, who then headed to the bench knowing that the job was done.
With the Sunwolves’ resolve well and truly broken, Brumbies backs Aidan Toua, Jordan Jackson-Hope and James Dargaville all ran in tries as the hosts romped to a 54-0 lead.
Akihito Yamada scored one consolation try for the Sunwolves, but there would be two more tries for the Brumbies as replacement Lausii Taliauli and Ah Wong went over.
Brumbies – Tries: Scott Fardy, Stephen Moore (2), Michael Dowsett, Nigel Ah Wong (2), Aidan Toua, Jordan Jackson-Hope, James Dargaville, Lausii Taliauli. Conversions: Christian Leali'ifano (8).
Sunwolves – Try: Akihito Yamada.
Brumbies – 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Nigel Ah Wong, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Christian Leali'ifano, 9 Michael Dowsett, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio.
Subs: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan-Henry Smith, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Blake Enever, 21 Jordan Smiler, 22 Joe Powell, 23 Jordan Jackson-Hope.
Sunwolves – 15 Yasutaka Sasakura, 14 Mifiposeti Paea, 13 Derek Carpenter, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Akihito Yamada, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yuki Yatomi, 8 Ed Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Faatiga Lemalu, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Subs: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Ziun Gu, 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19 Yoshiya Hosoda, 20 Taiyo Ando, 21 Duisuke Inoue, 22 Tusi Pisi, 23 Riaan Viljoen.
Photo: Stefan Postles/Getty Images