Tom Wright and Pete Samu scored two tries each as the Brumbies recorded an emphatic 38-11 bonus-point win over the Waratahs in their Super Rugby AU showdown in Canberra on Saturday.
This derby between long-time rivals may be the blue-ribbon fixture on the Australian rugby calendar, but it was a drab affair lacking fluency and excitement.
As it were, the Brumbies did enough to get the job done as they claimed a record-sixth straight win over the Waratahs and ninth in 10 in this fixture. With the result the Brumbies retain the Dan Vickerman Cup and stay at the top of the Super Rugby AU log.
The hosts opened the tally in the 15th minute when the referee, in tandem with the TMO, controversially awarded a try to scrumhalf Ryan Lonergan, despite several replays confirming he had been in front of the kicker in the lead-up to the score.
Worst call I’ve seen for ages. Unacceptable that 9 is ruled to have been onside. Weeeeeeeee pic.twitter.com/7ZZSQUSJCR
— Tom Decent (@tomdecent) August 22, 2020
The Brumbies spotted and exploited the Waratahs’ defensive frailties in the wider channels, and used the width of the field to score a second try via wing Andy Muirhead. In the time frame, the Waratahs only managed to notch up two penalties for a 12-6 scoreline.
The visitors would score a try late in the half to go within a point and would have taken the lead if the conversion was on target, but unfortunately Will Harrison’s attempt went awry.
But while the Waratahs were unable to stay within striking distance in the first half, they just couldn’t contain the Brumbies in the second. The rampaging hosts raced clear on the scoreboard courtesy of four further tries, two each from Wright and Samu, whose second effort was a brilliant finish after he had tip-toed down the touchline and powered through several defenders.
As for the Waratahs, they had a couple of scoring opportunities, including a 15-phase attack right on the tryline. But stern Brumbies defence denied them any further points.
Brumbies – Tries: Ryan Lonergan, Andy Muirhead, Pete Samu (2), Tom Wright (2). Conversions: Lonergan (2), Bayley Kuenzle (2).
Waratahs – Try: Jack Dempsey. Penalties: Will Harrison (2).
Brumbies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Solomane Kata, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Bayley Kuenzle, 9 Ryan Lonergan, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Will Miller, 6 Lachlan McCaffery, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Murray Douglas, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Connal McInerney, 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Rob Valetini, 21 Tom Cusack, 22 Nic White, 23 Len Ikitau.
Waratahs – 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 James Ramm, 13 Joey Walton, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachie Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Tom Horton, 1 Tom Robertson.
Subs: 16 Robbie Abel. 17 Angus Bell, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Hugh Sinclair, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Lalakai Foketi.
Photo: Super Rugby/Twitter