Joe Tomane will present a threat with ball in hand and in the air when the Brumbies face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this Saturday, writes JON CARDINELLI.
After three convincing wins in Australasia, the Brumbies crashed to a 31-11 defeat to the Stormers at Newlands. The latter result allowed the Rebels to close the gap at the top of the Australian conference. It's also seen the Brumbies dropping to second in the Australasian group.
The Brumbies will be determined to bounce back in Bloemfontein this Saturday. They will lament the manner of defeat to the Stormers. They will look to lift their performance up front and implement their kicking game to greater effect.
The Cheetahs will expect a backlash. Whether they are prepared for a Brumbies assault is quite another story. Their defence has been woeful in the initial rounds. Only the Kings (21) have conceded more tries than the Cheetahs (15).
The Brumbies will fancy themselves at the set pieces and breakdowns. Their halfbacks will look to pressure the Cheetahs further through a series of high kicks.
Tomane will play an important role in chasing those high balls. The powerfully built Wallabies winger has the ability to regain possession in the air.
After winning territory, the Brumbies should look to deploy heavy hitters like Tomane and Tevita Kuridrani against a shaky Cheetahs midfield. The hosts will be hard-pressed to keep the Australians quiet in Bloemfontein on Saturday. Indeed, one would be surprised if the Brumbies failed to bank the try-scoring bonus point.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Brumbies 8, Cheetahs 3
In Bloemfontein: Cheetahs 3, Brumbies 1
STATS AND FACTS
– The Brumbies won 20-3 in the last match against the Cheetahs.
– The Cheetahs have lost their last five matches at home, their longest streak in Super Rugby.
– On the back of an away loss to the Stormers in round four, the Brumbies will be looking to avoid consecutive defeats for the first time since their last regular season trip to South Africa (round 13 in 2015).
– Two of the Brumbies' eight tries conceded this season have come from losing their own scrum. Only one other team in the competition (Chiefs, first) have conceded such a try.
– At 70%, the Cheetahs have the least effective scrum in 2016. They lose an average of two scrums per game.
|Team||Top point-scorer||Top try-scorer||Most metres gained||Most tackles|
|Cheetahs||Niel Marais (32)||Francois Venter, Niel Marais (2)||Raymond Rhule (222)||Paul Schoeman (37)|
|Brumbies||Christian Leali’ifano (49)||Stephen Moore, Joe Tomane, Josh Mann-Rea (2)||Joe Tomane (250)||David Pocock (40)|
Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Ox Nche
Subs: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Henco Venter, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred Zeilinga
Brumbies – 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Christian Leali'ifano (c), 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio.
Subs: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rashivenge (South Africa), AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)
Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images