The Brumbies ended a14-year drought at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night, defeating the Waratahs 26-20 in a scrappy and bruising encounter.
A hat-trick from winger Joe Tomane helped the Brumbies inflict the Waratahs’ third consecutive loss at home as the visitors moved four points ahead of the second-placed Rebels. The Waratahs’ season is all but over as they languish nine points below the Brumbies in the standings after winning only two from six.
Israel Folau’s long-awaited change to outside centre failed to make an impact. The Waratahs’ setpieces were immediately under pressure as the Brumbies forced mistakes at the lineout and the breakdown, despite the absence of suspended flanker David Pocock.
The star of the night was Tomane who became the first Brumby to score three tries against NSW. Tomane’s first came early with quick hands from fly-half Christian Lealiifano and fullback Aidan Toua allowing the winger to touch down near the corner. Soon after, the Brumbies rushed 60 metres downfield for Tomane to cross again. For a while it was all Waratahs as winger Reece Robinson scored his first Super Rugby try before Israel Folau equalled Lote Tuqiri’s Waratahs’ try-scoring record with his 29th for the team. The Waratahs led briefly, but the Brumbies were soon back on top after they opted to play the ball rather than take a penalty. Skipper Stephen Moore crossed from a lineout maul to make the score 19-17 at half-time.
Toua was involved again with some nifty footwork creating space for a long ball that allowed Tomane to bag his third of the night. The Waratahs scored a penalty goal late in the game to get within six but were unable to overcome the strong defence and line-speed of the Brumbies. – Andrew Cullen
Photo of Stephen Moore from the Brumbies’ club website.
Crusaders 32 – 15 Jaguares
Rebels 13 – 38 Hurricanes
Chiefs 92 – 17 Sunwolves
Blues 23 – 18 Sharks
Bulls 41 – 22 Reds
Lions 29 – 22 Stormers