ACT Brumbies

2013 Brumbies Season Review

2013 Brumbies Season Review

With the Brumbies 2013 season finally over, it’s time to look back with the official G&GR 2013 Brumbies season review.

Final ladder position – 3rd (Aus conference winners) 10 Wins, 4 losses, 2 draws – Runners up.

Overall season vibe

The Brumbies looked to go one better in 2013 after tripping at the final hurdle in 2012 and looked like that could be the case with the big name signing of David Pocock in the off season helping their cause.

The season started off well with wins over the Reds, Rebels, Waratahs and Sharks in the opening rounds but that start was overshadowed by the season ending knee injury to Pocock against the Waratahs.

But in a stroke of genius just a week earlier, the Brumbies made the surprise announcement of the return of favourite son George Smith to the Brumbies in a loan arrangement from Suntory in Japan and his cover for Pocock would prove vital. There were questions over whether he would be up to the pace of the game but slotted in like he’d never been away.
smith runs out 516

The Stormers proved to much for the Brumbies in Cape Town and that would be the beginning of a tough stretch of games at home that saw them get out of jail over the Bulls with a late penalty goal followed up by the seasons big disappointment – a draw against the Kings with the two competition points dropped proving costly in the final season makeup.

The Brumbies picked themselves up and came back from Dunedin with a win before a tough draw with the Reds in Queensland that was talked about for days after. That was quickly forgotten as they flogged the Force at home before the Crusaders came to town and dealt the Brumbies their only home defeat of the year.

The return match against the Waratahs in Sydney went against them after leading for the majority of the game but continued their Aussie Conference lead with a win in atrocious conditions against the Blues in Auckland.

Impressive wins over the Hurricanes and Rebels followed before the break for the Lions series interrupted their momentum as a number of the squad were involved the physically draining series. The resumption of the Super Rugby tournament saw them falter against the Force in Perth, a loss that played a part in missing a top two finish but they had made the finals for the first time since 2004.

In the first round of the finals they came up against finals debutantes, the Cheetahs, who could have caused a real upset if Riaan Smit’s conversion after the siren hadn’t hit the upright.
After that scratchy win they headed to Pretoria to face the Bulls who had never lost a finals match in Pretoria.

After defying the odds with a late win they headed to Hamilton to take on the Chiefs in the final but it was one game and one flight too far as a defiant Chiefs overran them in the final quarter.

The squad will only get better going forward as they have now had a taste of finals football. They know what it takes to be the best and Jake White will no doubt have already planned his 2014 campaign. White said it would be a four year plan and to make the final after just two years was beyond his, and most others, expectations.

One of the keys to the Brumbies success in 2013 was the injury tally, or lack of. As bad as losing David Pocock was, in recent years the losses of Toomua and Lealiifano were costly. 2013 saw them avoid team rehab to lead the backline effectively. Lealiifano’s goal kicking throughout the season was exceptional after a slow start and Toomua’s defensive work has come on in leaps and bounds.

The Wallabies representation also grew in numbers that was as low as three when White took over but now stands at a healthy twelve heading into The Rugby Championship and that will only give them more confidence heading towards 2014.

If the Brumbies 2013 season was a movie it would be:


A bunch of guys thrown together based on what their potential could be. A few stars with other players signed that were either on the fringes in other Super Rugby franchises or good club rugby players that had more to show.

They won some ‘unwinnable’ games along the way (Lions at home and Bulls away) to thrill the crowds but when it came down to that final game they just fell short.

Key moment

Tevita Kuridrani’s try in the semi-final against the Bulls at Loftus saw the team with no chance suddenly going for glory against all odds.

Best Match

The Bulls semi-final match in Pretoria would stand out for excitement value but against the Shorks in Durban, the first half display was one of the most clinical displays you’ll sever see as they crossed for four first half tries on the way to a 29-10 win.

Worst Match

The draw with the Kings at home was a real let down as the newcomers fought to the end and crossed with time up and converted to force a draw.

Player of the season

ben mowenSome real standouts to choose from now that Jake White has settled on his best squad but I’m giving the nod to Ben Mowen. His captaincy and running of the lineout proved vital earning a well deserved call up to the Wallabies and was one of the best forwards in the Lions series.

Star on the rise

jesse moggJesse Mogg – found playing club rugby for Wests by Jake White just two years ago and has now found his way into the Wallabies squad in 2013. He managed to get some game time in the third Test in Sydney and didn’t look out of place on the big stage. If he can add some more consistency to his game he will be a real star.

Tevita+Kuridrani+profileHonourable mention – Tevita Kuridrani who took over at outside centre after injury to Andrew Smith. His try against the Lions will be remembered for years to come in Canberra with his hand print probably still embedded on Christian Wade’s face. His effort against the Bulls at the death runs a very close second.

Player movement

Dan Palmer, Peter Kimlin – Grenoble, France
Ian Prior, Zack Holmes – Western Force
Colby Fainga’a – Melbourne Rebels
George Smith – Loan spell from Suntory complete

Ins: None as yet

Stat of the Year

896 – The average amount of kick metres per game. Second only to the Bulls.

ACT Brumbies

Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

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