ACT Brumbies

Brumbies trip at final hurdle

Brumbies trip at final hurdle

The Brumbies suffered a bad case of the yips in going down 30-16 to the Auckland Blues in Canberra this afternoon.

They must now rely on results going their way, the planets aligning, and picking tonight’s Lotto numbers to stand a chance of featuring in next week’s finals series.

In the lead-up to the game coach Jake White said his team needed to control the play and not let the Blues run rampant. Unfortunately for the home side, the Blues controlled the majority of the play. They held the ball for the first 10 minutes and it soon appeared the damage had already been done psychologically.

The Blues saved their best game for the last round of the season and capitalised on Brumbies’ mistakes that allowed their backline to have free rein. Led by All Blacks Piri Weepu and Ma’a Nonu, they were aided by Sherwin Stowers, who was a late call up for Lachie Munro, and they made numerous line breaks and looked dangerous every time they touched the ball.

Kicks that didn’t find touch were punished and this was not helped by staggering 23 missed tackles in the first half alone. It was more a case of where those missed tackles occurred and what happened immediately after that was the major problem for the locals.

The Brumbies did get themselves back to on- point deficit at 13-14 after a try to winger Henry Speight, but just before half time the Blues struck another blow with their third try to winger Hadleigh Parkes after another line break in the lead-up.

A number of injuries to the Brumbies didn’t help their cause. Ben Alexander was ruled out before the game and Joe Tomane and Dan Palmer limped off before half time. A shoulder injury to flyhalf Zack Holmes severely affected his game. He was battling to stay on the field and fought on admirably.

After the break it was a case of chasing the game and the Brumbies didn’t look comfortable being in that position. They attempted to keep the scoreboard ticking over with penalty goals but the conditions weren’t suited to long-range kicking. But if those opportunities had been converted, the Brumbies might have found themselves in a different position than having to watch other games and hope results go their way.

Jake White said after the game that if the Brumbies don’t make the finals then the season could be called a failure, considering where they had been up until this point. They will now don their Waratahs jerseys and wait with bated breath to see if the Waratahs can snap their losing streak.

Blues 30 – Moli, D Braid, Parkes tries; Weepu 3 cons, 2 pens, Hobbs pen def Brumbies 16 – Speight try; Holmes con, pen, Mogg 2 pens

ACT Brumbies

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

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