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Brumbies player ratings vs Blues | Super Rugby Pacific

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

The Brumbies have recoded a hard-fought 25-20 win over the Blues on the final day of Super Round at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.

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Playing in the sweltering heat, as both teams and the officials took regular water breaks during play, the Blues raced out to an early 7-3 lead after a try to Ricky Riccitelli.

But the match had plenty of back and forth following this, as the teams traded scores.

The Brumbies ended up taking a five-point lead into the half-time break, and that ultimately proved to be the difference. A scoreless second 40 saw the Canberra-based outfit hold on for an important win.

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Here’s how the Brumbies rated.

 

  1. Tom Wright – 8/10

Utility back Tom Wright may have found himself a home in the No. 15 jersey for the Brumbies. The former NRL playmaker was in the middle of the action throughout much of the game, having run the ball nine times for almost 70 meters.

Wright registered a try assist in the 17th minute after showcasing some skill to get the ball out to winger Any Muirhead as quickly as he could.

 

  1. Andy Muirhead – 7.5

The Brumbies winger crossed for his sides first try in the 18th minute, as he reaped the rewards of the backlines kick hands. But Muirhead also got stuck in around the field of play, running the ball seven times for 71 metres, and beat five defenders.

 

  1. Len Ikitau – 6.5

Brumbies centre Len Ikitau had an uncharacteristically quiet afternoon in Melbourne. The 24-year-old only ran the ball three times, and made five stops on defence. With the match in the balance, Ikitau’s afternoon was cut short midway through the second-half as he was replaced by Ollie Sapsford.

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  1. Tamati Tua – 7.5

The New Zealand-born inside centre had himself a game against the Blues. As Len Ikitau struggled to get involved, Tua more than held his own. On the defensive side of the ball he made eight tackles, and offensively carried the ball eight times for more than 30 hard-earned metres.

 

  1. Corey Toole – 6.5

It’s tough to rate Corey Toole after that performance. The 22-year-old worked tirelessly to get involved, but the ball just didn’t come his way too often. Every time there was a kick down field, the winger chased it with purpose.

 

  1. Jack Debreczeni – 7

In the NFL, every team is nothing without their quarterback. If the chief playmaker fails to fire, then so does the rest of the team – it’s a domino effect. But the sentiment of this point also applies to the position of flyhalf in rugby

In this case, No. 10 Jack Debreczeni didn’t overplay his hand as he led the Brumbies to a strong start against the Blues off the back of his kicking game and playmaking around the park. By the time he went off, as he was replaced by Wallaby Noah Lolesio, the Brumbies were leading 25-20.

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  1. Ryan Lonergan – 7

Halfback Ryan Lonergan was one of the standout performers for the Brumbies last week, and he carried his promising form into Super Round. Lonergan appears to be a Wallaby-in-waiting; the 24-year-old certainly seems to have what it takes – as seen on Sunday afternoon.

The scrum-half played a crucial role in the Brumbies’ strong start in Melbourne, as his quick passing game and rugby IQ caused the Blues countless headaches. Lonergan is also a proven goal-kicker, having scored eight of his sides points off the tee.

 

  1. James Slipper – 6

Playing in the heat, veteran prop James Slipper never seemed to stop running. Playing with a tireless work ethic – as he always does – Slipper managed to make his mark on the defensive side of the ball with 10 tackles.

At the set-piece, the Brumbies had the better of their opponents at the scrum. While Slipper was on the field, the Canberra-based outfit won a scrum penalty early in the second-half after overpowering their opponents.

 

  1. Lachlan Lonergan – 8

Brumbies hooker Lachlan Lonergan put in a shift on Sunday afternoon. Lonergan played the entire 80 minutes, and played a pivotal role in the stunning victory as a result.

Lonergan scored the Brumbies’ second try of the afternoon from a rolling maul just before half-time. While that was arguably his most notable involvement, it was far from a quiet performance from the rising star.

The hooker had made nine tackles at half-time without missing any, and almost doubled this in the second-half as he finished with 16. Lonergan had three lineout throws stolen by the Blues, it was a minor blip on an otherwise strong performance.

 

  1. Allan Alaalatoa – N/A

The Brumbies were dealt a tough blow inside the opening 10 minute as their captain Allan Alaalatoa left the field for a HIA. Alaalatoa didn’t return after failing the assessment.

 

  1. Nick Frost – 7.5

Much like his second-row partner, Nick Frost had a towering presence about him at the set-piece, The lock was one of the go-to options for Lachlan Lonergan, and also made an impact around the field. Frost finished made 17 tackle attempts, and only missed two.

 

  1. Cadeyrn Neville – 7.5

Wallaby Cadeyrn Neville was a menace at the set-piece for the lineout, as he embodied his role as the lineout general for the Brumbies once again. Neville was the go-to player for hooker Ryan Lonergan, and he also put plenty of pressure on the Blues’ throw.

Around the park, Neville had made the second-most tackles out of any player with 12 by the time he was replaced. The 34-year-old well and truly earnt a rest, as he was subbed midway through the second-half.

 

  1. Rob Valetini – 8

World-class Wallaby Rob Valetini had an usually quiet first-half. The loose forward just couldn’t quite get into it, while some of his teammates shone. But his second 40 was both much more noticeable and impressive.

Valetini finished with 15 tackles to his name at 100 per cent accuracy, and also carried the ball hard at the Blues’ defensive line on 11 occasions.

 

  1. Rory Scott – 7.5

Throughout the first-half, there was one player in particular who seemed to be in the middle of everything. Flanker Rory Scott, who was hard to miss with his white headgear, played with an abundance of energy in the sweltering heat at AAMI Park. While the Blues began to tire, Scott was making his mark.

At half-time, Scott had made 13 tackles, which was four more than the next best defensive effort from any player. Scott only made another three in the second-half before he was replaced.

 

  1. Pete Samu – 8

Much like Rob Valetini, it was almost a game of two halves from Pete Samu, Not to say he was poor in one half, but just quieter. Throughout the first 40, Samu was playing the lights out. Whether it was at the set-piece, breakdown, or around the field of play, the flanker was getting stuck into everything.

“I thought he was really good. Haven’t seen a lot of Rob Valetini, it’s all been Pete Samu,” Horan told Stan Sport at half-time.

“The way that he’s moved with the Number Eight jersey on… I find he gets into the game a bit more than playing at seven or six.”

Samu ultimately finished the contest with 13 tackles to his name and 10 carries.

 

Replacements:

  1. John Ulugia – N/A
  2. Black Schoupp – 6.5 – Won a key penalty for the Brumbies late in the contest.
  3. Rhys Van Nek – 7.5 – Came on a lot earlier than he would’ve expected, as he replaced captain Allan Alaalatoa inside the opening 10 minutes. While he gave away a penalty about 90 seconds later, Van Nek soon found his feet.
  4. Darcy Swain – 6
  5. Luke Reimer – 6.5 – Made 10 tackles off the bench.
  6. Nic White – 7 – With the scores quite close, the Brumbies called upon Wallaby Nic White off the bench. The veteran halfback showed his experience as he led the team to a tough win.
  7. Noah Lolesio – 7.5 – Lolesio was impressive after coming on for about the last half an hour. The Wallaby didn’t overplay his hand, as he did exactly what his team needed him to. Reminded me of his cameo off the bench in a Bledisloe Cup Test in Brisbane a couple of years ago.
  8. Ollie Sapsford – 6.5 – Some strong carries once he came on.
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