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Brumbies player ratings vs Blues | Super Rugby Pacific

By Jack O'Rourke
Nic White. (Photo by David Gray/Photosport)

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For Round 14 of Super Rugby Pacific the Brumbies welcomed the Blues to GIO Stadium in Canberra for a top-of-the-table clash.

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The Brumbies made a fast start, scoring in the first 5 minutes thanks to a short-range try from Pete Samu. The Blues continued to probe throughout the first half and the Brumbies were forced to defend their 22 for almost 30 minutes. The breakdown battle was ferocious, but the Brumbies held tough putting in an impressive defensive effort to keep the Blues out. The Brumbies defence finally caved right on halftime as Beauden Barrett scored off a scrum from five metres out. 

The Brumbies came out in the second half with renewed energy. They outlasted an early Blues raid to go ahead through a try off their powerful maul in the 54th minute. After relentless pressure, the Blues struck back close to the line through prop Karl Tu’inukuafe.

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After surviving a wave of Blues attack, the Brumbies looked to cinch the game in the 78th minute, with Noah Lolesio icing the kick to put the Brumbies up by one point. However, a crucial turnover allowed Beauden Barrett to snap a field goal to win it for the Blues

Here’s how the Brumbies rated:

1. Scott Sio – 6.5/10
Showed his experience at set-piece time, as the Brumbies won some important scrums against the feed to get the Brumbies out of trouble. His purple patch of form continues as he continues to show an exceptional work rate.

2. Folau Fainga’a – 6
Made an important try-saving tackle on Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in the first half. Was yellow-carded for a no-arms tackle as the penalty count mounted against the Brumbies. Scored off the back of a dominant maul to get the Brumbies ahead in the 54th minute.

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3. Allan Alaalatoa – 7
Combined with Sio at scrum time to disrupt the Blues. Even when the Brumbies went down to 14 men the scrum continued to pile on the pressure. It was a huge shift from the skipper, leading from the front in making 18 tackles. Lasted until the 64th minute.

4. Darcy Swain – 6.5
Again showed his dominance in maul defence. He won a crucial lineout against the throw as the Blues were on the march. Made 16 tackles in a big defensive effort.  

5. Cadeyrn Neville – 6
Disrupted the Blues set-piece on multiple occasions and won two lineouts for the team. Did a lot of the unnoticed hard yards, making 10 tackles and three carries.

 

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6. Tom Hooper – 7.5
Impressed at blindside flanker and was involved in a huge defensive effort. His work rate was immense, carrying eight times for 48 metres and making a team-high 23 tackles.

7. Luke Reimer – 5.5
In his first start for the Brumbies, he was combative at the breakdown throughout the opening stanza. Unfortunately went off with an injury at the 25-minute mark.

8. Pete Samu – 7
Scored the opening try for the Brumbies to give his team a good start. Was active all night, making 13 tackles and challenging the Blues at the breakdown.

9. Nic White – 7
Was involved in everything, and kicked the Brumbies out of danger when they were under pressure. The scrumhalf battle was fiery, and White challenged his opposite number, Finlay Christie, at every opportunity. Went hard at the breakdown, mostly to the Brumbies detriment. Picked up a loose ball and sprinted 60 metres to set up a score for his team.

10. Noah Lolesio – 6.5
Put his backs into space but couldn’t get anything going in attack. Was forced to kick his way out of his own half. Saved a try by knocking the ball into touch to prevent Heem from touching down in the 34th minute. Nailed a conversion to nudge the Brumbies in front in the 78th minute but it was to no avail.

11. Andy Muirhead – 6
Made some important contributions in defence. Solid under the highball despite being peppered all night. Went back to cover probing kicks for the Blues playmakers and took some smart options when under pressure.

12. Irae Simone – 6
Was solid in defence, making 17 tackles and prevented Tuivasa-Sheck from reeling off too many metres. Suffered a nasty eye gash in a tackle which looked to affect his playmaking skills.

13. Len Ikitau – 6.5
Was not given much room to attack and was forced to defend his opposition number for the majority of the first half, making 14 tackles. Even with the ball in hand, he wasn’t his explosive self.

14. Tom Wright – 6
Managed to get his hands on the ball but was well contained on the wing. Went looking for work in defence. tried hard but a few of his attacking choices didn’t come off.

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15. Tom Banks – 5
Was effectively shut out of the first half. Was solid under the high ball and was able to reel off big metres when kicking for touch. 

Reserves:

16. Billy Pollard – 6.5
Made a cameo when Fainga’a was yellow-carded and performed admirably in an underpowered scrum. Returned to the fray to replace Scott and filled in as a backrower. Was then subbed again for Fainga’a to close out the match and powered over for a try in the 78th minute.

17. James Slipper – 6
Came on in the 50th minute to replace Sio. The scrum struggled late in the game but it wasn’t necessarily down to Slipper.

18. Sefo Kautai – N/A
On in the 70th minute.

19. Nick Frost – 6
Came on and made some hard carries to get Brumbies into enemy territory.

20. Rory Scott – 6
Came on for Riemer. Went off shortly after halftime for an HIA but returned quickly. Made 12 tackles and got over the ball to frustrate the Blues attack.

21. Ryan Lonergan – 6
Subbed on for White in the 60th minute. Injected some much-needed energy into the Brumbies backline and created go-forward by challenging the Blues ruck defence.

22. Hudson Creighton – N/A
Unused.

23. Ollie Sapsford – N/A
Came on late and couldn’t swing momentum from the wing. 

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