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Brumbies player ratings vs Crusaders | Super Rugby Trans-Tasman

By Alex McLeod

Trending on RugbyPass

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Just a week after their Super Rugby AU final defeat to the Reds in Brisbane, the Brumbies rolled up to Christchurch with the unenviable task of squaring off against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

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However, despite their long odds to overcome the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions, the Australian runners-up pushed the Kiwi juggernauts right until the final whistle, with Wallabies No 8 crashing over in the 8th minute to bring the match to a two-point game.

Star first-five Noah Lolesio failed to convert from the sideline, though, leaving the Brumbies agonisingly short of a dramatic late draw.

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With all of that in mind, here’s how the Brumbies rated:

1. Scott Sio – 6.5

Guilty of collapsing a scrum in the ninth minute. Redeemed himself two minutes later as he outmuscled Michael Alaalatoa to earn his side a penalty at the set piece. Was then pinged again for early engagement in the 21st minute. Showed some good power to burrow over for a try in the 27th minute. Nice wee line break in the 48th minute. Showed a good engine to last as long as he did. Off in the 70th.

2. Folau Fainga’a – 7

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Wayward lineout throw in the 20th minute, but was otherwise faultless. Bumped off Richie Mo’unga in a clever set move off the lineout deep inside the hosts’ half, but was smothered well before he reached the tryline. Proved his worth as a ball carrier again in the 48th minute as he burst through another couple of tacklers. A decent outing all-round. Off in the 51st.

3. Allan Alaalatoa (c) – 6

Pinged for wheeling the scrum around in the 14th minute. Got the better of George Bower at the set piece on the stroke of half-time. Defensively busy but otherwise quiet. Off in the 72nd.

4. Darcy Swain – 6

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Did well to steal a Crusaders lineout right on his own 22 in the 10th minute. Super dependable at the lineout, but not particularly spectacular.

5. Nick Frost – 6

Good decision-making in general play. Was the unfortunate culprit of a penalty that led to Brendon O’Connor’s try in the 64th minute, even if he shouldn’t have been penalised in the first instance. Like his second row partner, super dependable, but not overly spectacular. Off in the 72nd.

6. Henry Stowers – 5

Got stood up badly by Richie Mo’unga in his 30th minute try. Spilled the ball cold from a Noah Lolesio cross-kick in the 46th minute. Busy defensively, but wasn’t his best display. Off in the 60th.

7. Rory Scott – 

Snaffled a really good turnover in the 38th minute to stifle a Crusaders attack. Committed himself well defensively, but wasn’t that noticeable.

8. Rob Valetini – 6.5

Damaging crash ball carrier. Ran hard and straight all night long. Coughed the ball up under minimal, if any, pressure from a restart in the 29th minute, which led to Mo’unga’s try. Great support play and commitment to crash over in the dying stages of the match.

9. Ryan Lonergan – 6

Lively around the fringes of the ruck. Whacked by Mo’unga on the half hour mark in the lead-up to his try. Threw the ball right into the clutches of David Havili, who strolled in for an intercept try from halfway in the 37th minute. Brought plenty of spark. Off in the 66th.

10. Noah Lolesio – 5.5

Kicked the ball into touch from the re-start after the Crusaders’ first try, which he did again in the 38th minute. Poor option-taking to grubber kick five metres from the opposition tryline as the Brumbies had good, front foot ball in a prime attacking position in the 24th minute. Handed another chance to attack the line in a similar position a few minutes later and didn’t make the same mistake as he showed his hot-stepping ability to help set up Sio’s try. Beaten easily by Mo’unga in the lead-up to his 30th minute try. Heartbreaking way to finish the match with the missed conversion from the sideline in injury time.

11. Tom Wright – 6.5

Showed off his booming right foot in the opening quarter of the match. Good heads up play to take a quick tap and peel off about 30 metres with a dart through the middle of the park in the 57th minute. Proved his worth as a ball runner again in the 66th minute. Lovely offload to put Valetini over in the corner in the 80th minute. Looks a good option for the Wallabies later down the track.

12. Irae Simone – 8

Superb long ball to put Solomone Kata into acres of space in the 17th minute, which should have been better capitalised on by the right wing. Then picked off a Crusaders backline move in the 22nd minute and cantered deep into enemy territory but didn’t quite have the legs to go all the way and score. Was rewarded for his positive effort with a well-taken try right under the sticks from close range in the 50th minute. Followed that up with a stupendous clearing kick a few minutes later, showing his full array of skills. A very good performance.

13. Len Ikitau – 6

Had his noggin clobbered while trying to tackle George Bridge in the 47th minute. Was quiet for the most part beforehand. Off in the 50th minute.

14. Solomone Kata – 6.5

Found himself in plenty of space thanks to the distribution of Simone in the 17th minute. Couldn’t plough over the top of Bridge, though. Got back into the thick of things with a supercharged run where he bounced off numerous Crusaders defenders in the 56th minute. Good to see him back in action. Off in the 70th.

15. Tom Banks – 6.5

Shaky clearing kick from a mark early on failed to find touch, which was replicated a couple of minutes later with a kick in general play. Caught out badly by a lovely weighted kick from Havili in the 39th minute which pegged the Brumbies deep inside their own half. Scored an outrageous 60-odd metre try in the 73rd minute, beating three would-be defenders. Finished the match strongly with ball in hand.

Reserves:

16. Lachlan Lonergan – 6

On in the 51st. Got involved and committed himself well.

17. Harry Lloyd – N/A

On in the 70th.

18. Tom Ross – N/A

On in the 72nd.

19. Tom Hooper – N/A

On in the 72nd.

20. Luke Reimer – 6.5

On in the 60th. Sensational covering tackle on Ethan Blackadder to stop him from grabbing a brace in the 61st minute.

21. Issak Fines-Leleiwasa – 6.5

On in the 66th. Carried on where Lonergan left off in terms of energy and impetus.

22. Reesjan Pasitoa – 6

On in the 50th minute. Was quiet throughout.

23. Mack Hansen – N/A

On in the 70th.

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Brumbies player ratings vs Crusaders | Super Rugby Trans-Tasman

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