The Brumbies have regained top spot on the Super Rugby AU ladder with a statement 38-11 victory over the Waratahs in Canberra. The Reds surged ahead on Friday night with their big win over the Western Force but it was short-lived with the Brumbies reminding their rivals of their superiority the very next day.
Winger Tom Wright celebrated a new Brumbies deal with two second-half tries, as did No8 Pete Samu, among their haul of six against the Waratahs’ one.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar made eight personnel changes to the line-up that lost to the Rebels before the bye, leaving Wallabies Tevita Kuridrani, Folau Fainga’a and Joe Powell out.
But his faith in the depth of the squad paid off against the Waratahs, who were gunning for their third successive win. The visitors started well and could have had first points on the board but No8 Jack Dempsey spilt the ball over the line.
They suffered another blow at the 15-minute mark when Brumbies half-back Ryan Lonergan was awarded a try despite being blatantly offside. Brumbies winger Andy Muirhead then reaped the rewards of a perfect crossfield kick by the Brumbies’ other young half Bayley Kuenzle.
Super Rugby AU | Brumbies v Waratahs – Rd 8 Highlights
The @BrumbiesRugby reclaimed top spot in Super Rugby AU on Saturday night, putting on a second-half masterclass to earn a bonus point against the @NSWWaratahs.#SuperRugby #SuperRugbyAU #BRUvWAR pic.twitter.com/tarWK825PP
— Super Rugby/TRC (@SuperRugby) August 22, 2020
Two penalties by Will Harrison kept the Waratahs in touch and then Dempsey made no mistake with his second opportunity after some handy lead-up work by hooker Tom Horton for an 11-12 half-time scoreline.
But the second half was one-way traffic with the Waratahs unable to match the Brumbies’ lift in intensity and aggression. Samu crossed in the corner five minutes after a long, floating pass from Irae Simone to set the scene, before Wallabies World Cup half-back Nic White came on for his first Brumbies match since 2015.
He immediately showed his class to put Wright away, which blew the score out to 26-11 and while the Brumbies scoreboard continued to tick over they kept the Tahs scoreless in the second half. The Brumbies next take on the Force while the Waratahs face the Rebels in a match that could decide the final place in the finals.
BRUMBIES 38 (Samu 2, Wright 2, Lonergan, Muirhead tries; Kuenzle 2, Lonergan 2 cons) NSW WARATAHS 11 (Dempsey try; Harrison 2 pens)
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