Brumbies thump Waratahs
The Brumbies consolidated their lead in the Australian Super Rugby conference on Saturday with a convincing 35-6 derby win over the Waratahs at Canberra Stadium.
Christian Lealiifano scored 18 points, including a try as the hosts led from start to finish, outscored the 'Tahs four tries to none.
The Brumbies led 21-6 at half time thanks to tries from skipper Ben Mowen and Lealiifano before Henry Speight and Robbie Coleman crossed in the closing stages to wrap up a relatively easy win and secure the bonus point.
The Brumbies are yet to concede a point in the second half this season and provisionally sit atop the overall standings.
The win was however soured by the loss of Wallaby openside flank David Pocock, whose season looks to be over due to a serious knee injury.
Lealiifano kicked the hosts into a 9-0 lead inside 10 minutes as the Waratahs coughed up a series of penalties for ruck offences.
Brendan McKibbin finally got the Waratahs on the scoreboard in the 14th minute, but Mowen scored the opening try at the back of powerful maul from five metres out.
Lealifano put the Brumbies further ahead just after the half-hour mark when he raced onto a kick behind the defence from full-back Jesse Mogg to score in the corner.
The early loss of Tatafu Polota-Nau to a leg injury didn't help the Waratahs cause but they failed to really cash in when Brumbies lock Sam Carter was sent to the sin-bin for continued failure to roll away at rucks.
A second McKibbin penalty was all they could produce.
The second half was a low-scoring affair with Speight touching down in the 71st minute after Lealifano put replacement loose forward Fontunuupule Aueluab into space at speed.
Props Benn Robinson and Ben Alexander were sent to the sin-bin after Alexander stamped on his Wallaby team-mate, who was pinned for a professional foul
The Brumbies bagged the bonus point in the dying minutes when Mogg launched a counter-attack from his own 22 and replacement centre Robbie Coleman used his pace to win a footrace at the other end of the park.
Tries: Mowen, Lealiifano, Speight, Coleman
Cons: Lealiifano 2, Prior
Pens: Lealiifano 3
Yellow card: Alexander
Pens: McKibbin 2
Yellow cards: Carter, Robinson
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Clyde Rathbone, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 David Pocock, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Fotu Auelua, 19 George Smith, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Robbie Coleman, 22 Joe Tomane.
Waratahs: 15 Ben Volavola, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Dave Dennis, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Mitchell Chapman, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Greg Peterson, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 Pat McCutcheon, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Lachie Turner.
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Jonathon White (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Television match official: Peter Marshall (Australia)