Brumbies edge Cell C Sharks – Featured Durban Blog

Brumbies edge Cell C Sharks:

The Cell C Sharks fought back bravely against the Brumbies at Gio Stadium in Canberra in their first tour match of the Vodacom Super Rugby competition before going down 24-17 to the Australians.

Early pressure on the Brumbies saw them concede a lineout and attacking ball to the Cell C Sharks, but a scrum penalty conceded gave the home side an early opportunity to put points on the board from halfway out, with a well-struck penalty giving them the lead.

We were forced to absorb huge amounts of pressure as the Brumbies, stung by consecutive losses leading into this game, and at home for the first time this season, were determined to put in a good showing. The Brumbies hammered away at our line but were up against some accurate defence.

Eventually the wall broke as the Brumbies found space out wide, scoring the first try of the game in only the 17th minute of the game. The conversion was good and the home side led by 10 points to nil with the Cell C Sharks having enjoyed barely a sniff of possession.

But momentum shifted in our way after a couple of scrum penalties won by Thomas du Toit and indiscipline from the Brumbies led to a penalty that Robert du Preez had no trouble converting with 10 minutes of the half remaining.

With five minutes to half-time, the Brumbies, living on a warning, lost a man to the sin bin for repeated infringements and an opportunity for us to strike back. But the attacking lineout went awry and the chance to level matters was lost.

It was a disjointed first 40 minutes with both teams having their share of problems, with the Brumbies a try ahead and leading 10-3 at half-time.

The second half started in similar fashion when, the Brumbies restored to 15 men without being punished for it, sent the ball down the right wing for Speight to crash over for the second try for a 15-3 lead. Worryingly, Andre Esterhuizen left the field injured for a further setback.

But the Brumbies, on another warning, conceded their second yellow card following some good work by the forwards who looked to drive over for a much-needed try. To their credit, the Brumbies were brave on defence, keeping the ball up when we took it over the tryline three times in succession as the home side were put severely under the cosh.

But it was a case of fourth time luck as the attacking scrum ball was sent to the line, with Thomas du Toit running onto the recycled ball, hitting the defence hard to work his way over. Du Preez converted to haul back the Brumbies lead to five points.

With just under a quarter of the match remaining, the Brumbies kicked a penalty to give themselves an eight point buffer, and a few minutes later, another scrum penalty, gave the Brumbies a 21-10 lead with a successful long range effort from the half-way line.

Things continued to go wrong with some indiscipline punished with yet another long range penalty as the home side extended the lead to 14 points, giving us a mountain to climb in the remaining 10 minutes.
The bounce of the ball continued to elude us as good intentions came to naught and the scrum penalty toll mounted against us.

We finally showed our ability with a great break from our half with Curwin Bosch streaking down the touchline, too quick for the defence as he scored our second try. The successful conversion took us to within seven points and in sight of a second draw against Australian opposition.

However it was not to be despite taking the ball through 17 phases in the quest for a last score and the Brumbies were back to winning ways, consigning us to a severely disappointing loss.

Cell C Sharks captain Ruan Botha rued the slow start from his team, saying: “It just shows how important it is to get a good start and it was hard to chase the game coming from behind. It was very disappointing for us when they had the yellow cards and we only capitalised once. Credit to the Brumbies.”

The post Brumbies edge Cell C Sharks appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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