Slick Brumbies gallop over sloppy Lions

2012-04-28 08:12

Lions (6) 20
Brumbies (17) 34

The Lions suffered their seventh consecutive defeat in this year’s Super Rugby season when they went down 34-20 to the Brumbies at Johannesburg’s Coca-Cola Park last night.

Last year, the Lions embarrassed the Brumbies in Canberra. The ground was a no-go zone for South African teams, but an assured performance saw the Canberra side build on their explosive final 10 minutes against the Bulls last week Saturday.

The Lions resembled the 2010 team that went through that year’s edition winless, falling off straight off tackles and not protecting their hard-earned possession.

However, it was the Lions who had the better start, and a sweeping move which originated from a lineout saw right wing Deon van Rensburg wrap around and hare down the left wing. The Lions could not convert the pressure into five points, but the resultant ruck penalty was slotted by Elton Jantjies.

The Brumbies though, were running straight lines and one of their moves saw left wing Joe Tomane unmarked on the wing, but the final pass let him down. However, Tomane’s involvement in the game saw him create space through a switch move.

The Brumbies went through the phases and scored the first of their five tries through prop Ruaidhri Murphy. Jantjies landed a monster penalty in the 15th minutes, but from there onwards, the game took on a navy hue.

Christian Lealiifano and Jesse Mogg were profligate from the kicking tee, missing a combined 10 points in the first stanza, but their running angles and execution wasn’t.

Henry Speight was the recipient of an easy try through some excellent angled runs and a long pass from scrumhalf Nic White, who found Andrew Smith, whose straight running create the space Speight needed.

A desperate tackle by Lions scrumhalf Tian Meyer ensured Lealiifano spilled the ball as he tried to dot down, but the Brumbies ensured that their next scoring opportunity would not be wasted. A similar move to the one Speight scored from saw the busy Tomane create space for Smith, with the burly centre barrelling through weak Lions’ tackles to score the Brumbies’ third try.

The home side fell apart at the start of the second half and the Brumbies scored two quick tries to all but wrap the game up.

Jantjies fielded a kick, wandered downfield, isolated himself and lost the ball. The Brumbies counterattacked and a grubber went through fullback Andries Coetzee’s legs and Tomane was there to dot down.

Straight from the restart, flanker Michael Hooper ripped the ball and hared downfield. The Brumbies retain possession and loosehead prop Ben Alexander wormed his way over.

At this stage, the Brumbies were all over the Lions and only an intercept by Van Rensburg eased the kilopascals.

The Lions failed to capitalise and the Brumbies punished them. With the ball hacked downfield, Jantjies was lackadaisical in collecting the ball and was scragged. The Brumbies threw the ball wide and Speight danced past two would-be tacklers before notching his second touchdown.

The Lions found some stored energy and scored two late tries through centre Jaco Taute, who straightened the line impressively en route to dotting down under the poles and loosehead prop Caylib Oosthuizen, who scored close to the ruck.

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