Brumbies outsmart Sharks

Durban - A stunning first-half display from the Brumbies ensured they maintained their unbeaten start to the Vodacom Super Rugby season with a convincing 29-10 bonus-point victory over the Sharks, at Kings Park, in Durban on Saturday.

Jesse Mogg, Joseph Tomane, Matt Toomua and Henry Speight all scored tries in a one-sided opening 40 minutes for Jake White’s team as they led 26-3 at the interval.

The hosts looked better after the break and they scored a first try of the season via Ryan Kankowski, but their improvement was not good enough to sway the result as they missed the chance to climb top of the South African conference on their way to a first loss of the campaign.

VIDEO: Sharks v Brumbies

At the start, the Brumbies took just five minutes to cross for the opening try, which came after some good phase play through the middle and ended when the ball was collected wide by Mogg to barge his way over on the right.

Christian Lealiifano added the conversion and seven minutes later the Australians were at it again as they doubled their try tally thanks to some quick hands in the build-up, with Fotu Auelua brilliantly offloading to Tomane on the left to go in on the left corner.

There was finally some respite for the hosts at the end of the first quarter when the visitors were penalised for not rolling away allowing Patrick Lambie to thud over from straight in front.

But the men from Canberra, coached by Springbok World Cup-winning coach White, continued to soar in attack and Toomua was next to cross after more slick handling and superb recycling in the lead-up - Lealiifano, Auelua, Tevita Kuridrani and Ben Mowen.

With five minutes remaining to the interval, the Brumbies secured their bonus point try when their forwards emphatically overturned a scrum and Toomua floated a fine pass over to Speight on the right to dot down in the corner.

That rounded off a superb opening showing and left the home crowd in shock as their side trailed by 23 points.

The visitors again began with some intent after the restart and twice turned down the chance to kick at goal, instead opted to set-up line-outs.

But the Sharks slowly clawed their way back, eventually scoring their only try when Kankowski picked up and carried over following a spate of penalties conceded by the Australians inside their own 22.

The Brumbies’ first points of the second half eventually came from a Lealiifano penalty after Kankowski was punished for an illegal tackle and they continued to control thereafter until the final hooter sounded.

Teams:

Sharks:
15. Louis Ludik, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Francois Steyn, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Keegan Daniel (captain), 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Anton Bresler, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Tendai Mtawarira


Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Meyer Bosman, 22. Lwazi Mvovo

Brumbies:
15. Jesse Mogg, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 11. Joe Tomane, 10. Matt Toomua, 9. Nic White, 8. Fotu Auelua, 7. George Smith, 6. Ben Mowen (captain), 5. Sam Carter, 4. Peter Kimlin, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Scott Sio

Substitutes: 16. Siliva Siliva, 17. Ruaidhri Murphy, 18. Scott Fardy, 19. Colby Faingaa, 20. Ian Prior, 21. Robbie Coleman, 22. Clyde Rathbone

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