Super Rugby
Super Rugby Notebook, Mar 4: Brumbies see off Waratahs in feisty derby, Crusaders up and running
RUGBY

Super Rugby Notebook, Mar 4: Brumbies see off Waratahs in feisty derby, Crusaders up and running

RUGBY
TABODDS
Brumbies ended a four-match losing streak against derby rivals Waratahs, while Crusaders recorded their first win of the season.
RUGBY
TABODDS

Christian Lealiifano led by example as Brumbies made it two wins out of two at the start of the Super Rugby season by beating arch-rivals Waratahs 32-15 in a feisty encounter at Gio Stadium on Friday.

Brumbies started their campaign with a 52-10 hammering of the Hurricanes and produced a rousing second-half display to see off the Waratahs in an enthralling battle between last year's beaten semi-finalists.

New Brumbies captain Lealiifano scored a try and seven points with the boot, while Joe Tomane and Nigel Ah Wong went over in the second half either side of a penalty try to ensure Stephen Larkham's side are the early leaders.

Waratahs were also hit by injuries to Bryce Hegarty (knee), Tatafu Polota-Nau (wrist) and Rob Horne (knee).

Seven-time Super Rugby champions Crusaders responded to their defeat to Chiefs with a 28-13 victory over the Blues at AMI Stadium in the only other game of the day.

Todd Blackadder's men dominated from start to finish and ought to have won by a more emphatic margin, with the Blues slipping to their first defeat.

 

THE LOWDOWN

Crusaders 28-13 Blues

The home side controlled the set-piece and scored a penalty try midway through the first half to lead 13-3 at the break.  Kieran Read and Richie Mo'unga went over late on to seal a comfortable victory.

Brumbies 32-15 Waratahs

Waratahs were level at 8-8 at half-time despite losing Dean Mumm - in his 100th game for the club - and Will Skelton to the sin bin, but they were blown away in the second half as Brumbies ended a run of four consecutive defeats against their derby rivals. Israel Folau and Nick Phipps crossed for the visitors. 

 

THE KEY MOMENTS

Crusaders exerted huge pressure on the Blues with the two sides locked at 3-3 and the visitors buckled to concede a penalty try.

Brumbies were also awarded a penalty try to extend their lead 12 minutes from time and, when Kurtley Beale had a try ruled out, Crusaders must have known it was not their day.

 

THE REACTION

"I'm really impressed with them really sticking to their guns. A lot of pressure at the breakdown from both teams, but we backed ourselves to find space in attack. In previous years we probably wouldn't have done that." Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham

Blues coach Tana Umaga: "We were able to shore that up at half-time, but obviously the damage had been done. We just have to keep working on it."


 

THE UPSHOT

Brumbies are sitting pretty at top of the Australasian Group after an impressive start, with Crusaders second. Waratahs sit third, while the Blues occupy sixth spot.

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