8.4 C
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Brumbies roll to 42-3 Fijian Drua thrashing

If the Brumbies’ first Super Rugby Pacific win was a little scrappy, their 42-3 thrashing of Fijian Drua was far more convincing.

As if playing with a point to prove after falling over the line against Western Force a week prior, they blasted the competition newcomers in the first 25 minutes, scoring three tries to essentially have the game wrapped up before their opponents were even settled.

The Brumbies went on with the job, particularly on the defensive side where they didn’t allow a try all game, including through a 15-minute goal line stand where Drua attacked repeatedly but couldn’t breach them.

“It was something that we spoke about before the game, we didn’t want to give them any momentum because they’re a team that thrive off that,” Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa said.

“It was obviously great we were able to get 20 points on the board early in the game.

“We spoke about improving little areas in our defence and I think we’ve got to be proud of the effort, we did well to hold them out the whole game.”

Hooker Lachie Lonergan made it two tries in two matches with the game’s opener, but a bursting run from his own half from fullback Tom Banks for a try really got the Canberra Stadium crowd going.

Len Ikitau added their third, but the Fijians did steady and created attacking opportunities of their own, with a brilliant run from winger Vinaya Habosi that ended with an audacious flick-pass unlucky not to net points.

The Brumbies blitzed again to start the second half with Tom Wright and Rob Valetini scoring tries, while substitute winger Jesse Mogg rubbed salt into the wound with a late pair in either corner.

While expected to play a free-flowing brand, the contest turned into a fascinating forwards battle with the Drua front row taking over at the scrum and forcing a number of penalties after their big men had been overpowered by the Brumbies’ maul.

They kept pressing and spent much of the game’s late stages deep in Brumbies territory searching for a try but the hosts’ defensive line held up brilliantly.

“We don’t shy away from the scrum battle,” Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said.

“They don’t kick the ball a lot do they, which at times provides opportunity for you if you defend well.”

Drua’s discipline improved throughout, eventually winning the penalty count 17-11 with their powerful scrum forcing most of those.

Drua coach Mick Byrne felt a sense of deja vu seeing his side control large slices of the match yet fail to make any scoreboard impact.

“We tried to prepare ourselves to respect the ball a little bit in play, and we just got stuck between wanting to play and respecting the ball,” he said.

“It’s always good to get some points on the board. Scoreboard pressure is a big thing … we want to ask questions of the opposition.

“Having said that, the spirit for our players to play and to get up and go again is there for everyone to see.”

Get all the latest Canberra news, sport, entertainment, lifestyle, competitions and more delivered straight to your inbox with the Canberra Daily Daily Newsletter. Sign up here.

More Stories