Brumbies power on in Super 15 as Chiefs falter
- Published: 10/03/2013 at 03:49 AM
- Online news:
Jake White's ACT Brumbies swept aside the New South Wales Waratahs to extend their lead at the top of rugby's Super 15 series as defending champions Waikato Chiefs lost for the first time this weekend.
Nic Groom of the Western Stormers (C, with the ball) celebrates with teammates after scoring a try during their rugby union Super 15 match against the Waikato Chiefs, at Newlands Rugby Stadium in Cape Town, on March 9, 2013. The Chiefs, defending champions, lost ground going down 36-34 to the Stormers in a thriller.
The Brumbies, rocked by a season-ending knee injury to Wallaby breakdown ace David Pocock, smashed the Waratahs in a bonus point 35-6 win to charge to a five-point lead at the top of the southern hemisphere provincial championship.
South Africa's Northern Bulls ended the Blues' winning start to the season with a 28-21 victory in Auckland on Sunday to hold down second spot after four rounds.
The Coastal Sharks are third overall following their 21-12 victory over derby rivals Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.
The Chiefs, who beat the Sharks in last year's final, lost ground going down 36-34 to the Western Stormers in a thriller in Cape Town, but came away with two bonus points to lead the New Zealand conference.
The 2011 champions Queensland Reds kept in touch with the leaders with a 23-13 win over the Rebels in an Australian derby in Melbourne.
Seven-time champions Canterbury Crusaders have yet to win this season after falling 29-28 to the Hurricanes in Wellington, while South Africa's Central Cheetahs won their first game of the campaign against the Otago Highlanders 36-19.
In Canberra, the Brumbies paid a big price for their thumping win over the Waratahs with prized recruit Pocock suffering a serious knee injury early in the first half, ruling him out of rugby for six months.
Scans Sunday confirmed that the Wallaby ball poacher will be sidelined for the remainder of the Super 15 season and the June-July Tests against the British and Irish Lions in Australia.
Pocock's misfortune took some of the gloss off a dominant Brumbies performance as they mastered the Waratahs four tries to nil and did not concede a point in the second half after leading 21-6 at halftime.
The Pretoria-based Bulls' first victory over the Blues since 2009 came on the back of superior forward power over the Blues.
Patrick Lambie scored all the points for the Sharks as they won a fiery, try-less South African derby with newcomers Southern Kings.
The Springbok flyhalf succeeded with his six penalty attempts and his drop goal off a post gave the visitors a 12-3 half-time advantage.
At Newlands, the Stormers withstood a stoppage-time attack from the Chiefs for an important win.
Chiefs staged a multi-phase assault that took them close to the Stormers' '22' when they were penalised at a ruck and fullback Joe Pietersen ended the match by booting the ball into touch.
The Queensland Reds came from behind in Melbourne to beat the Rebels in a two tries to one performance, Wallaby flyhalf Quade Cooper proving the difference with two conversions and three penalties.
The Hurricanes got their Super 15 season back on track with a nail-biting win over the Crusaders.
The Crusaders scored four tries to two but poor discipline cost them the match as they gifted the Hurricanes five penalties to nil, creating an opening for a Wellington outfit smarting from two successive defeats.
Johan Goosen kicked the Cheetahs to an historic first victory in seven attempts over the Highlanders in Invercargill.
There were three tries each, including a hat-trick for Highlanders' wing Kade Poki, but the telling difference were the 21 points from Goosen, who never missed a shot at goal.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency