Six-try romp ends young guns tour on high

UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA BRUMBIES 34 (Henry Speight 2, Ben Alexander, Ruaidhri Murphy, Andrew Smith, Joseph Tomane tries; Christian Lealiifano, Jesse Mogg cons) bt LIONS 20 (Caylib Oosthuizen, Jaco Taute tries; Elton Jantjies 2 cons 2 pens) at Ellis Park. Referee: Keith Brown.

Six tries, including another two to Henry Speight, have padded out a convincing win for the University of Canberra Brumbies during their match at Johannesburg’s Coca-Cola Park on Friday night.

The try-scoring juggernaut looked like it was in no danger of slowing as the visitors took advantage of space out wide and some rough-and-ready Lions defence to post a 34-20 win.

Stand-in skipper Stephen Moore was outstanding, leading the way for the young University of Canberra Brumbies who have managed to amass seven competition points while on tour in South Africa. The win also allowed the University of Canberra Brumbies to claim the Australian Conference’s first win on foreign soil for 2012. 

And while Moore’s performance was world class he was edged for Man of the Match honours by the Brumbies newest cult hero, Fotu Auelua, who left destruction in his wake every time he featured in both defence and attack.

The University of Canberra Brumbies have now scored 16 tries in their last three games and will enjoy their best form of the season when they face the NSW Waratahs at home this Saturday at Canberra Stadium.

“Seven points on the road in South Africa is a terrific effort. Again there were areas of last night’s game that weren’t perfect but we can work on that this week back at home,” Head Coach Jake White said.

“The Lions weren’t at their best tonight but I was happy that we were more consistent with how we applied pressure. I think that’s best reflected with three tries being scored in each half.

“It’s a long trip home so this week will be about taking care of the players to be sure they are ready for next Saturday night. They are looking forward to playing in front of a big crowd at home.”

Among the try-scoring highlights were props Ruaidhri Murphy and Alexander’s two efforts as they burrowed across from short range to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Murphy’s try was the first to an Irishman for any Australian team and his debut five-pointer at Super Rugby level.

The hard work of the forwards was backed by continuous raids on the backline allowing Andrew Smith, Joe Tomane and Speight to add the finishing touches.

Disappointingly the Lions scored twice in the final exchanges handing the home side a respectable score-line as they prepare for a tough tour of Australia and New Zealand where they face the Chiefs, Blues, Reds and Western Force.

University of Canberra Brumbies

1.    Ruaidhri Murphy
2.    Stephen Moore
3.    Ben Alexander
4.    Scott Fardy
5.    Leon Power
6.    Peter Kimlin
7.    Michael Hooper
8.    Fotu Auelua
9.    Nic White
10.    Christian Lealiifano
11.    Joe Tomane
12.    Pat McCabe
13.    Andrew Smith
14.    Henry Speight
15.    Jesse Mogg

16.    Anthony Hegarty
17.    Scott Sio
18.    Sam Carter
19.    Ita Vaea
20.    Ian Prior
21.    Robbie Coleman
22.    Tevita Kuridrani