The Plus500 Brumbies have returned to the winners list with a comprehensive 38-11 victory over the NSW Waratahs at GIO Stadium to reclaim top spot on the Super Rugby AU ladder.
26 unanswered second-half points including two tries a piece from Pete Samu and Tom Wright saw the Brumbies home, the side playing attacking rugby despite the icy conditions in the nation’s capital.
The Waratahs almost had the first try of the match eight minutes in, however, number 8 Jack Dempsey failed to control the ball, fumbling it over the try line.
The Brumbies would soon make them pay for that mistake, opening the scoring through scrumhalf Ryan Lonergan, who dived on a kick by Bayley Kuenzle at the 14 minute mark. Despite Lonergan appearing to be offside, the video ref cleared the incident and the Brumbies lead 7-0 after Lonergan converted his own try.
The Waratahs were next to add points with young flyhalf Will Harrison kicking a penalty goal in the 19th minute.
Kuenzle would soon get his second try assist of the match, hitting a pinpoint kick to find an unmarked Andy Muirhead, who scored in the right-hand corner to make it 12-3.
The Waratahs again took the three points on offer for the next score with Harrison slotting another penalty goal and soon after had their first try through Dempsey. The Brumbies taking a narrow one-point lead into the interval.
The Brumbies came out the blocks firing in the second half and an outstanding cut out pass from Irae Simone found a wide Pete Samu, who crossed for the first try of the second half to extend the lead to eight points.
It didn’t take long for the Brumbies next try, with the returning Nic White sending a bullet pass out to Tom Wright to cross over in the corner, his seventh of the season.
Kuenzle added the extras with an outstanding kick from the sideline, giving the Brumbies a 26-11 lead 53 minutes into the match.
Wright celebrated his re-signing this week in style, crossing for his second try after Simone put the winger in space.
It was then Samu’s turn to cross for his double, this time in the right-hand corner, showing off some outstanding footwork to stay in the field of play.
Kuenzle would kick another outstanding conversion from the sideline, resulting in the home side running out 38-11 winners.
The Brumbies now sit two points clear on the ladder with a game in hand.
Plus500 Brumbies 38 (T: Tom Wright 2, Pete Samu 2, Ryan Lonergan, Andy Muirhead; C: Ryan Lonergan 2, Bayley Kuenzle 2; def NSW Waratahs 11 (T: Jack Dempsey; C: ; P: Will Harrison 2)
The Plus500 Brumbies will play the Western Force in Round Nine of Super Rugby AU at GIO Stadium on Friday night at 7:05pm. Head to the Brumbies website for more details.