Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brumbies thumped by rampant Crusaders

Crusaders 52 Brumbies 10

The ACT Brumbies have suffered their worst loss to the Canterbury Crusaders as their horror season continued in Nelson last night.

The Brumbies were spanked 52-10. It was easily their worst game of the year. It was their second worse loss in the club’s history.

They lacked the passion to win. They lacked the will to withstand a Crusaders second-half charge and three tries in 10 minutes after half-time not only devastated Brumbies’ fans, it could also end their season.

The Brumbies have just one win after the first four rounds of the Super Rugby season. The Crusaders were their hardest opponents, but they have also lost to the Melbourne Rebels and Queensland Reds. It’s a long way back from here.

The team’s finals hopes are quickly disappearing into the distance. They’ve got two weeks to think about how they can dig themselves out of this massive hole before taking on the NSW Waratahs on March 26. It’s time for some soul searching.

Ben Franks of the Crusaders is lined up by Stephen Moore of the Brumbies. Photo: Getty Images
Every time the Brumbies attacked the Crusaders, they turned the ball over. Every time they made a mistake, the Crusaders made them pay. The team’s third consecutive loss came just two weeks after the club sacked coach Andy Friend.

With the coach long gone, the pressure is now on the players. Changes needed to be made and the players need to ask themselves how badly they want to revive their season.
Brumbies captain Matt Giteau described the performance as “lazy”, “all talk, no action”, “not good enough” and “we’ve got to show character”.

All accurately summed up a horror night and the Brumbies will struggle to take anything positive out of the match. Put simply, they were horrible. The coaches know it and the players know it.

Strangely it was the Brumbies who got off to the best start.
They got the first try after just three minutes when Colby Faingaa smashed Dan Carter in a tackle. The ball appeared to spill loose of Faingaa’s hand, but referee Garratt Williamson ruled it came off the flanker’s head. Matt Giteau swooped and got the Brumbies off to a perfect start. But it all went downhill from there.

The Brumbies’ ill discipline came back to haunt them again. They gave Dan Carter too many opportunities in front of goal and he booted the Crusaders to a 19-10 lead at half-time. Then it got really ugly. The Crusaders went on a try-scoring blitz immediately after half-time.
Winger Sean Maitland completed a hat-trick and former rugby league star Sonny Bill Williams stepped through some extremely soft defence.

In the 10 minutes after the break, the Brumbies found themselves trailing 40-10. It continued to get worse. Maitland got his fourth, and Israel Dagg scored as well, leaving the Brumbies struggling and searching for answers after a 42-point thumping.

CRUSADERS 52 (Sean Maitland 4, Israel Dagg, Sonny Bill Williams tries Daniel Carter 4, Matthew Berquist cons Carter 4 pens) bt BRUMBIES 10 (Matt Giteau try con pen) at Trafalgar Park. Referee: Garratt Williamson.

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