Brumbies fall out of Super 14 race - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies fall out of Super 14 race

By Adrian Warren 10/05/2008 04:27:24 PM Comments (0)

Fuming Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher branded as "unforgivable" his team's inability to capitalise on a numerical advantage as their young inside backs learnt another tough Super rugby lesson in the 28-17 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria.

The Bulls scored three tries to two against a Brumbies side which finally lost any mathematical hope of making the top four.

The visitors played against 14 men for 20 minutes and had earned more possession, but couldn't capitalise.

Bulls forward Zane Kirchner was sin-binned by referee Steve Walsh in the 20th minute for a dangerous tackle on young winger Afusipa Taumoepeau, but the Brumbies could only add the conversion of the Al Campbell try which occurred in the lead-up to the five-pointer.

Conversely, the Bulls added a converted try while they were down a man to charge to a 15-7 lead.

When Bulls hooker Derick Kuun was sin-binned for a breakdown infringement in the 31st minute, the Brumbies added only the penalty which was awarded for that offence and the Bulls retaliated with one of their own to lead 18-10 at the break.

"Not only did we not capitalise, but they scored 10 points while they were a player down. That's just unforgivable on our behalf," Fisher fumed.

"Not playing the right field position to be able to convert our opportunities. If you give up 10 points when they are a player down, you cannot win a game of football."

The Bulls scored on four of their first five visits to the Brumbies' 22 and took control in the second half.

Fisher said accused the Brumbies of conceding soft tries, being guilty of pushing the ball wide too often and missing good opportunities to go through the middle of the field.

The Brumbies' young trio of halfback Josh Holmes, five-eighth Christian Lealiifano and inside centre Tyrone Smith tried manfully to breach the Bulls' obdurate defence.

However, they were rarely successful in setting up their more established backline colleagues Stirling Mortlock, Mark Gerrard and Adam Ashley-Cooper.

"Nine (Holmes), 10 (Lealiifano) and 12 (Smith) are all inexperienced players and they are key decision makers, they determine where your game is going," Fisher said.

"While they are doing a lot of good things and working exceptionally hard, it's just at crucial times they might not make a good decision or getting let down by people outside them.

"They've certainly got some potential but they've all got a range of different work they need to do.

"They can go either way. What they are delivering currently isn't good enough, but there's certainly glimpses of some quality football in all of them, but you've got to learn quick in this game."

Campbell's try apart, the Brumbies' only other five-pointer came in the final quarter from his replacement Peter Kimlin.

The game started inauspiciously for the Brumbies, with centre JP Nel crossing their line in the fourth minute, but the visitors dominated territory and possession for the remainder of the half without getting much reward on the scoreboard.

Flanker and skipper Wikus van Heerden scored a try while Kirchner was off the field and centre Wynand Olivier crossed the Brumbies' line early in the second half to give the home team an unassailable 28-10 advantage.

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