Brumbies clinch Super 12 title - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies clinch Super 12 title

By Scott Dunn 22/05/2004 09:48:51 PM Comments (0)

A brutal opening onslaught paved the way for the ACT Brumbies 46-38 win over the Crusaders in the Super 12 rugby final at Canberra Stadium.

The Brumbies could have been crowned champions after just 20 minutes, burying the Crusaders in a 33-0 hole.

There was a strong fightback from the Crusaders but departing veteran Joe Roff sealed the win for the Brumbies with a record-breaking 57th Super 12 try late in the game.

The writing was on the wall after just 45 seconds of the game, when fullback Roff equalled Christian Cullen's record with the opening try.

As the Brumbies' defence dominated the Crusaders, ACT's first four tries came after they forced turnovers, and two tries to Mark Gerrard and another to Jeremy Paul were the rewards.

The demolition was completed by Matt Giteau inside 20 minutes of the first half, capitalising on lead-up work by Stephen Larkham and Joel Wilson for the 33-0 lead.

Crusaders flyhalf Cameron McIntyre was the player to suffer, replaced by Andrew Mehrtens in the 25th minute, and immediately the Crusaders looked capable of turning their 69 per cent possession into points.

They gave themselves some encouragement for the second half, with tries to Richie McCaw and Aaron Mauger before the break, reducing the margin to 33-14.

Needing to score first after the break, the Crusaders were crushed after just one minute in when Gerrard picked up his hat-trick of tries for a 40-14 lead.

With the weight of possession again swinging their way, the Crusaders scored twice to make the final ten minutes interesting at 40-28, but the Brumbies fairy tale finish was still to be written.

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