Brumbies bite Sharks

The Brumbies, showing innovation, verve and determination, caught the Sharks sleeping and recorded a shock 21-10 win over the previously unbeaten South African side in the Super 14 Round Eight encounter in Durban on Saturday.

Outscoring the Sharks by two tries to one they kept alive their hopes – while the Sharks will depart on their Australasian tour with their reputation badly dented and their pride bruised.

With six successive victories the Sharks were the only unbeaten team in the tournament at the start of the match, but they now reside in second place on the standings – having earlier been overtaken by the Blues.

If there was one aspect of this match that can be hoisted out as a highlight, it is the Australians’ rock solid defence – literally tackling the powerful Sharks outfit into submission.

The Brumbies silenced the Shark Tank after putting 18 unanswered points past the home team in the first half thanks to some brilliant work with the ball in hand.

Utility back Julian Huxley who was wearing the number 12 jersey this time round, was superb on attack and defence all night. A try, penalty and two conversions certainly helped put his team in a strong position. And that was just in the first half!

Passes failing to go to hand, wrong option taking and foiled backline moves were just the tip of the crumbling iceberg that the Sharks would later bestow upon themselves as they took the field full of confidence to equal the Crusaders record of seven consecutive wins in a row.

The Brumbies did everything right – the Sharks didn’t. The home team failed to find a way through the enormous wall of defence that could have been made out of rubber than brick as the attacking players bounced backwards off the tackle.

The Sharks just didn’t have the momentum and weren’t as close to their oppositions class as they have been in the last six outings as a team. Instead, they made life extremely difficult for themselves with their school-boy errors and the inability to keep the ball in hand when it counted.

Not a single soul in the Sharks team could breach the advantage line because they were just too flat-footed. There was no game plan in their approach, and if they had one – they never once reverted to plan B.

The Sharks battled to get into their stride and although they managed to threaten the Brumbies line a couple of times, more than once with their pack, the visitors’ defence held strong.

The gorgeous cheerleaders had nothing to cheer about apart from a last minute consolation try to replacement Adrian Jacobs, but even then they could only manage one pompoms in the air with the other hand covering their yawns.

Did the Sharks perhaps underestimate their Australian opponents going into this game?

Surely not.

Yes, the Brumbies were coming off a thumping to the Cheetahs last week. But Sharks coach Dick Muir should have known better than anyone not to take their foot off the gas against the two-time Super 12 winners.

Instead, the home team got themselves into a severe crash and forgot to wear their seatbelt.

Hats off to the Brumbies team that picked themselves up admirably from a their crushing defeat to the Cheetahs last weekend.

The ABSA has not been a happy hunting ground for the visitors, but Brumbies skipper George Smith and his troops made the win look easy as they cruised to their first win in Durban.

The Brumbies got the ball rolling almost immediately through a break to Jone Tawake just seconds after the kick-off. The giant flanker would have been in under the sticks had it not been for a thumping tackle by Waylon Murray that dismantled the ball from Tawake’s hands.

Huxley wasn’t wasting any further time as minutes later the centre opted to go blind from a Brumbies scrum and sent Wallaby winger Mark Gerrard flying down the left-hand touchline. Gerrard put in a clever grubber ki

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