Toomua to re-join wobbling Brumbies in SA

Australian Super Rugby Conference leaders the Brumbies have called Matt Toomua into their squad touring South Africa as they try to save their season.

The Brumbies were beaten 25-24 by the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday and the losing bonus point put them on top of the Australian Conference.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham admits that they are lucky to be the leading Australian team – especially since they have lost four out of their last five matches.

Toomua will join the Brumbies in Johannesburg on Tuesday which just about gives him enough time to be available for selection against the Lions at Ellis Park.

Brumbies flyhalf Toomua has missed the last four weeks of Super Rugby with an ankle injury but he looks set to be thrown straight in against the Lions.

The Brumbies loss to the Stormers has put the Canberra side in danger of missing the play offs as it allows the Waratahs and Rebels to make up ground.

The Brumbies started the season strongly but are experiencing some differing form which is producing some near misses with five losses by five points or less.

The Brumbies recent run of losses started almost at the same time Toomua was injured.

“You’ve got to stay with it; had those tight games gone the other way we’re on 49 points on the ladder,” Larkham told The Age.

“We know we’re almost there. You change a few things but don’t make wholesale changes.

“It’s definitely a frustrating season, we’re lucky to be on top of the Australian conference. We’ve said ‘what if’. But the season’s not over.

“We’ll look back at moments that could have turned the season for us.”

The Brumbies got on the wrong side of the referee against the Stormers and ended the match with a 19-5 penalty count against them – largely due to scrum problems.

“The Stormers have one of the best scrums in the competition … the dominance they had in the scrum hurt us,” Larkham said.

“They were better than us in the scrum, there’s no hiding from that.”

Brumbies captain and hooker Stephen Moore says that the team will be brutally honest in their post-match appraisal following their disappointing performance.

“The effort is there, that’s a starting point. We’ve got to have some honest conversations around the scrum, no one part of the game is bigger than the other,” Moore said.

“Part of the culture of the team is being honest with each other. We’re just going to have to work on it. “

“We’ve certainly had enough admirable losses … we’re not going to sugar-coat it. It’s a loss and we’re gutted.”

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