Brumbies win borefest
Former Springbok coach Jake White’s tenure at the Brumbies started off with a close 19-17 win over the Force in Canberra on Friday.
But it is unlikely that White will attach footage of this game to his CV after the Australian derby turned out to be more of a borefest than an exciting game of rugby.
The Brumbies will take the victory to herald the start of a new era, but both sides will be far from happy with their first outing of the Super Rugby season which saw a plethora of mistakes and penalties and some mediocre refereeing to accompany it from Bryce Lawrence.
To be honest, on this performance it is difficult to see either side even challenge the Reds for conference supremacy, nevermind make an indent on the overall log.
But it did keep up the Brumbies' superiority in results over their Western neighbours, the latter who still have the dubious honour of never having won an opening game in Super Rugby.
Far from the flowing rugby seen in the earlier New Zealand clash, the game lurched from mistake to penalty, from penalty to mistake, and it was no surprise that both teams had slotted their opening penalties within three minutes of the game starting.
This video is not available in your region
It was left to kickers Nick White and James Stannard to keep the scoreboard flowing, with White shading it at halftime with a 12-9 lead to the Brumbies.
There was finally some tryline action in the second half as White broke from a scrum close to the line to send the perfect pass to Jessie Mogg to go over.
Another Stannard penalty before Robbie Coleman was left in acres of space and the Brumbies looked like they were going to ease away at 19-12.
But then the Force found some resolve,with Stannard ensuring he scored all of his side’s points by going over after several phases of attack.
The Brumbies defence held out, as did their own fans' patience with Lawrence, although after Wellington last year it will be difficult to find a South African who has sympathy with their plight.
But a win is all they sought on a warm night in Canberra and for their coach White, it was all that was needed.
Brumbies – Tries: Jesse Mogg, Robbie Coleman; Penalties: Nic White (3).
Western Force – Try: James Stannard; Penalties: James Stannard (4).