Brumbies clinch Super 12 crown
May 26, 2001
The Brumbies celebrate with the Super 12 trophy
© Getty Images
The Brumbies played brilliantly in defeating the Sharks 36-6 to claim the Super 12 title at Canberra on Saturday.
They in the process became the first non-New Zealand team to win the prestigious trophy and also gave coach Eddie Jones a great farewell gift before he takes up the Wallaby coaching job in September.
After the scores were level 6-6 at half time, the Brumbies went on the rampage in the second half with three tries and 15 further points from the boot of fullback Andrew Walker.
Wallaby wing Joe Roff started the blitz with a two-try burst in the space of five minutes, ten minutes into the second half.
The two tries from Roff put the home side on the road for the victory, but they did not have the match all their own way.
For most of the opening quarter the Sharks made the early running with prop Etienne Fynn showing the way forward and the lineout providing a stable attacking platform.
Two early penalty goal attempts by flyhalf Butch James were astray and cost the Sharks the chance of a slender lead. But their main problem was their inability to score tries after all their field position.
Late in the first half a penalty against James for crashing into a ruck was reversed when George Gregan said something within range of referee Paddy O'Brien. After a discussion between O'Brien and Gregan, James stepped up to kick the penalty and level the scores at 6-6.
Walker kicked the home side into the lead with his third penalty goal, six minutes into the second half and they took the lead soon after by using the lineout tactic used so effectively by the Sharks against them.
A penalty kicked into the corner for a lineout was won cleanly by Justin Harrison. The loose forwards carried the ball on to create space on the short side for hooker Jeremy Paul to run with the ball out in front and drag in the defence. The tactic worked well with the defence going for Paul and his pass found Roff unmarked outside him to score in the corner.
Five minutes later Roff ran from a deep position onto a flat Gregan pass, 35 metres from the Sharks' line. His pace saw him crash through a huge gap in the defence and after juggling the pass he scored under the posts.
Walker added the conversion and a penalty goal two minutes later to increase the score to 26-6.
Having gone from being level to being 20 points behind inside 10 minutes, the Sharks attempted to keep the ball close to their forwards but failed to seek their opportunities out wide.
With 15 minutes remaining the Brumbies put the result beyond doubt when lock David Giffin charged down a clearing kick from James and reacted first to force the ball for the Brumbies' third try.
Walker converted from the sideline to keep his 100 percent record for the match and he added another penalty in the closing minutes for a personal points haul of 21.
It was a disappointing finish to a great season for the Sharks, who finished rock bottom last year. The Brumbies, however, fully deserved to lift the trophy after another excellent display.
Brumbies - Tries: Joe Roff (2), David Giffin; Conversions: Andrew Walker (3), Penalties: Walker (5).
Sharks - Penalties: Butch James (2).