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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Brumbies upset the touring Lions with historic victory in Canberra

Brumbies coach Jake White has described their 14-12 victory over the touring British and Irish Lions as one of the highlights of his life. It was the first midweek loss by the Lions since 1997, when they lost to Northern Transvaal in South Africa.

The Lions lost to an Australian provincial side for the first time in 42 years as their 2013 winning run came to an end with what coach Warren Gatland has called a 'reality check'.

The Kiwi coach picked somewhat of a scratch side to face the Brumbies, including no less than four players that had joined the squad just days prior to kick-off in Canberra.

The Brumbies themselves weren't at full strength however, missing the majority of their Wallaby players and fielding an inexperienced outfit, an aspect that thrilled coach Jake White.

"It's as high as it gets," said White after the famous win. "I've been lucky enough to win a senior and junior World Cup, but to beat the Lions, especially the way it was done, with a group of boys with 28 Test caps, of which one player (Clyde Rathbone) has 26, and [skipper Peter Kimlin] two.

"It's got to be as good as it gets in rugby union. It's a massive result. This is a very young group of players who only got together 18 months ago and no one would ever have dreamt that we would have achieve Super Rugby-wise but to also get a win against the Lions doesn't happen.

"The boys sitting in the Wallaby camp watching that will be thinking that it is doable now. The Wallabies probably thought that they faced a massive uphill battle. Now they are thinking that it is possible," said the Springbok's 2007 Rugby World Cup winning coach.

Warren Gatland said that they lacked urgency and intensity in the first half, but there were positive signs in the second that they will be taking forward to the first Test on Saturday.

"It's part of being on tour. You regroup after you get a bit of a knock and you take your disappointment and it's how you respond to it, how this group of players respond to it this weekend. It's a reality check."

View extended highlights

Do you think the Wallabies now have the psychological edge going into the first Test?

Page: 12View All

Posted at 6:19 am | 46 comments

Posted in British & Irish Lions 2013

Viewing 46 comments

zacaria June 19, 2013 12:12 pm

I vote to stop showing conversions as highlights, anyone?

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Disco June 19, 2013 2:43 pm

I disagree, I think Jake White's comments provide a fascinating insight into what it means to beat the Lions and his comments regarding the confidence boost his work may provide to the Wallabies clearly illustrates the North South divide we love so much.

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matt June 19, 2013 3:17 pm

Did you read his post as saying conversATions?

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Sea-Bass June 19, 2013 3:12 pm

I wholeheartedly agree. Show the crucial conversions which causes the lead to switch, but the rest, leave them be. I'd rather see good runs and tackles if tries aren't possible, thank you very much.

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stroudos June 19, 2013 9:20 pm

Couldn't agree more. Have been banging on about it for ages. RD, wtf is going on here? It's becoming a bit of a trend. RD used to be the sanctuary where you'd actually get to see this interesting action from a match, the big hits, the niggle, the odd bit of skill and dexterity, the build-up to penalty awards rather than the act of converting those into points.

Conversion kicks and penalty kicks are NOT "highlights" - they're simply records of points being scored and offer no other entertainment value. Unless there's a random gust of wind with a comedy result, if the balls bounces off both posts and the crossbar, if the kicker falls on his arse mid-kick, if someone chases a missed kick and dots down, something like that. Long, pointless close-ups of a bloke lining up a kick are NOT interesting - although I must admit I enjoyed the comment at 2:30 about Farrell needing to sort his neck out...

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DrG June 19, 2013 1:25 pm

Well... I bet Gatlands glad he brought in his secret 36 year old weapon now...

Congratulations to the Brumbies. Looks like Mogg is a brilliant kicker.

Terrible defence from Wade in that first try..

I didn't see the match, I hear Hogg got 2 from 4, and I think Farrell also 2 from 4? Also heard the forwards were abysmal leading to troubled play from the backs with no stable platform? Fair assessment?

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matt June 19, 2013 3:19 pm

I think Ben Youngs had another poor game, and Rory Best conclusively showed why he was left out of the original squad.
Williams and Wade weren't great, but I would love to see anyone get off a 36 hour trip and play well the next afternoon.
I thought Zebo had another fantastic outing and could well be involved again saturday

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dave June 19, 2013 8:49 pm

I thought Ben Youngs played pretty well considering how shitty the pack was in front of him, he relieved pressure in the lions 22 several times, Ben Youngs is going to be the replacement scrumhalf in the first test IMO, Youngs has had some seriously good games against the Wallabies and Murray is just a less talented version of Phillips, they're going to want varied attacking threats

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TechnoMouse June 19, 2013 5:48 pm

Farrell got 2/2, but yeah I think Hogg got 2/4. But equally the Brumbies missed a few penalties.

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dave June 19, 2013 8:46 pm

hogg is the one that botched the defence on that try

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DrG June 20, 2013 11:26 am

Not entirely sure I'd agree with that assessment.

Wade gets dummied by 12, leaving a gap, so Hogg has to step in to make the tackle, the ball gets passed to 13, so Hogg pulls out of tackle. 13 blitzes down the line, Wade gives chase, makes awful tackle attempt, 13 uses Wade as a barrier and pushes him into Kearney, although 13 gets slowed down just enough for Hogg to get a hold on him from behind...

So pretty sure it was shocking defence from Wade...

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dave June 22, 2013 2:54 am

Hogg failed to notice the 13, hogg didn't communicate that he was taking wade's man, hogg didn't stick with the defense system, I can't remember if it was the bbc or ther aussie commentators but they even said "hogg with the error" but to make you feel better they were both shit and hence they aren't in the test xv :)

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TotesMcGoates June 20, 2013 12:33 am

Hogg hit the post with two of his attempts. Farrell slotted his from memory.

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BenjaJ June 19, 2013 2:19 pm

Youngs and Hogg struggled to find solutions, and the Brumbies overwhelmingly dominated the rucks.
A lot of players messed their chance of being selected against Australia (Wade, Barritt, Best, Gray, Evans, Murray...).

I don't undestand why Murray kept kicking the ball at the end, with less than 5 minutes on the clock. And he made a terrible mistake by isolating himself at the end.

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mrjmmlc June 19, 2013 2:27 pm

completly agree! muray kept kicking badly!
shame hogg didnt have a chance to do well and push for selection. he might have lost it to farel

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Paul C June 19, 2013 2:39 pm

How many Lions were just off the plane, this match was a seconds team game really not quite sure what the Ozzies are making a big deal of!!

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Jon June 20, 2013 1:15 am

It was a second string Brumbies too.
And the Lions being second string? You're talking about the second XV of four combined nations.
They had almost 600 international caps between them.
The Brumbies were missing about ten of their best players, and fielded a squad of mostly youngsters. Only two of their players had ever played test rugby, and Rathbone hadn't played since 2006, Kimlin since 2009.
It's ridiculous for you to think that would mean nothing to the Brumbies. It's a historic victory for them. For you to brush it off is absurd.

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PaulC June 24, 2013 9:25 am

Don't get me wrong the Brumbies deserved to win and fair play to them! My point was aimed at the press etc maybe it was just what came across in the Irish press but all the Australian comments had the Lions written off for the tests. Really wasn't trying to brush off the Brumbies win!

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DrG June 20, 2013 11:29 am

To answer your question: 2 I believe. As Jon said, they are internationals, might have been a seconds team but it was by no means an acceptable performance!

It was a brilliant victory for the Brumbies, and well deserved. Man up and pay them their dues!

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PaulC June 24, 2013 9:37 am

By no means an acceptable performance at all Best had a stinker I would have had Strauss instead but I'm a leinster man so could be bias, Well done to the Brumbies!

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MattyJ June 19, 2013 2:53 pm

too many england players starting

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DrG June 19, 2013 3:13 pm

Oh yeh, from what I remember hearing, the lineout throwing from Best was horrific... This is why I questioned why so many people felt he should be picked in the first instance, I was shot down by people saying "did you see who he had to throw to?" etc, again I did not see this match so maybe throwing to 9 ft Richie Gray was difficult, but regardless, if it isn't straight then wtf are you doing playing hooker?

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gerrymentle June 19, 2013 4:27 pm

Some dreadful mistakes made all round though I guess it has to all start from the pack. Rory Best's continual line out malfunction not only turned over ball but gave the Brumbies growing confidence and the Lions shrinking confidence which you could see in Ben Youngs' reaction to Best's squint throw ins. OK a scratch second string Lions side with a load of guys just off the plane against a really motivated second string Brumbies side who've been together for 18 months, it was always going to be close. Real questions is if Gats really just wanted the win. He should have brought on replacements at half time. Both Farrell and Murray can't kick up and unders. Anyways it'll be a different team on Saturday so hopefully Australia do build up some belief, it'll make it a great match.

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Juggernauter June 19, 2013 5:41 pm

Best threw three not straight balls at the lineout, which in just too much and surely ruled him out for the tests. He's good on the loose but if you can't get the set pieces to work then you just can't play for the Lions in a Test match.

And those who say that this was an "inexperienced" Lions side... The had over 500 caps between them, versus less than 30 from the Brumbies. They were all quality individual players (the best from the UK & Ireland) so to say that it was an experimental Lions outfit is true, as they hadn't played together, but heck this is the bloody Lions, they are expected to perform.

On a side note, I think this match revealed the mediocre squad management Gats has been doing, and the whole "bring Shane for one match" thing really questions the seriousness of the Lions. Oh how he must be missin Jonny. Besides, the Lions got some momentum playing against mediocre opposition (I mena, combined country?really) and on the two tough matches they've played they almost came short to a second string Tahs and lost to the Brumbies... I think Australia will win 2-1.

Special mention for Matt Toomua, what a player. Robbie if you wanted a playmaker that tackles like a samoan then look no further.

Cheers

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Juggernauter June 19, 2013 5:44 pm

Sorry forgot to mention the Reds match... which should have been won by the Reds for sure!

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DrG June 19, 2013 9:19 pm

Shoulda coulda woulda. Hundreds of rugby matches SHOULD have been won by the more deserving team. You can't pin a bet on the Lions series on the more deserving team, Lions may win the series 3-0 and not deserve ANY of the victories...

Tah's was not a second string side, missing a few players but it was by no means second string... unless AAC is a second teamer now?

I do agree that the management of the Lions has been poor. It appears there is about 20-25 "perfect" players that Gatland has in his mind. God help him if he loses a bunch of them in the first test because it well and truly doesn't look like he has a back up plan....call Shane again???

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Juggernauter June 19, 2013 11:29 pm

Yep that could be true, but I think the Lions should worry more about performances than results in the warm up matches, people will remember the Test Matches and the warm ups will be an anecdote... And in terms of performance they were put to the sword by the Reds and Brumbies, and for the first half of their game with the Tahs, a game they won because the stars like Halfpenny, Davies, et al clicked.

On a side note, Warburton's performance in the 1st Test will be critical for his starting aspirations on the 2nd and 3rd I think.

Cheers

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Jon June 20, 2013 1:26 am

The Tahs weren't second string??
Firstly, AAC wasn't playing, he's with the Wallabies.
These are the players that weren't playing for the Tahs due to injury and Wallabies call ups :
Benn Robinson
Tatafu Polota-Nau
Sekope Kefu
Sitaleki Timani
Kane Douglas
Mitchell Chapman
Greg Peterson
Michael Hooper
Wycliff Palu
Berrick Barnes
Adam Ashley-Cooper
Israel Folau
Lachie Turner

That's 13 front line players out. 11 of them current or former Wallabies.
If you think that wasn't a second string Tahs side, you're dreaming.

That's the entire tight five not playing, plus two reserve locks, two of the three backrowers, an international five-eight/fullback, the star fullback, an international winger and the international outside center.

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Juggernauter June 20, 2013 1:35 am

Yep that's what I meant haha. Weird how a star studded team as the Lions (for whom I held the biggest respect) struggled for 40' with a second string provincial side.

Anyway, can't wait for the tests!!

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DrG June 20, 2013 11:30 am

I meant Drew Mitchell actually... not sure where AAC came from...

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DrG June 20, 2013 11:33 am

Jon so what you're saying is that if ANY one of those above players are missing then it is acceptable to call the Tah's a second string side?

Funny, because normally teams like to have a bit of depth so that players:
a) fight for their place amongst their peers.
b) have an equally good player to call up due to injury...

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Jon June 20, 2013 2:08 pm

No mate.
I'm saying that when ten of the starting 15 players in the team are out, it's a second string team.
There were amateur players on the bench.
Only one player in the entire forward pack was a first team player.

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dave June 19, 2013 9:18 pm

I found this game to be a complete joke, not only was the game the most boring thing i'd seen since Wales vs Scotland in the six nations, the quality of the win was garbage too, the lions management didn't give 2 shits about this game evidenced by a third string front row, the biggest joke about this game was the lions put on their second string front row with 20 minutes left and even had an oppurtunity to win the game with a drop goal , everyone in that pack showed that they don't belong on tour, Marler>Grant, Webber>Best, Ross>Stevens, Launchbury>Evans, McCarthy>Gray, Wood>O'Brien, Robshaw>Tipuric , Morgan>Faleteau, Rory Best's throw is handicapped, why does he have his arms outstretched like that as opposed to tight to the head like everyone else and dont get me started on the ref, thank god that wasn't the first test

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Juggernauter June 20, 2013 1:36 am

Robshaw better than Tipuric? In what front?

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Guest June 20, 2013 3:13 am

Completely agree with juggernaut. You just sound like a bitter English fan dave, I don't think the back row where bad. Bi put launch bury should definately of been on the plane in my opinion.

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dave June 22, 2013 2:14 am

I only put so many english in my (> than) list because those were the players that stood out when I thought through every country, I'd maybe put lawes in ahead of gray because I think the wallabies would struggle with his menacing presence if he was on form, and ye I like england but i'm an english/ irish so my psyche balances itself out....hopefully;)

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dave June 22, 2013 2:08 am

I think Robshaw is better when it comes to tackling, line out fundamentals, workrate, leadership and has played better consistently for longer, I give Tipuric the edge when it comes to turning the ball over

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dave June 22, 2013 2:17 am

and I think robshaw is a better ball carrier for driving the hard yards with the pack, this guy is a menace, if you look at this guys play for england over the past year and half this guy is prominent in every game

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Guest June 20, 2013 3:11 am

A poor performance overall, the forwards where poor and the centres worse. I didn't notice Barrietand twelvetrees was almost useless couldn't get over the hairline at all. I didn't see the ball go through the hands to either of the wingers once. I think between them wade and Williams must have touched the ball 4-5 times and none of them where in space. Wades defence was poor in the first try but it was poor ply from the lions leading up to it. In these kind of games only hitting 2/4 of your kicks just is not good enough. Hogg is a quality player but is not much more than average at fly half. I want to see him have a crack at fullback again on tour as he is really gifted but Halfpenny has kicked his way into the fullback shirt and definately deserves it. I was always uncertain as to why best was originally left out but he defiantly proved why, with the line out throws absolutely abysmal. I'm not sure what else zebo can do to get himself a test jersey. He's playing almost aswell as bowe was.

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Juggernauter June 20, 2013 4:32 am

Problem was that the Brumbies monopolized the rucks, always got there first and with more aggression (in a good way) and therefore starved the Lions of quality ball to use. I think Twelvetrees is a good playmaker, but he needs a ball playing kinda 10 (i.e. not Farrell), and a skilled, fast paced 13, like Davies (definitely not Barritt, excellent in defence but impossibly dull in attack) a bit like the Toomua-Lealiifano-Kuridrani/Smith combination for the Brumbies, who terrorize defence with a mix if skill, pace, great kicking, dummies, stepping, etc.

I think the Aussies will take the series 2-1. I for one will be glued to my TV.

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Guest June 20, 2013 4:37 am

Hoping the lions will win the series 2-1 personally but it all depends on who will show up on the day. Really think cooper should have made the squad at the very least. Twelvetrees doesn't cut it at international level quite yet for me and I agree Barrit is dull. I wish they could have supplied the wingers with quality ball in space, it would have made for a great game.

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Juggernauter June 20, 2013 5:22 am

The axing of Cooper is mesmerizing really, Deans playing vendetta for some unfortunate comments made last year. Quade may not be everyone's cup of tea but he can spark any backline and his understanding with Genia is second to none. I think Deans all but overexposed O'Connor giving him the playmaking duties, he's a world class winger but no real 10, just like Hogg. I'd have picked Cooper to start with Toomua as back up. McCabe is a hard, commited player but way too much of a battering ram, no kicking game or stepping technique whatsoever.

I just sense that Halfpenny will be the star of the series haha

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DrG June 21, 2013 1:12 am

Agree with the Halfpenny comment, at least for the Lions, and again totally agree with the spectacular lack of Cooper.

As you said, he's not everyones cup of tea, the kind of player you'd love to step on in a ruck, but he is brilliant. Big mistake to leave him out I think... or as someone else said "It's criminal!"

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Juggernauter June 20, 2013 5:25 am

Also can anybody explain me why Wycliff Palu is starting on Saturday? A player WAY past his prime, who breaks in the big occasions. A bold approach would've been to pick Gill/Hooper/Mowen and let them roam and terrorise the Lions. Big shame that Higginbotham, Pocock and Smith got injured... massive strength in depth there for the Wallabies tough.

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DaRabman June 20, 2013 6:34 am

Not worried about the tests, a second-string brumbies did well to pip it over a second-string Lions but I think Gatts is playing things close to his chest.

A lot of the Lions were either given their last gasp for a test or were thrown in as cover for the first-picks.

The loss was sobering and necessary, only a fool would think that this is the performance we'll see on Saturday. Lions 3-0

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Lucius June 20, 2013 10:11 am

The tour is over, Aussie-Lions 3-0

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