Corey Toole shines, Landers’ forwards dominated


The Brumbies have travelled across the Tasman and come away with an important win after beating the Highlanders 27-21 at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Looking to improve their record to three wins from four starts, the men from the capital couldn’t have started much worse after conceding an early penalty and a try.

But after clawing their way back, the visitors looked like a completely different side during the opening exchanges after the break with Corey Toole scoring down the left edge.

It was a tense match but eventually, the Brumbies forwards stood up when it counted as they came away with an important result. Here are four takeaways.

Corey Toole needs to make Wallabies debut against Wales

It seems inevitable that Corey Toole will debut for the Wallabies at some stage. The Brumbies wing boasts blistering pace and certainly has the makings of a genuine Test rugby superstar.

But Australia coach Joe Schmidt would be a madman not to call Toole up into the Wallabies squad ahead of the Wales series in July – but why stop there?

Toole, who was electric for the Australia sevens side earlier in his career, must start against the Welsh. There’s simply no better wing in Australian Super Rugby right now.

It was reported last year that Mark Koroibete had apparently told teammates at the World Cup that he was retiring. If that’s the case, it’s time to call on the next generation.

Toole, 24, had beaten 12 defenders ahead of the round four clash and has now equalled the competition record for tries scored by an individual player this season with five.

This opinion might not even need thorough justification. Just watch Corey Toole and look at the stats. Joe Schmidt, if you’re reading this, this selection just makes sense.

Match Summary

Brumbies forwards dominate when it counts

With 10 minutes to go, the Brumbies held a two-point lead. The game was well and truly in the balance as the opposing forward packs prepared for a scrum inside the Brumbies’ half.

After a couple of resets, referee Ben O’Keeffe awarded a penalty in the Brumbies’ favour. Replacement prop Rhys Van Nek was brilliant and forced the mistake.

The Brumbies kicked their way into enemy territory and, not long after, ended up scoring the match-sealing try with a rampaging rolling maul.

Looking for a drought-breaking win over the Highlanders in Dunedin, the Brumbies forwards stood up and dominated exactly when they needed to.

This match was decided up front.

Cameron Miller fails to seize opportunity in 10 jersey

There’s a lot of hype surrounding young Highlanders fly-half Cameron Miller. With no Rhys Patchell in the matchday squad this week, the 21-year-old was handed a start.

It was Miller’s first start of the season, with his only appearance coming off the pine against Moana Pasifika in round one. The first five only played six minutes of that opening-round win.

Fast forward a few weeks and Miller was fairly solid under the high ball and wasn’t afraid to take the line on. But there were periods of this chaotic clash where the playmaker went missing.

The Brumbies were flooding the breakdown, as were the Highlanders, as the frantic game practically went end-to-end on multiple occasions in the blink of an eye.

Points Flow Chart

Brumbies win +6

406.png Corey Toole shines, Landers’ forwards dominated
402.png Corey Toole shines, Landers’ forwards dominated
406.png Corey Toole shines, Landers’ forwards dominated

Time in lead

402.png Corey Toole shines, Landers’ forwards dominated

54%

% Of Game In Lead

42%

44%

Possession Last 10 min

56%

It was a tough game to get a hold of. It was the same for Brumbies No. 10 Noah Lolesio.

When he did pop up, without doing anything sensational or especially notable, the youngster looked composed when kicking to relieve pressure in pressure play.

Not long after the Brumbies took the lead early in the second term, Miller was replaced just before the 50-minute mark.

Highlanders come away with a point

After conceding a try late in the piece, it was clear the Brumbies were going to win this epic Trans-Tasman clash. They had a nine-point lead and the Highlanders would’ve needed a rugby miracle to change their fate.

But a Sam Gilbert penalty after the siren ensured the hosts didn’t leave empty-handed by collecting a losing bonus point.

The Highlanders’ record may fall to 2-2 but as they look to stay within touching distance of those teams at the top, only time will tell as to how important this bonus point could be.





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