Coleman shines in Brumbies win
March 22, 2014
Jack Whetton (r) was all smiles after the Brumbies' victory
© Getty Images
Robbie Coleman's successful pursuit of a seemingly impossible cause earned the Brumbies a 25-15 win over the Stormers and took them back to the top of Super Rugby Australian conference.
Winger Coleman scored two of the Brumbies three tries at GIO Stadium on Saturday, but it was his second five-pointer in the 62nd minute that brought the crowd of 11,527 to full voice.
With the Brumbies clinging to a 13-10 lead, Coleman contested a high kick and then chased through after the ball was toed ahead by captain and No.8 Ben Mowen. Stormers winger Jacobus van Wyk appeared to have the kick covered and waited for it to go out, but Coleman kept running and somehow twisted his body and grounded the ball millimetres from the corner post for an improbable but precious five-pointer.
Scrum-half Nic White, who landed all three of his first-half kicks, missed the conversion and two subsequent penalties, but the Brumbies hung on despite Stormers substitute back Juan De Jongh crashing over for a 75th minute try to cut the deficit to three points.
Experienced fly-half Peter Grant missed what appeared a relatively simple conversion three minutes after hitting a post with a penalty attempt.
In a frantic final three minutes, Coleman was denied a hat-trick when the ball rolled out of play with him leading the chase and then centre Pat McCabe was held up. A penalty try from a scrum on the bell sealed the points for the Brumbies.
The Brumbies fought off a determined Stormers outfit in Canberra (video available in Australia only)
The Stormers were quicker to settle and Grant posted first points from a seventh-minute penalty after missing his first attempt three minutes earlier.
The Brumbies were barely sighted in attack until the ninth minute when fly-half Matt Toomua ghosted his way through the defensive line and set up Coleman for his first try. White's conversion put the Brumbies up 7-3, but the home team struggled to put together multi-phase moves, missed more tackles than they would like and gave away a number of breakdown penalties.
From one of the penalties, powerful Springboks No.8 Duane Vermeulen powered his way across from close range after a drive from the Stormers pack following a lineout. Grant's conversion gave the Stormers a 10-7 advantage before the Brumbies responded with two penalties before the break.
The win took the Brumbies above the NSW Waratahs at the top of the Australian conference, while the Cape Town-based Stormers are only above the Central Cheetahs in the South African conference after their third defeat on their Australasian tour.
"It's really tough to play the Stormers and it's a really nice result on the back of some good form over the last couple of weeks," Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen said. "We knew they were going to play for their season after eyeing off at least two victories on their tour and they zeroed in on us."
Stormers captain Jean de Villiers said his team paid for a lack of composure near the end of the match.
"Not just the kickers but I thought the whole team made too many mistakes towards the end and I thought we lost our composure," de Villiers said. "It doesn't get any easier and we play the Queensland Reds next week and we need to change a bit and learn from our mistakes."