PIRATES were unstoppable at times on their way to a 26-point win over Scone at Ken Chillingworth Oval on
The defending champions continued their finals surge, making it four straight with a 36-10 triumph.
It was at times a grind, but at other times Pirates were
“Our first 10 minutes was probably some of the best rugby we’ve played. We controlled the ball well and built the phases,” coach Garry Walsh said.
They were rewarded on the scoreboard, with half-back Amos Ioasa and then captain Barton Leach crossing for a 12-nil lead after just 14 minutes.
It looked then like being a long day for the Brumbies but from there things seemed to stagnate for the home side.
While they still had a mountain of possession and territory the same accuracy and sharpness wasn’t there.
“We lost our way a bit. We tried to be a bit adventurous,” Walsh said.
Rather than playing the phases, they were pushing passes when they got in behind the Brumbies and as a result only turned 12-3 in front.
It was “a bit disappointing” with the field position they had enjoyed.
Both sides finished out the half with only 13 after Leach and Conrad Starr (Pirates), and Tom Maxwell and Marley Faaui were simultaneously binned for punching with about six minutes to go.
Walsh said the message at half-time was about getting back to the way they played in the first 10-15.
They didn’t quite get there but were a lot better, with Garrett Doughty scoring of a well- worked scrum move and then Leach taking a quick tap and bursting through before offloading to a supporting Josh Stewart to put them further ahead.
It was indicative of Pirates’ support play, which was tremendous, Walsh said.
The door was shut on the Brumbies a minute later when winger Sam Bowden – almost identically to two weeks ago – grubbered and regathered.
The visitors seemed to be fading at that point, but found a second wind and proceeded to dominate territory and possession for the next 10
That eventually came to something when Josh Adams made a good break and just before the last line of defence turned the ball inside to half-back Tom Maxwell.
They should have had a second try after full-time but Marley Faaui muffed the put-down.
He had had a clear run to the line after Adams had popped the ball up to him with no-one in front.
But instead of just diving over he tried to run the ball around to the posts and Jake Douglas got his hand in to spoil.
Walsh said Douglas’s tackle exemplified the attitude to the defensive structure.
It was one of the most pleasing aspects.
“The highlight for us apart from getting the bonus point was the way we defended that 18-minute period in the second half they were on our line,” he said.
That was Scone in the first half.
“The defence was good for a long time in the first half and also the attack,” Brumbies coach Jeff Watt said.
“Once we got the ball into a bit of space we carved them up.”
But they couldn’t get their hands on the ball. That was their problem.