Scone gets the jump on Tamworth

SCONE stampeded Tamworth in the second half to take the upper hand in the battle for second spot in Tier 2.

The Brumbies clicked into gear in the second half to over-run the home side and avenge their home loss 26-13.

The win sees them kick a win clear of the Magpies, with Walcha still powering away at the top.

They continued to impress, accounting for Barraba 57-12 in their clash at Walcha.

The game in Tamworth was delayed and the halves shortened to 35 minutes after Magpies stalwart and reserve second grade prop Paul Barker suffered a heart attack as they were waiting for first grade to come out.

Paramedics were fortunately able to get his heart started again and he was yesterday reportedly recovering well.

The ordeal understandably shook the players. 

The first 10 or so minutes both sides looked a bit flat and made a lot of errors.

The Brumbies had most of the early territory but, midway through the half, things swung around the Magpies’ way and they started to penetrate the visitors’ defence. 

But while they got close a couple of times, they couldn’t get over the line.

Eventually the weight of possession told, with breakaway Sam Burges strolling over with about five minutes to go after some good phase play.

They took it forward for six or seven phases and drew in the Brumbies’ defence, creating a two on one overlap.

The second half was almost a carbon copy of the first, only it was the Brumbies creating the chances.

After Bryce Daniels had kicked the home side’s lead out to eight, the Brumbies blew a four-on-one overlap before breakaway Lourens Le Grange muscled his way over.

The Magpies hit back immediately, working a scrum to create a two-on-one, which Patrick Strong capitalised on to make it 13-7 with 20 remaining.

The Brumbies forwards were really starting to inject themselves into the game and get their interplay going and, with just over 12 to go, the visitors hit the front.

It was probably the ugliest try of the game, with the Brumbies charging down a clearing kick from the Magpies and swooping on the loose ball, but arguably the most important.

At least from a Brumbies perspective.

Skipper Martin Feehan was then on the end of some novel play to seal the win, with five-eighth Michael Ruthven chipping over the top for number eighth Murray Wilkinson.

Replacement second-rower Adam Peterson then put an exclamation point on the win, running away 70m to score from a turnover after full-time.

Brumbies co-coach Ben McRae was “pretty relieved” to get the result.

“At half-time I was pretty worried. Tamworth always give us a good run for our money,” McRae said.

He thought in the first half they were a bit too predictable in attack and lacked a bit of intensity.

The second half they got a bit more depth to their attack  and really picked up their intensity, and it paid dividends.

Their delight was a contrast to the Magpies’ frustration. It was, they feel, one that got away.

“It was a game where we had the first-half dominance, spent a lot of time down their end, got the ball over the line four times (or should have) but only came away with one try,” co-coach Ross Duncan said.

“To go from that to the second half –we just got more or less out-enthused in the second half.” 

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