IT’S had some dicey moments but Scone’s defence was the foundation of its win over Tamworth on Saturday.
Brumbies co-coach Ben McRae felt their first-half defensive effort was what paved the way to the 26-13 result.
“I thought our defence in that first half was really good,” McRae said.
“They probably had 15 minutes on our line.”
But they kept on muscling up and kept the Magpies to just one try.
Their cover defence especially was good.
Twice they pushed Magpies players into touch only metres out from the line.
After a couple of opportunities early on, the Brumbies didn’t really have a lot of field position in the first half.
When they did, they tended to turn it over or “throw a silly pass”.
They also didn’t have enough variety in their attack.
“They were very strong around the edges,” McRae said.
“I thought we had to play with more width.
Get the likes of number eight Murray Wilkinson running wider, rather than just one-off the ruck.
That was noticeable in the second half, with the forwards seeming to find themselves in a lot more space.
“Doing that gave the backs good opportunities,” McRae said.
He felt they were probably a bit too flat in attack in the first half.
Once they had a bit more depth, the likes of centres Dale Robinson and William Wardlaw found it easier to break that first tackle, and they looked a lot more threatening.
“A lot of what we are doing at training we did in the second half,” he said.
“The other thing I was really happy with was we were a bit more patient.”
In the second half anyway.
“I thought there at the end we were very patient,” he said.
“We built that phase play.”
He said the backrow was outstanding.
Wilkinson and captain Martin Feehan were both prominent, as was Lourens LeGrange when he shifted to the backrow in the second half.
Michael Ruthven at 10 and Robinson at 12 also controlled the midfield well.
Either one or both had a hand in most of their tries, and another couple of chances they couldn’t finish, and in the second half really kept the pressure on the Magpies with their kicking games.
“We’ve still got to play that full game,” McRae said.