Last Thursday night, the ACT Brumbies and NSW Waratahs clashed at the Goulburn Workers Arena in a trial match ahead of the 2019 Super Rugby season, and the Brumbies emerged with a hard-fought 34-28 win.
Following the match, Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said that there were “some good things, but still plenty to work on”.
“It was a chance to get minutes into some of the boys,” he said.
“I thought there were some really good individual performances. We lost our way a little bit in that last 30 minutes, [but I was] pleased with our mauling.”
As a trial game ahead of the Super Rugby season, which kicks off this Friday, the match was played in a different format.
Instead of two 40 minute halves as is the norm for rugby union, Thursday’s clash featured two 30 minute segments, and two 15 minute segments.
The format was nearly made redundant early in the evening when a thunderstorm threatened to keep away the spectators. Thankfully, it ceased shortly before the match began, and fans flooded the Workers Arena.
Shortly after the game was over, the attendance was confirmed to have reached 2,137, and McKellar praised the support from the local audience.
“[The Goulburn crowd] was great, really good,” McKellar said.
“It would’ve been easy to stick your head out at about six o’clock and say ‘I’ll just park up at home here and watch the boys on Facebook’, but they decided to get out and support us.
“I thought the Vikings trial was pleasing, and to come up to Goulburn as well and to see a lot of really quality footballers in action up close and personal was good [for fans] to see.”
Both teams were struck by injuries during the match, which has stirred concern ahead of the impending Super Rugby season.
The Brumbies’ James Slipper and Lausii Taliauli were sidelined in the first 30 minutes with chest and knee complaints respectively, while Waratahs centre Lalakai Foketi and tight-head Shambeckler Vui also left the field.
While the Waratahs went into the match with an under-strength side, as they opted to rest Wallabies internationals Kurtley Beale, Michael Hooper, Rob Simmons, Israel Folau, Nick Phipps, and Bernard Foley, coach Daryl Gibson commended the Brumbies on their mauling.
“That’s been a Brumbies hallmark for a number of years, and tonight they showed just how powerful they can be in that phase of the game,” Gibson said.
Gibson also praised the young Waratahs who stood up under the Brumbies onslaught, saying that they played “really well. I was really proud of how they stood up in the third [period].”