The ACT Brumbies beat New South Wales Waratahs 35-24 on Saturday to secure the Super Rugby Australian conference title. The visitors flew out of the traps at Bankwest Stadium, scoring four tries in 18 first-half minutes to lead 28-3 at half-time.
Second-row forward Rory Arnold, winger Andy Muirhead, centre Irae Simone and hooker Folau Fainga’a all touched down to leave the home side shell-shocked. The hosts did rally after the break, with scrum-half Nick Phipps, veteran centre Adam Ashley-Cooper and winger Curtis Rona all getting on the score sheet but it was not enough to deny the Canberra side the spoils.
Tom Cusack scared ACT’s only try of the second period and the Brumbies’ victory means they have booked a home quarter-final in two weeks’ time while all is not lost for the Sydney outfit. The Waratahs do still have an outside chance of making the play-offs but must beat Otago Highlanders in their final regular-season game.
Brumbies skipper Christian Lealiifano said: “Very pleased to get the result and top of the conference is nice. Probably a bit disappointed with the second half but very pleased.”