Thanks for joining the blog if you're up early in Australia. By my calculations it's about 4am. If you're in Canberra, tell everyone at Mooseheads it's time for a drink to toast the Brumbies' impressive performance and then party on until the lights come on at 6am.
The Canberra Times/Fairfax blog will be back in action from Newlands next week so tune in and stay up to date with all your Brumbies news from South Africa.
FULL-TIME: That's all she wrote in Durban, the Brumbies convincing 29-10 winners over the Sharks at Kings Park. A superb performance from Jake White's men. They scored four tries in the first half and held out the defiant Sharks after the break to score a 19-point win. In the process they set a new Super Rugby record for the most consecutive wins away from home. Beating the Sharks was their seventh win away from Canberra. No other team in the competition's history has achieved that feat, not even legendary Brumbies teams of the past.
They are now clear at the top of the Super Rugby ladder and remain unbeaten after four games this season. More importantly they are 10 points clear in the Australian conference and on track to claim the guaranteed finals spot.
There will be injury concerns. Nic White, Jesse Mogg and Peter Kimlin were all in distress when they left the field. But winning for just the second time in Durban will ease the sore heads, bumps and bruises.
The Brumbies will play the Cape Town Stormers at Newlands next week before returning to Canberra to take on the Pretoria Bulls.
They are the only undefeated team in the competition.
ACT BRUMBIES 29 (Jesse Mogg, Joseph Tomane, Matt Toomua, Henry Speight tries; Christian Lealiifano 3 conversions) bt DURBAN SHARKS 10 (Ryan Kankowski try; Patrick Lambie penalty, conversion) at Kings Park, Durban last night. Referee: Jonathan Kaplan.
77: So it's almost game over, but I've only just noticed George Smith is wearing odd boots. One is bright yellow, the other is blue. Either way, he's had another cracker game.
75: And Clyde Rathbone's back on the field in Durban. This is where he started his career before the South African opted for a chance to play for the Brumbies and Wallabies. He was greeted with boos, but that's what he expected. Brumbies 29-10
67: PENALTY GOAL. The Brumbies needed that one just to halt the Sharks' momentum. The home side has been building nicely in the second half as the Brumbies suffer injuries and get tired. But Christian Lealiifano nails a short-range attempt and the margin's back out to 19 with just over 10 minutes remaining. Brumbies 29, Sharks 10Back to top
59: Big Scotty Sio limps from the field with cramps. He's had a great starting XV debut against an established Sharks front row. He was up against two Springboks and he dominated. He has spent the week rooming with legend George Smith and he's done a tremendous job.
57: The rain is really coming down now. The fans are moving for cover and the umbrellas are up. Meanwhile, the bloke sitting next to me is riding the Sharks harder than Kelly Slater rides waves. Fist pumping, cheering, swearing at the Brumbies. I like the passion, but my ears are hurting and I'm worried I'll cop a stray fist if he figures out I'm from Canberra.
57: Jesse Mogg is in plenty of pain, it's a shoulder problem. His left shoulder. I think it's a stinger or it's dislocated, but he's in back play and coming off. Robbie Coleman is on. Moggy has had a crackerjack start to the year, hopefully it's not serious.
52: TRY. Well talk about a mocker, the Sharks are in. Ryan Kankowski goes over after five minutes of contant attack. it had to happen, the Brumbies were out on their feet. Patrick Lambie converts. Brumbies 26, Sharks 10.
51: Sharks are finally getting some continued possession and threatening the Brumbies line. The defence is holding strong for now, but the Sharks look dangerous.
Here's something interesting, the Sharks haven't scored a try in the past two games and the Brumbies haven't conceded a point in any second half they've played this year.Back to top
46: Big Joey Tomane could have gobbled up another try as Toomua throws a long, wide ball. But he drops it and the Sharks are out of trouble and on the attack.
44: Wow, George Smith hasn't missed a beat in his two years out of Super Rugby. A superb steal right in front of the posts and the Brumbies go on the attack again. They could have easily settled for two penalty goals, but they want another try.
42: An early penalty for the Brumbies with the Sharks offside at the ruck. They're going for the kill, an attacking lineout instead of the three points up for grabs.
HALF-TIME: Some bad news, the rain is falling now and it's going to be a wet second half. But the Brumbies have already got their bonus point for four tries. Hopefully they don't go into their shell now.
Stat update: Brumbies 16 offloads in the first half, the Sharks missed 12 tackles.
HALF-TIME: BRUMBIES 26 (Matt Toomua, Henry Speight, Jesse Mogg, Joseph Tomane tries; Christian Lealiifano 3 conersions) leading SHARKS 3 (Patrick Lambie penalty)
Well that was a complete white wash for the Brumbies in the first half. The Sharks couldn't hold on to the ball and the Brumbies' fresh legs ran in four tries to nil. Jake White injected five fresh players into his line-up this week. The Brumbies' scrum is far superior. But when it comes to open play, they're running around the Sharks and using their strike weapons out wide to get over the line. Jake White will be stoked in the change rooms.
Injury ward: Nic White head knock, won't be back tonight.Back to top
39: For all the stat lovers out there..
@brumbiesrugby Stat check, is this the first time this season mogg, tomane, toomua have been tryscorers 1,2,3?? be pretty unamazing if true.— John-Paul Moloney (@jpmoloney) March 16, 2013
38: The Brumbies' scrum is demolishing the Sharks at the moment. Plumtree was obviously trying to protect his forwards by declaring the Brumbies were illegal scrummagers.
35: TRY! And there's the bonus point for the Brumbies, this is a demolition of last year's finalists. The Brumbies' scrum wins the ball against the feed, it gets spread wide and Fijian flyer Henry Speight gets in space to score. Speight only needs a little bit of room to move and he gets over in the corner. All of the Brumbies' tries have been scored out wide. Lealiifano converts. Brumbies 26-3
30: Wowzers, Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis just lined up Matt Toomua. Toomua knocked the ball on but regathered to stop play and du Plessis, a qualified doctor, saw his chance to nail the Brumbies flyhalf in the back. Ouch, that one might need a referral.
28: The Brumbies are dominating this fixture, they're barely letting the Sharks touch the ball. Check out this twitter brilliance from Green and Gold Rugby's finest, Steve Lenthall:
The only flash of brilliance for the Sharks so far has come from their cheerleaders #SHAvBRU— Steve Lenthall (@BJ_Rugby) March 16, 2013
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