Rugby Union

Brumbies star Matt Toomua digs in short ball at wife Ellyse Perry for Canberra battle

Most couples argue about the washing up or making the bed. But when you're Ellyse Perry and Matt Toomua, tension simmers over how many bouncers are allowed in backyard cricket and who has to fetch the ball if it goes over the fence.

If you believe ACT Brumbies star Toomua, he's the one mercilessly dispatching his wife's bowling into the neighbour's garden and follows it with a flurry of short-pitched deliveries straight from Jeff Thomson's handbook.

Matt Toomua and Ellyse Perry were married in December.
Matt Toomua and Ellyse Perry were married in December. Photo: Ryan Pierse

But Perry reckons he shouldn't bother offering advice when she steams in at Manuka Oval for the Southern Stars on Tuesday, adamant Toomua's bowling tactics were outlawed years ago.

"All I'll say is that unfortunately in formal cricket you can't bowl more than one short ball an over, unlike the six bouncers Matt bowls at my head in the nets," Perry said.

Brumbies playmaker Matt Toomua, bowling, sends down plenty of bouncers at wife Ellyse.
Brumbies playmaker Matt Toomua, bowling, sends down plenty of bouncers at wife Ellyse. Photo: Chris Dutton

"He's obviously taken some inspiration from the body line series."

The wedding's done and honeymoon is over as the newly married sporting couple get back to action doing what they do best.

Their husband-wife rivalry will be on hold when Perry and the Stars clash against India in Canberra.

Toomua will be across town at Brumbies training in the build-up to a pre-season match against the NSW Waratahs, hoping coach Stephen Larkham grants him an early mark so he can take up his place in the Manuka Oval stands.

Australia's Ellyse Perry scored 55 runs and took 4-12 against India on Sunday.
Australia's Ellyse Perry scored 55 runs and took 4-12 against India on Sunday. Photo: Getty Images

​It's rare for Perry and Toomua to be in the same city at the same time, let alone pursuing their impressive sporting careers without having to set up a post-match Skype session.

They struck up their relationship four years ago when Perry was playing for Canberra United and Toomua for the Brumbies.

They got married at an intimate ceremony in Sydney just before Christmas, and only hours after Perry hit the winning runs for the Sydney Sixers in a Women's Big Bash League match.

Their sporting lives mean they are regularly on opposite sides of the world chasing their dreams.

But Toomua takes his role as the "BAG" – the boyfriends and girlfriends of the Australian cricket team – very seriously.

That means linking up with Australian paceman Mitchell Starc – the partner of Southern Stars wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy – in the stands at Manuka Oval and taking Perry to the nets to show her the flaws in her technique.

He was also the plus-one invitee to the Allan Border Medal last week, where Perry won the Belinda Clark Award as Australia's best female cricketer.

Perry scored 55 off 41 balls in a Twenty20 against India on Sunday and then backed that up with 4-12 with the ball.

Surely that rates highly in husband-wife mutual pride. "I guess scoring 55 is pretty cute," Toomua grinned.

Asked who was the better cricketer in the relationship, Toomua added: "I am, definitely. I've got her out quite a few times, we actually played some backyard cricket and I've got the footage.

"I'll hold her to ransom over that. I hit her out of the park three times so that was pretty good. We lost two balls because I was hitting them out of the park."

The likeable and always-smiling couple will move to England together at the end of the Super Rugby season with Toomua starting a deal with the Leicester Tigers.

Perry will continue to play cricket for Australia, as well as juggle her commitments in the WBBL and with Sydney FC in the W-League.

The Stars will play India in a day-night fixture in Canberra to start their series, with free entry to the ground.

It comes as the Brumbies ramp up preparations for the Super Rugby season and their trial match against the NSW Waratahs in Wagga on Saturday.

Toomua looms as a potential Brumbies' captaincy option with Larkham set to rest several stars for the clash.

WOMEN'S ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL

Tuesday: Australian Southern Stars v India at Manuka Oval, 2.20pm. Entry is free for the match.