Brumbies hand Waratahs Super Rugby lesson

Adrian Warren
Christian Lealiifano says the Brumbies saved their best until last in their Super Rugby season

NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has accused his Super Rugby finals-bound team of getting ahead of itself, but insists their confidence hasn't been dented by a 40-31 home loss to the Brumbies.

The Brumbies hopes of making the playoffs were extinguished earlier on Saturday when the Melbourne Rebels picked up a bonus-point, but they played the role of party-pooper to perfection at Allianz Stadium

They scored four tries to one in the first half and finished ahead six to four in a fast-paced, frantic local derby.

The Waratahs had already won the Australian conference and were guaranteed a home quarter-final next week, but they were off the pace.

They missed 24 tackles, 16 in the first half and also lost some lineout throws.

Captain and five-eighth Bernard Foley said they were out-enthused, while Gibson was also critical.

"I wouldn't say it hurts our confidence, it probably shows us that if we don't turn up with the right attitude and intent you're going to get beat," Gibson said.

"I think what you saw tonight was a team that was not focused on the job at hand and getting ahead of itself in terms of already being in next week."

The Brumbies' late-season resurgence continued as they cut the Tahs apart with their continuity and speed out wide

It was their fourth win from their last five games and one of their best performances of the season according to coach Dan McKellar.

"It's certainly up there," McKellar said.

"Just the way we counter-attacked tries coming out of our own end just backing ourselves."

The Tahs only first-half try to hooker Damien Fitzpatrick came towards the end of a sin-bin stint for Brumbies hooker Folau Faingaa, after some cynical play.

Even then the Brumbies hit back immediately with Tom Banks claiming the restart and setting up Andrew Muirhead, who beat two defenders and sprinted to the line.

Impressive Brumbies outside centre Tevita Kuridrani got a march on opposite number Curtis Rona in the battle for the Wallabies spot left open by the injured Samu Kerevi.

He fended off Rona late in the game to set up the final try of the match for Lausii Taliauli .

"He was outstanding tonight, so I certainly think he put his best case forward,' McKellar said.

The Brumbies were fast out of the blocks leading 21-3 after 20 minutes and 26-10 at the break.

Banks sprinted 65 metres after swooping on a loose pass from Rona and forwards Richie Arnold and Isi Naisarani also crossed.

The visitors had injury issues in the first half with Naisarani and winger Henry Speight forced off before the break, with McKellar unsure of their status after the match.

The Brumbies started the second half well with an outstanding chip-and-chase try to centre Kyle Godwin as they scooted to a 23-point advantage.

Winger Taqele Naiyaravoro lifted Waratahs fans when he took a smart offload from Folau and bumped off two defenders and crashed over for his 15th try of the season.

Late tries to NSW backrowers Will Miller and Brad Wilkin helped cut the Brumbies' winning margin.