No matter how bad things appear at the Brumbies, they are in fact worse. With the 13-6 loss to the Lions in Canberra, this campaign is not going to recover.
Not when the Australian side has no idea what to do with the ball.
Despite enjoying the lions’ share of territory and possession, particularly in the first half, they conceded 17 turnovers against the visitors which did not even play to their full potential.
Repeated scrums and penalties were an eyesore and thwarted the fluidity and rhythm for the entire match.
The Lions were relentlessly awful. It’s hard to believe the Johannesburg outfit are riding high with a solitary loss so far in the competition. And they won in Canberra.
A try in the opening five minutes to Brumbies inside centre Kyle Godwin after multiple phases of play was ruled out by television match official Ian Smith.
The only consolation for the hosts was a 3-0 lead going to the sheds, courtesy of a penalty by first-five Wharenui Hawera.
Brumbies best scoring chance came in the 68th minute when halfback Joe Powell broke through the midfield before being brought down in a tackle.
From the ensuing ruck, openside flanker Jarrad Butler received a pass and was metres from the Lions’ try line but conceded a penalty for holding on to the ball in the ground.
Lions No 8 Warren Whiteley put in a man-of-the-match performance, hoeing in at the breakdown and tackled ball areas and was a constant thorn for the Brumbies attackers.
The only try of the night was scored by former South African 7s rep Kwagga Smith who cut open the Brumbies defence on the left flank before racing about 70 metres to score.
Brumbies’ skipper Sam Carter accurately summed up their performance – or a lack of it – post match when he said his team did not capitalise on their opportunities.
Their defeat has to be chalked up to a stunning lack of precision and accuracy and an attack game that has gone totally up the spout.
The last vestige of hope for 2017 is gone for the Brumbies.