Dark times distant memory after incredible feat
James Slipper joined an exclusive club in playing his 150th Super Rugby game and celebrated in style with a comfortable 33-12 Brumbies win over the Drua in Brisbane.
The popular Wallabies prop became just the 12th Australian to achieve the feat and Suncorp Stadium is once again a happy hunting ground for the Queenslander.
Slipper played 105 games for the Reds between 2010-18 before getting cut by coach Brad Thorn for testing positive for cocaine during an immensely tough time in his personal life.
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But Slipper owned his issues, found a caring new home in Canberra and is playing as well as ever as the 2023 Rugby World Cup fast approaches.
“I remember my debut, I got dropped after it,” Slipper said of that 2010 introduction.
“So I probably thought one was enough back then. But it was special to get the win.”
“It’s been a journey hasn’t it, a few challenges along the way but I’ve really enjoyed my time in the sport and I feel like I’m still going well.
“I’ve got a couple more years here at the Brumbies and some big games coming up after the bye. We’ve got the Kiwis and I’m pretty pumped for that.”
The Drua played some exciting rugby at times but never really looked like topping the Brumbies, who returned to the top of the Super Rugby ladder with Saturday’s win.
Dan McKellar’s well drilled side have now won seven of their eight games as they rebounded strongly from last weekend’s slipup against the Reds.
The Brumbies rolling maul was a big weapon as per usual and the Drua simply had no answer to it as hookers Billy Pollard and Connal McInerney got on the try-scoring list following the flash stuff from outside backs Tom Wright (two tries) and Cam Clark.
Winger Onisi Ratave scored a double for the Drua, who drop to 1-7 and also have the bye new week.
Brumbies 33 (Wright 2, Clark, Pollard, McInerney tries; White 2, R Lonergan 2 con) Drua 12 (Ratave 2 tries; Tela con)
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