Rugby: Toomua director of Brumbies orchestra

Matt Toomua of the Brumbies is tackled during the round 11 Super Rugby match against the Force. Photo / Getty Images
Matt Toomua of the Brumbies is tackled during the round 11 Super Rugby match against the Force. Photo / Getty Images

You'd be hard pressed finding two more contrasting five-eighths than the Brumbies' Matt Toomua and Queensland's Quade Cooper.

While Cooper is full of jinks, slick tricks and defends at fullback, Toomua is a steady director of play who sets an aggressive pace in the defensive line.

Just ask Force No10 Sam Norton-Knight, who spent over a minute gasping for air after a Toomua tackle midway through the first half of their Super rugby clash on Saturday night.

To the casual observer it looked like your standard turnover-forcing hit.

To Brumbies coach Jake White, it was a game changer.

"You just had to look at a couple of Norton-Knight's last games, he stepped and scored under the posts against the Crusaders," White said.

"Matt had to make sure he got Norton-Knight back deeper, which is exactly what happened after that big hit."

The former Springboks World Cup-winning coach regards Toomua highly, pointing out that since he took over in 2012, the Brumbies have lost just one game with the 23-year-old in his side.

Yet a maiden Wallabies cap will still be a big ask Toomua.

While Toomua, Cooper and the Waratahs' Bernard Foley have been the standout Australian five-eighths over the past month, all three were excluded from Robbie Deans' 30-man Wallabies squad to prepare for the Lions in June.

However, with Melbourne Rebels playmaker James O'Connor as the only player in the squad playing at No10, Deans may look to take another onboard.

Just don't mention that to the unassuming Toomua, who had a hand in several tries during his side's 41-7 thumping of the Force to earn the man-of-the-match award.

"I'm just trying to not get too carried away," he said.

- AAP

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