The Brumbies all but sealed their place in the play-offs after grinding out a 19-15 win over the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
The Brumbies all but sealed their place in the play-offs after grinding out a 19-15 win over the Waratahs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
It wasn't pretty, in fact it was downright dire. But the visitors got the job done as they broke their ten-year drought without a win in Sydney to take home four crucial points.
Five points now seperate the Brumbies from the Reds, who now need a bonus-point victory over the 'Tahs next weekend and hope other results go their way to stand a chance of reaching the top six.
But back to the borefest in Sydney, where the Brumbies were outscored by their Aussie rivals two tries to one but still managed to stay in the hunt through the kicking boots of Zack Holmes and Jesse Mogg.
The two players combined to punish the Waratahs' ill-discipline and score fourteen points from the tee, handing the hosts their seventh consecutive loss on the trot. It will be a miracle if Waratahs coach Michael Foley keeps his job following this latest defeat.
Two penalties from Holmes and a long-range effort from Mogg cancelled out a try by hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and gave the visitors a 9-5 lead at half-time.
However Berrick Barnes forced his way over for the Waratahs' second try to give the home side a 15-9 lead, forcing the Brumbies – who looked off the pace – to play catch-up with twenty minutes of the match remaining.
But the Brumbies showed composure under pressure and hit back with a try to wing Henry Speight out wide after taking in a floating pass from Holmes.
Speight did well to run the ball in closer to the posts for Holmes to add the vital conversion, which meant the 'Tahs needed to score more than a penalty to win.
Replacement scrum-half Brendan McKibbin missed his penalty attempt from 49m out which would have brought them within a point and the Brumbies held on for the vital – yet unimpressive – win.
Tries: Polota-Nau, Barnes
Pens: Holmes 2, Mogg 2
Waratahs: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rae, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Tom Carter, 22 Tom Kingston.
Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Jesse Mogg, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Hegaty, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Leon Power, 19 Ita Vaea, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Tevita Kuridrani, 22 Cam Crawford.