Planet Rugby

Brumbies give 'Canes a lifeline

16th April 2010 10:32

Share:

matt giteau brumbies v hurricanes

Bumbling Brumbies: The Hurricanes defence was rock-solid

The Hurricanes kept their Super 14 semi-final hopes alive - but only just - as they battled their way to an uninspiring 23-13 win over the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday.

It wasn't pretty, in fact at times it was darn right ugly, but the Hurricanes won't complain. They did what they had to and live to fight another day.

The Brumbies can't complain either - they had enough chances to keep their trans-Tasman rivals out of the match but failed to capitalise from two yellow cards dished out to the visitors in the first half.

Instead, the hosts - with a mountain of possession and territory - could only muster five points against fourteen men over a twenty minute spell. But credit must go to the Hurricanes, whose rock-solid defence never gave an inch.

Both sides managed two tries, but the Brumbies' ill-discipline and Matt Giteau's wayward boot allowed Hurricanes' fly-half Aaron Cruden - who also had a shocker with the tee - to keep the hosts at bay.

With the game still hanging in the balance, the Hurricanes sealed the deal thanks to a Victor Vito try in the 72nd minute that left the home side and their supporters scratching their heads after what seemed to be a knock-on.

It was their first defeat at home this season and ended an impressive streak of eight wins in Canberra.

The Brumbies looked every bit a team acutely aware of the importance of victory to keep them in touch with the leading group, and played like a team shackled by that pressure.

They threw 50-50 passes, took contact when they should have shifted the ball, committed too few bodies to the breakdown making them susceptible to the counter-ruck, or simply ran out of attacking options and kicked poorly.

The only points in the first half came from a Patrick Phibbs' try - this, after Tyson Keats was sent to the bin - and a Cruden penalty on the stroke of half-time. The Hurricanes would have been satisfied with the 5-3 scoreline at the break having been forced to make 61 tackles and work with a paltry 29 per cent possession.

Cruden kicked a second penalty soon after the break to give the Hurricanes a lead against the odds. That was extended soon after when Conrad Smith crashed over after some good work by Cory Jane and Tamati Ellison. Cruden converted from the sideline to put all the pressure back on the Brumbies.

Their response was emphatic with Matt Giteau finally taking control of proceedings to get the Brumbies into the Hurricanes danger-zone and then scoring from out wide himself. However, he was unable to convert his own try.

Cruden had a chance to stretch the Hurricanes further in front but missed a regulatory kick from 30m out - his third miss from six attempts.

The Hurricanes pivot made no mistake from a similar position soon after when replacement hooker Huia Edmonds was sin-binned as the Brumbies started to feel the heat at the breakdowns.

Giteau finally found his target in the 68th minute to close the home side to within three points and set up a thrilling finish, before workhorse flanker Vito scooped up a loose ball off the ground and sliced through in broken play to score the match-winner.

This was converted by Cruden making it a ten-point game and the Hurricanes held firm to the end.

Man of the match: Neither side produced any stand-out players, but if anyone deserved a beer after the match it has to be Victor Vito for producing the only highlight in a very dull encounter.

The scorers:

For Brumbies:
Tries: Phibbs, Giteau
Pen: Giteau

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Smith, Vito
Cons: Cruden 2
Pens: Cruden 3

Brumbies: 15 Julian Huxley, 14 Pat McCabe, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Tyrone Smith, 11 Alfie Mafi, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Patrick Phibbs, 8 Stephen Hoiles (c), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Guy Shepherdson, 18 Justin Harrison, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 James Stannard, 21 Brackin Kaurauria-Henry, 22 Andrew Smith/Ed Stubbs.

Hurricanes: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Tamati Ellison, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Rodney So'oialo, 7 Nick Crosswell, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore (c), 1 John Schwalger.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Bryn Evans, 19 James Broadhurst, 20 Chris Eaton, 21 Willie Ripia, 22 Jason Kawau.

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00