Planet Rugby

Brumbies go down again

01st April 2011 07:05

Share:

kade poki highlanders v brumbies

Back with a bang: Highlanders wing Kade Poki eyes a gap

A refreshed Highlanders outfit held off the Brumbies to prevail 26-20 in a thrilling Super Rugby match at Rugby Park in Invercargill on Friday.

There's still no light at the end of the tunnel for the Brumbies, who have now lost five games on the trot - all but writing off their semi-final chances this year.

It was an improved performance from the visitors, but two tries in two minutes from Highlanders hooker Jason Rutledge in the first half meant the Brumbies were always going to play catch-up rugby.

A fired up Highlanders side - fresh from a bye - were worthy winners at their southern outpost as they ended a two-game losing streak in the competition.

The difference between the two sides at full-time was only six points, but Brumbies skipper Matt Giteau will be kicking himself after missing his first two shots at goal in the match.

Instead it was the Highlanders who got themselves on the scoreboard first - and in fine fashion too - after a scintillating burst by Kade Poki got his team inside Brumbies territory. Poki's pass went loose, but Jimmy Cowan picked up before putting in a cross-field kick for Rutledge to gather and score.

Colin Slade's first kick at goal since returning from injury was wide, but the Highlanders' pivot was spot on with his second attempt from wide out after Rutledge was celebrating a second try in as many minutes.

Poki was involved again, after the wing combined with full-back Ben Smith and prop Chris King to put Rutledge over in the corner that gave the home side a 12-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Slade added three more points with a straigh-forward penalty, before Giteau partially atoned for his early wayward kicks by stepping through three players to score a 32nd minute try, which he also converted.

Brumbies inside centre Christian Lealiifano missed a long distance penalty attempt just before the break which left the score reading 15-7 at half-time

The Highlanders were then hit with an injury blow to Slade, but replacement fly-half Tony Brown swelled his team-mates advantage to 18-7 with a simple penalty.

A close-range three-pointer to Giteau again reduced the deficit to eight.

Brown added a 66th minute penalty to restore his team's 11-point lead, but he was sin-binned for a breakdown infringement in the 68th minute.

Centre Andrew Smith gave the Brumbies a glimmer of hope as he squeezed his way past several defenders in the 69th minute, to set up a nail-biting finish to the match with only six points the difference (21-15).

But five-pointer to captain and prop Jamie Mackintosh five minutes from full-time, gave the home team a decisive 26-15 lead.

Replacement scrum-half Patrick Phibbs earned a bonus point for the Brumbies with a late try, but it was scant reward for the visitors who ultimately fell short yet again.

The scorers:

For Highlanders:
Tries: Rutledge 2, Mackintosh
Con: Slade
Pens: Slade, Brown 2

For Brumbies:
Tries: Giteau, Smith, Phibbs
Con: Giteau
Pen: Giteau

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Kendrick Lynn, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Siale Piutau, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Alando Soakai, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (capt).
Replacements: 16 Mo Schwalger, 17 Halani Aulika, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Nick Crosswell, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Tony Brown, 22 James Paterson.

Brumbies: 15 Matt Toomua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Josh Valentine, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Salesi Maafu, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Hegarty, 17 Dan Palmer, 18 Colby Faingaa, 19 Michael Hooper, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Tyrone Smith, 22 Franky Fainifo.

Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)

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