Planet Rugby

Lealiifano late show sinks Cheetahs

10th March 2012 03:23

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Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore held by Cheetahs fly half Johan Goosen

Close one: Win for Brumbies

The Brumbies sealed a much-needed 24-23 success over the Cheetahs thanks to a last-ditch penalty from inside centre Christian Lealiifano.

Sitting 10-23 down at one stage in a good game, the Australian franchise launched an excellent fightback that saw captain Ben Mowen choose penalties over tries in a wise move that ultimately led to Lealiifano stepping up in a dramatic finale.

The Cheetahs will be kicking themselves after coughing up the three points at the death after being penalised by New Zealand referee Keith Brown for not driving straight at scrum-time.

And that led to Lealiifano sending the ball through the uprights to spark mass celebrations for the Brumbies, who have been made to endure a disruptive couple of days due to speculation regarding the future of head coach Jake White.

Johan Goosen had given the Cheetahs an early lead with a penalty before Brumbies right wing Henry Speight hit back with a try in the ninth minute. Lealiifano's conversion made it 7-3.

Cheetahs' left wing Willie Le Roux was looking increasingly dangerous in possession though - finding acres of room on the flanks - and he cashed in ten minutes later. Le Roux also laid on the final pass for Tewis de Bruyn to score two minutes after half-time.

For the Brumbies, Wallaby Pat McCabe scored on his return from shoulder surgery after good work from Matt Toomua in a key try that preceded a trio of penalties from Lealiifano.

The Cheetahs continue their Australian tour against the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Stadium next weekend, while the Brumbies travel to New Zealand to take on the Chiefs in Hamilton.

The scorers:

For Brumbies:
Tries: Speight, McCabe
Con: Lealiifano
Pen: Lealiifano 4

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Le Roux, De Bruyn
Con: Goosen 2
Pen: Goosen 3

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Pat McCabe, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Ita Vaea, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Hegarty, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Scott Fardy, 19 Michael Hooper, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Zack Holmes, 22 Joe Tomane.

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cameron Jacobs, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Philip Snyman, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 George Earle, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Trevor Nyakane, 17 Hercu Liebenberg, 18 Davon Raubenheimer, 19 Justin Downey, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Ryno Benjamin.

Referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand)

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