Planet Rugby

Brumbies take the spoils in Wellington

18th May 2012 07:34

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Hooper Hurricanes v Brumbies

Brumbies: On top at the Cake Tin

The Brumbies staged a great fightback to beat the Hurricanes 37-25 and dealt their hosts what could be a major blow in the race for the top six.

Down by nine points (16-25) with 30 minutes of the match remaining, the visitors hit back with 21 unanswered points to end an entertaining encounter on top.

The men from Canberra were fresh off a bye and continued to impress even without in-form pivot Christian Lealiifano, with his replacement Zack Holmes putting in a quality performance that will no doubt have coach Jake White sleeping easier at night.

History was certainly against the Brumbies, who had not won across the Tasman since 2009. But form prevailed as White's troops bagged a four-try bonus point for their efforts that gives them plenty of breathing space at the top of the Australian conference.

The Hurricanes also managed four tries, however a disappointing day with the boot cost them as Andre Taylor, who did add one conversion and a penalty, and Beauden Barrett missed a number of chances between them to let the visitors off the hook.

Holmes had no such problems and he opened up his account with an early penalty before adding the extras when number eight Fotu Auelua powered over from close range after eight minutes.

Livewire scrum-half TJ Perenara hit back for the Hurricanes as he sniped over down the blindside after a textbook catch and drive from the pack.

Holmes and Taylor exchanged penalties but it was the Hurricanes who moved into the lead when a superbly crafted move off a scrum saw Victor Vito crash over.

That saw the home side lead 15-13 at the break - and they must have thought it was game over when they struck twice in quick succession after the interval.

First Perenara put the Hurricanes in control after an excellent finish - the 19-year-old showing brilliant vision from the base of the ruck to leave the Brumbies defence trailing in his wake.

And although Holmes reduced the deficit with a penalty, replacement prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen made an immediate impact off the bench for the home side when he burrowed his way over.

However the Hurricanes were made to pay for switching off when Scott Fardy broke through some weak tackling, with the lock finding partner Sam Carter with the scoring pass.

And worse was to follow for the Hurricanes as they coughed up possession from their own scrum, with in-form flank Michael Hooper driving over to put the Brumbies in front.

Missed tackles then allowed Holmes to cap a superb display with the bonus point try - with the fly-half also adding his fourth conversion of the night.

The scorers:

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Perenara 2, Vito, Toomaga-Allen
Cons: Taylor
Pens: Taylor

For Brumbies:
Tries: Auelua, Carter, Hooper, Holmes
Cons: Holmes 4
Pens: Holmes 3

Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Jack Lam, 20 Chris Eaton, 21 Beauden Barrett, 22 Jayden Hayward.

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

Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)

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