Planet Rugby

Brumbies cling on at home

31st May 2013 12:28

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A see-saw encounter at Canberra Stadium saw the Brumbies run out 30-23 winners over the Hurricanes on Friday.

The Brumbies enjoyed the majority of territory throughout but were unable to put the Hurricanes away, setting up a tight finish as the visitors threatened to steal the result late on.

Wallaby contender Christian Lealiifano was impressive with the boot - kicking 20 points including six penalties around tries from Nic White and Peter Kimlin.

Two early penalties for Lealiifano set the Brumbies on their way, the second coming after Scott Fardy received lengthy treatment after being taken out at the lineout.

Beauden Barrett added three points of his own for the visitors but the Brumbies enjoyed the majority of possession and territory early on, Henry Speight coming close but prevented from scoring thanks to an excellent tackle from Conrad Smith.

An overthrow from Dane Coles as the Hurricanes defended a five-metre lineout then cost his side dearly. Misjudging the distance, the ball flew over the top and was gratefully collected by Brumbies scrum-half Nic White for the opening try.

Reynold Lee-Lo instantly responded for the Hurricanes for his first try in Super Rugby, the visitors putting plenty of width on the ball and confusing the Brumbies drift defence to find enough room in the right corner. Barrett's conversion narrowed the scoreline to 11-10.

Scrum dominance from the Brumbies, with Ben Franks penalised for coming in on the angle, handed the hosts a penalty opportunity for Lealiifano who successfully converted to create a four-point lead heading into the interval.

Twice the Brumbies looked certain to score more tries in the red zone, but the Hurricanes last-ditch defence did the job, securing turnover ball and leaving them narrowly trailing 14-10 at half-time.

It was a similar tale at the beginning of the second half except this time the Brumbies were their own worst enemy - twice missing try chances after Mowen was held up and then Tevita Kuridrani lost control going for the line, leaving them forced to settle for a penalty from Lealiifano.

Barrett made them pay with two quick penalties to narrow the gap to a single point at 17-16.

Having brought themselves back within touching distance the Hurricanes then scuppered their comeback. Poor discipline allowed Lealiifano to add two further penalties before the hosts finally found the breakthrough.

Blindside flanker Kimlin burrowed over from close range after confirmation from the TMO for the Brumbies second try of the night - opening up a 30-16 scoreline.

TJ Perenara hit back for his sixth try of the season for the Hurricanes, putting the visitors into bonus-point territory going into the final ten minutes. It was a score that injected new life into the visitors, placing the Brumbies under intense pressure as time ticked away with Perenara pulling the strings.

A crossing penalty against Alapati Leiua handed the Brumbies the breathing space they needed though, clinging on for another home win to keep them at the top of the Australian Conference.

The scorers:

For Brumbies:
Tries: White, Kimlin
Con: Lealiifano
Pens: Lealiifano 6

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Lee-Lo, Perenara
Cons: Barrett 2
Pens: Barrett 3

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Colby Faingaa, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Fotu Auelua, 19Jordan Smiler, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Robbie Coleman, 22 Clyde Rathbone.

Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Reynold Lee-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Brad Shields 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 Mark Reddish, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Tusi Pisi, 22 James Marshall.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Matt O'Brien (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)

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