Super Rugby

Blistering Brumbies blow away Hurricanes

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Brumbies beat Hurricanes 42-25 in an entertaining Super Rugby Pacific Trans-Tasman clash at GIO Stadium, Canberra.

The Brumbies romped to another Trans-Tasman victory in as many weeks after blowing away the Hurricanes five tries to three on a sunny afternoon in Australia’s capital.

The two-time champions continued their good run against the Canes. The 17-point win was the Brumbies’ eighth win in the last 10 meetings versus their fellow capital city side.

Moreover, this convincing victory is the Brumbies’ sixth win in a row against the Wellington franchise at home since last losing back in 2010.

The Australian Capital Territory team has been on a roll at GIO Stadium, winning 16 of their last 18 home matches.

Dan McKellar’s charges defeated the Highlanders 28-17 in the Super Round in Melbourne, but the ACT side breezed past the Hurricanes.

Such is the rarity of doing the double over Kiwi opposition, you will have to go back to April 2014, a mere eight years.

Five-star Brumbies scored once in the opening stanza but pulled away with four second-half scores

Rob Valetini, Lachlan Lonergan, Jahrome Brown, Tom Banks, and Hudson Creighton all scored as the host served up a rare forty-burger against Kiwi opposition.

Noah Lolesio, almost perfect from the tee, missed one conversion. The standoff landed three first-half penalties and four conversions for a 17-point haul.

The Brumbies brought up 10,000 Super Rugby points when Creighton crossed becoming the first Australian team to do so.

Lachlan Lonergan has now scored a try in five of his last seven Super Rugby games, including four in his last five starts.

Banks, returning after four weeks out, now has four tries and two assists this season.

This upset defeat is only the third time in 23 Trans-Tasman contests that the Hurricanes have been on the losing end.

Peter Umaga-Jensen, Salesi Rayasi, and Billy Proctor dotted down for the Hurricanes.

Jordie Barrett kept his side in the hunt with two penalties and conversions apiece (10 pts).

The Canes led 20-16 four minutes after the interval following their second score.

But the hosts sped away with three scores in 11 minutes before a late score brought up the Australian’s milestone.

The Brumbies stay in second place behind the Blues on the Super Rugby Pacific table, while the Hurricanes drop to seventh.

The Brumbies took a slender three-point lead over the Hurricanes into the sheds

A strange half of rugby saw both teams score converted tries with a player in the sin bin.

Lolesio kicked two penalties to cancel out Jordie Barrett’s fourth-minute goal to put the hosts 6-3 up after 11 minutes.

Justin Sangster hit Nic White with his shoulder to go to the bin, it was unnecessary and he did not attempt to wrap his arms.

Lolesio increases his side’s lead before the end of the opening quarter.

Jason Holland’s men worked the clock expertly, slowing down the game. Barrett took his time with a penalty, but he missed from distance.

It did not matter because Holland’s side struck after Brown’s yellow card.

Referee Nic Berry showed Brown a yellow for cynical play near his line. The 25-year-old flanker played the ball on the ground, knocking it out of TJ Perenara’s hands.

The visitors did not look the gift horse in the mouth when the TMO review deemed the Hurricanes scored.

Umaga-Jensen collected a bounce pass and was carried over by the Brumbies as well as his teammates. Barrett added the extras to make it 9-10.

With six minutes to halftime, the Brumbies struck when Andy Muirhead collected a dropped pass by the Hurricanes.

The ball was shifted to Valetini, who toed the ball down the field. The flanker beat Jackson Garden-Bachop,  Xavier Numia, and James O’Reilly in a foot race to the rolling ball to dot down.

Lolesio added the extras; however, a late scrum penalty allowed Barrett to slot a long-range effort to make it 16-13 to the home team.

The Hurricanes come out firing after the break, but the Brumbies blew away the New Zealand outfit

The Kiwis came out firing, catching the Aussies off-guard, albeit through some good fortune.

The try came from an overthrown lineout, which landed in the path of Rayasi.

The 25-year-old flyer collected the ball on the bounce off the back of the set-piece, and he went route one through a weak Lolesio tackle.

Sefo Kautai’s attempt was also in vain. Rayasi slipped through the standoff and prop and ran away under the posts for his 14 Super Rugby try in 24 matches.

Barrett’s conversion opened up a short-lived four-point, three-minute lead.

By now, the Brumbies began to assert their forward authority.

It did not take long to get their maul going after Banks kicked to the corner.

The forwards pushed the visitors back over their line, and Lachlan Lonergan flopped over the whitewash. Lolesio could not convert, but his side was led by one.

McKellar’s men hit Holland’s side with the old one-two punch, scoring again soon after.

A sublime linebreak by Irae Simone, who sold an outrageous dummy to ghost through the Hurricanes, set up Brown for a 53rd-minute score.

Simone made the break and drew the cover-defender before playing the supporting Tom Wright.

Wright got smothered, but the winger stood up in the tackle and waited for support in the form of Brown.

Brown stepped inside Barrett to score next to the sticks. Lolesio converted to open up a two-score advantage.

Jackson Garden-Bachop kicked a goalline dropout directly into touch for a Brumbies’ 5m lineout.

It was a coach-killer as well as a game-killer because the Brumbies made the Hurricanes pay when Banks increased the host’s lead.

Banks ran in untouched after Folau Fainga’a got stopped under the posts.

White recycled quickly to Len Ikitau, who drew the defender before putting the winger in for his 35th Super Rugby try.

Lolesio’s third conversion opened up a match-winning 15-point lead before the hour mark.

The Canes pulled one back after a weaving run by Rayasi set up Proctor. The winger cut inside Wright and drew Banks before sending Proctor away for the score.

A harsh call by Mr Berry and the TMO saw Rayasi yellow-carded for a deliberate knockdown.

The Canberra men made their numerical advantage count. As the clock ticked down, the ball was shifted wide to Creighton, who scored with his chin.

Creighton slipped some dodgy defending, but he was tackled short; however, his momentum carried him over.

After another TMO review, the try was awarded because the ball did not separate as the centre slid over the chalk.

Lolesio slotted the wide conversion, and that was that.

Final Score: Brumbies 42 (16) Hurricanes 25 (13)

Scorers

Brumbies
Tries – Valetini, L. Lonergan, Brown, Banks, Creighton
Pen – Lolesio (3)
Con – Lolesio (4)
Drop –
Cards – Brown (Yellow, 26′)

Hurricanes
Tries – P. Umaga-Jensen, Rayasi, Proctor
Pen – J. Barrett (2)
Con – J. Barrett (2)
Drop –
Cards – Sangster (Yellow, 17′), Rayasi (Yellow, 77′)

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Reuben Keane
Assistant Ref 2: Matt Kellahan
TMO: James Leckie

Teams

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White (captain), 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Sefo Kautai, 2 Lachlan Lonergan, 1 Scott Sio.

Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Tom Hooper, 20 Luke Reimer, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Hudson Creighton, 23 Ollie Sapsford.

Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Bailyn Sullivan, 12 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Thomas Perenara, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Te Kamaka Howden, 5 Justin Sangster, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 James O’Reilly, 1 Xavier Numia.

Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Pasilio Tosi, 18 Tevita Mafileo, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Caleb Delany, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Aidan Morgan, 23 Billy Proctor.

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