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Brumbies� Christian overthrows the Lions

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The CA Brumbies waited until the last minute to snatch a thrilling 28-21 win against the Lions in their Investec Super 14 Week 11 fixture at Canberra Stadium.


With the scores locked at 21-all, flyhalf Christian Lealiifano burst onto a Josh Holmes quick tap, brushed past the tackle of Jannie Boshoff to score under the posts.


The win keeps the CA Brumbies’ finals hopes alive ahead of their three-week South African/West Australian road trip and temporarily moves the Canberra side into the top four with four matches remaining in the round.


CA Brumbies Head Coach Laurie Fisher, who marked his final home match at the helm and his 50th birthday tonight, praised the Lions in the three-tries-a-piece result.


‘We go to South Africa still alive in the competition and hopefully we’ll go across unscathed,’ he said.

 

‘We’ll continue to work through our set piece again.

 

The Stormers will be very, very hard at the tackle and they take good line speed. Our composure is the biggest thing, a quality kick-chase game and just some good basics on the road.’

‘[The Lions] marked up well, they were hard at the ball, slowed it down and put numbers in the line on both sides so there were no easy options for us. Whilst we kept bending them, we couldn’t break them and that’s a credit to their defence.’


The CA Brumbies had barely taken the field when Lions centre Jannie Boshoff broke through the defensive line in the second minute to send captain Cobus Grobbelaar over to afford his side an early 7-0 lead.


The home side responded with several promising passages but was unable to find the final pass to convert the pressure into tries. The CA Brumbies were forced to rely on the boot of captain and man-of-the-match Stirling Mortlock to get the side within one point by the 26th minute, courtesy of two penalty goals.


A bust from galloping lock Mark Chisholm gave the CA Brumbies field position within striking distance of the Lions’ line before Holmes held up his pass two phases later to allow Mortlock to crash through under the posts. The CA Brumbies outside centre converted his own try to take a 13-7 lead into the break.


While a bone-jarring Mortlock tackle on Louis Ludik may have stunned the Lions winger early in the second stanza, it did nothing to dampen the spirits of the visitors with fullback Earl Rose racing in two tries in four minutes to take back a 21-13 advantage by the 56th minute.


However, when JC van Rensburg fell foul of referee Kelvin Deaker and received a yellow card for hands in the ruck, the CA Brumbies utilised the one-man overlap to level the scores with fullback Mark Gerrard crossing for a try on the back of 15 consecutive phases before drilling home a penalty goal with 12 minutes remaining.


The final 10 minutes developed into a tough arm wrestle with neither team able to provide the match-winner until Lealiifano burst through with seconds remaining to record the CA Brumbies’ third consecutive win.


The CA Brumbies will travel to South Africa on Sunday before taking on the Stormers at Newlands Stadium on Saturday, 3 May.



MATCH DETAILS
CA Brumbies 28 (Stirling Mortlock, Mark Gerrard, Christian Lealiifano tries; Stirling Mortlock 1/2 conversions, 2/2 penalty goals, Mark Gerrard 1/1 conversions, 1/1 penalty goals) defeated Lions 21 (Earl Rose 2; Cobus Grobbelaar tries; Earl Rose 3/3 conversions, 0/1 penalty goals) at Canberra Stadium, Canberra.
Referee: Kelvin Deaker (NZ)
Half time: CA Brumbies 13-7


Crowd: 14,078

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