Brumbies break House of Pain curse


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Playing the Highlanders at home used to be one of the fearsome assignments of Super rugby. But the Highlanders are no longer the team of yesteryear, and they are distinctly beatable.

And beat them the Brumbies must, if they are to sneak in through the backdoor to the semi-finals.

“It’s certainly a big game for us and our season’s on the line,” Brumbies skipper Stirling Mortlock said.

“But that’s been the case for the last five weeks and I think we’re pretty accustomed to being in this situation. We’ll be doing everything in our power to ensure we prepare as well as we can for the game, and our only focus is on the result we can control: beating the Highlanders.”

But don’t discount the Highlanders completely. Their front row, all in their last games for the Highlanders, is powerful, and they have a measure of potency out wide.

The Brumbies will have to go out and win this one, because they certainly will be given no favour in Dunedin.

Match detail


The Brumbies were given a penalty in the 8th minute and instead of going for the posts they went for the lineout indicating that they intend on getting the 5 points.


The decision was the right one and Julian Huxley ran over for the Brumbies first try. Stirling Mortlock slotted the conversion and the Brumbies lead by 7.


Less than a minute later Adam Ashley-Cooper scored a really fantastic try running from the Brumbies 25 to score in the corner. Mortlock missed the conversion. The try came from the kick off when the Brumbies had the overlap set up.


Nick Evans got the Highlanders first points of the match when the Brumbies gave away a penalty for not rolling away.


In the 19th minute the Brumbies were given a penalty in front of the posts and this time they decided to go for posts. Probably because this one was a sitter.


Stirling Mortlock broke free from a tackle to score the Brumbies third try which he then converted.


Larkham chipped through and came close to scoring but Jimmy Cowan saved the try.


The Half time score was Highlanders 3 Brumbies 22


The second half is underway.


The game has slowed down a lot but there is no change in the score after half time.


Anton Oliver was sent to the bin in the 61st minute. This will surely give the Brumbies the number advantage they need to get the bonus point try.


Instead of the Brumbies scoring next as everyone expected it was the Highlanders who scored next.  Jason Kawau was the try scorer. Nick Evans converted the try.


There was a great passage of play after the hooter. Three minutes after the hooter Mark Chisholm socred the bonus point try for the Brumbies. Larkham converted.


The Brumbies needed the bonus point to stay in contention for the Semi finals.



Full time score : Highlanders 10 Brumbies 29


Tries – Jason Kawau
Penalties – Nick Evans
Conversions -Nick Evans
Cards – Anton Oliver

Tries – Julian Huxley,Adam Ashley-Cooper,Stirling Mortlock,Mark Chisholm
Penalties -Stirling Mortlock
Conversions – Stirling Mortlock (3)


Highlanders: 15 James Wilson, 14 Lucky Mulipola, 13 Jason Kawau, 12 Charlie Hore, 11 Matthew Saunders, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Craig Newby, 7 Alando Soakai, 6 Josh Blackie (c), 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Filipo Levi, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Anton Oliver, 1 Clarke Dermody
Replacements: 16 Jason Macdonald, 17 Chris King, 18 Hoani Macdonald, 19 Ezra Taylor, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Callum Bruce, 22 Glen Horton

Brumbies: 15 Julian Huxley, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Stirling Mortlock (c), 12 Gene Fairbanks, 11 Mark Gerrard, 10 Stephen Larkham, 9 George Gregan, 8 Stephen Hoiles, 7 George Smith, 6 Jone Tawake, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 3 Guy Shepherdson, 2 Jeremy Paul, 1 Nic Henderson
Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Salesi Ma’afu, 18 Alister Campbell, 19 Julian Salvi, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Peter Playford, 22 Francis Fainifo

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Touch judges: tbc (South Africa), Keith Brown (New Zealand)
Television match official: Josh Noonan (New Zealand)
Assessor: Stuart Beissel, Brian Kinsey

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