Brumbies proud of fight after gutsy Highlanders win

Sun, Mar 17, 2024, 6:42 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Lachlan Lonergan Try from Round 4 of Super Rugby Pacific 2024

Brumbies hooker Billy Pollard still believes there's plenty of improvement left in the side as they celebrate a 27-21 win over the Highlanders.

The visitors struggled in the opening half but ground their way to the six-point victory thanks to a late Lachlan Lonergan try.

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It's their first win in front of the 'Zoo' since 2013 and their third straight over the Highlanders.

"We had a good look at ourselves after that Force game," Brumbies captain Ryan Lonergan said on Stan Sport.

"We obviously got the win but we still weren't happy with our physicality and breakdown. I think even the first 20 minutes here, we were still a little bit lazy in that area.

"We flipped the switch and we started to muscle up in that area and then we started to play a little bit of footy.

"It's a win that I'll remember for quite a long time."

Hooker Pollard was one of several changes for the trip to Dunedin, proud of the way they secured the win in testing circumstances.

"It’s really pleasing, it’s been a work on for us to grind out wins like that," Pollard told Rugby.com.au

“I don’t think we’ve been as clinical as we’d like to be so to turn it around against such a quality team was pleasing."

The Brumbies started to roll in the second half as they controlled the ruck, with Pollard admitting they went away from the basics early on.

“We just spoke about sticking to our system in attack and from that, the breakdown became so much easier. I think we went away from that a bit because of a little fatigue but I think the finishers came on and did a really good job," he explained.

“We can improve in almost every facet of our game but we understand it’s early in the season so we’re not trying to force everything, just keeping to the simple stuff 

It allowed flyer Corey Toole to open up the game in the 42nd minute with a great solo try.

Toole found an inch of space on the sideline and took full advantage, sprinting past his defender and stepping inside for a great try.

“He’s the quickest guy in Rugby at the moment," Pollard remarked.

“He’s an exceptional talent and we want to get the ball into him as much as possible but it only works if we get go forward through the middle

“We owe it to him to get quick ruck speed and give him a little bit of ball in space."

The win came at a cost, with Blake Schoupp (shoulder/elbow) and Len Ikitau (knee) going down on back-to-back carries.

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