Hurricanes hold off Brumbies

Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 8:42 AM
AAP
by AAP
The Hurricanes and Brumbies face off in a top-four clash in Wellington

The Brumbies have fallen short of a Super Rugby Pacific statement win, beaten 32-27 by the Hurricanes at Sky Stadium in Wellington.

In a clash of two top-four outfits on Friday night, they stuck with the hosts throughout an edgy contest until Hurricanes' five-eighth Aidan Morgan scampered over 12 minutes from time to break things open.

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Two first-half tries for Nick Frost saw the Brumbies lead early and only trail by three points at the interval, but the hosts' professional systems eventually wore them down.

Bench half Ryan Lonergan slotted a penalty goal after the siren to grab the guests a losing bonus point, ensuring they at least don't travel home empty handed.

It means no Australian team has beaten a New Zealand-based side across the ditch through the competition's first 10 rounds, sitting with an unenviable 0-8 record.

And it's a reminder of the levels the Brumbies will have to reach if they're to threaten the NZ sides come finals, the only blemishes on their 7-2 record their two trips overseas.

Two brilliant counter-attacking efforts from the visitors kept things tight early, with towering lock Frost crossing the line to cap both of them.

Winger Corey Toole flashed his electric speed to break the home side's line and create the first for a 7-0, before 206cm-forward Frost jagged an intercept and showed his own pace to run 75m and knot the scores at 14-14.

They'd been beaten twice in between those two tries, including via a clever short lineout routine that had seen Hurricanes No.8 Ardie Savea put his side in front.

Cam Roigard scored a seventh try in nine outings from a sneaky scoot out of the ruck early in the second stanza, before the Brumbies' rolling maul dragged some points back courtesy of Rory Scott.

The loss was further soured by a suspected knee injury two minutes from time for Ben O'Donnell, the bench winger collapsing while carrying the ball and needing to be helped from the field.

The Brumbies edged territory but didn't look as threatening as usual with ball in hand, well stifled by one of the competition's best defences on their home turf.

They won't head back to NZ until any potential final, but will face the Highlanders (seventh) and Chiefs (first) in the run-in.

HURRICANES 32

TRIES: Flanders, A. Savea, Roigard, Morgan

CONS: Barrett 3/4

PENS: Barrett 2/3

BRUMBIES 27

TRIES: Frost 2, Scott, Toole

CONS: Lolesio 2/2, R. Lonergan 0/2

PENS: R. Lonergan 1/1

HURRICANES v BRUMBIES TEAMS

HURRICANES (1-15): Xavier Numia, Asafo Aumua, Tyrel Lomax, James Blackwell, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Devan Flanders, Du'Plessis Kirifi, Ardie Savea (c), Cam Roigard, Aidan Morgan, Salesi Rayasi, Jordie Barrett, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Julian Savea, Josh Moorby

RESERVES: Jacob Devery, Tevita Mafileo, Owen Franks, Caleb Delany, Brayden Iose, Jamie Booth, Harry Godfrey, Kini Naholo

BRUMBIES (1-15): James Slipper, Billy Pollard, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Nick Frost, Cadeyrn Neville, Rob Valetini, Rory Scott, Charlie Cale, Nic White, Noah Lolesio, Corey Toole, Tamati Tua, Ollie Sapsford, Andy Muirhead, Tom Wright

RESERVES: Lachlan Lonergan, Fred Kaihea, Sefo Kautai, Darcy Swain, Luke Reimer, Ryan Lonergan, Jack Debreczeni, Ben O'Donnell

Referee: James Doleman

Assistant Referees: Jono Bredin, Fraser Hannon

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