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Brumbies run in nine tries in statement defeat of Moana Pasifika

By AAP
Noah Lolesio of the Brumbies kicks ahead during the round five Super Rugby Pacific match between ACT Brumbies and Moana Pasifika at GIO Stadium, on March 22, 2024, in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

A brilliant Tom Wright try-of-the-year contender has helped the ACT Brumbies trounce Moana Pasifika in a statement 39-point Super Rugby Pacific win in Canberra.

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Five-eighth Noah Lolesio was also a standout in Friday’s 60-21 victory, the Brumbies scoring nine tries and moving to 4-1 ahead of a tasty Australian derby with the in-form Queensland Reds in Brisbane next Saturday.

The game was in the balance when Wright boldly chipped across-field from the Brumbies’ line, finding flying winger Corey Toole in traffic.

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Toole, who did his own Test case no harm with another scything display, veered back in-field and found Wright again for a daring full-field try.

Match Summary

1
Penalty Goals
0
9
Tries
3
6
Conversions
3
0
Drop Goals
0
107
Carries
94
9
Line Breaks
4
13
Turnovers Lost
9
5
Turnovers Won
3

Pasifika had looked set to score themselves before hooker Billy Pollard stripped a runaway Nigel Ah Wong, giving Wright the platform to display some Brumbies brilliance.

Lolesio dropped a pass with the line in sight, but it was an early blemish in an otherwise dominant performance by the man overlooked for a World Cup role last year.

He no sooner set up Hudson Creighton with a line-break and flick pass, then kicked across-field to create a try after halftime, and threw the last pass for rampaging flanker Charlie Cale to score.

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No.12 Tamati Tua scored from a turnover, Pollard showing a clean set of heels before Rob Valetini stormed on to a pass and set up the centre.

Pasifika, who are now 2-3, kept early pace when they twice exposed a thin left-side Brumbies defence and scored through Kyren Taumoefolau and Lotu Inisi.

Wright’s bold play swung the tide – it was 43-14 before the visitors scored again – and he iced his display with a polished assist for Toole and a try of his own in a two-minute burst in the final stages.

The Brumbies’ not-so-subtle reminder of their class comes ahead of a spicy encounter with the Reds, who are 3-1 and sit second ahead of Saturday’s date with the winless Western Force in Perth.

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