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Brumbies survive five minutes on their line post-siren to pinch win

By AAP
(Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

The ACT Brumbies will fly the Australian flag in the Super Rugby Pacific play-offs for another week after a controversial win against the Hurricanes in their quarter-final in Canberra. A sumptuous first half saw them lead 25-16 before copping 17 straight points to start the second half and falling behind 33-25 with just 20 minutes to play on Saturday night.

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But a rolling maul try for flanker Luke Reimer before a brilliant run from full-back Tom Wright put them back in front before they survived five minutes on their line post-siren to pinch the 37-33 win.

The Hurricanes will feel hard done by, Ardie Savea diving over the line and attempting to ground the ball with the final play of the game, only to be denied on video review after inconclusive evidence to show successful grounding.

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Savea was convinced he had got it down and one angle looked to potentially show grounding, only for the referees to stick with the on-field call.

No Australian team has progressed further in the competition than the Brumbies since 2018, and they will finally get the chance to exercise the demons of last season’s one-point semi-final loss to the Blues in New Zealand.

They are off to NZ to battle the Chiefs in a semi-final in the biggest test in rugby, needing to avenge a 31-21 defeat from last month in Canberra. The Brumbies repeatedly rejected taking straightforward penalty goals while trailing 33-30 and their gambles paid off, Wright’s pace and strength seeing him beat the line and put his side in front.

They had looked the goods early but were behind on the hour courtesy of a stunning try from Devan Flanders, the Hurricanes flanker picking up a loose ball and running 60m to score untouched.

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Territory was evenly split early but the Brumbies looked vicious anywhere near the try-line, their left-hand side slashing through for three first-half tries with centre Len Ikitau involved in two of them.

He attacked the line and put winger Ollie Sapsford through first before powering over himself, Jack Debreczeni’s effort helping them to a 25-16 half-time lead.

Kini Naholo had opened the scoring inside two minutes for the Hurricanes with a steady diet of Brett Cameron penalty goals keeping them within range at the break.

They didn’t have a ruck inside the Brumbies’ 22m zone until the 48th minute, weaponry flanker Savea quickly scoring to tighten things up at 25-23.

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Five-eighth Debreczeni had his best game for the Brumbies to date and justified his selection in the starting side ahead of Wallabies prospect Noah Lolesio, repeatedly threatening the line and scoring a try to go with a strong kicking display.

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2 Comments
G
Gary 406 days ago

Brumbies were extremely lucky to get the decision I had thought that the ball was touching the ground at some point. But the ref sent it up as no try instead of saying try or no try, so the bunker went with the on field decision. Debreczeni was heaps better than Lolesio and should figure in Wallaby selection, He is a big body and does most everything really well, he defended well and controlled the game. He would be on my bench everyday in the wallabies side

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Willie 407 days ago

I'm not discussing the merits of the win, but yet again we witness the most erratic refereeing at this level.
1st half, anyone remotely "offending" one of the many laws, even though having no material impact on play, was penalised.
As the match progressed, strict enforcement was replaced with a more liberal approach. This from a referee who has attracted criticsm from Sth Africa recently and [some] Super teams have found it necessary to change broken play strategies to "manage" the refereeing.
For anyone having a punt: back the team least likely to win when this man is in charge, or if bets are taken after the match begins, the winner, in a close match, will be obvious after 10 minutes.

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Wonton 6 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

One game against Fiji is not enough to show that a player is ready to play the likes of South Africa. Spreading the ball wide too much increases the risk of turnovers and we turned the ball over 20 times against Fiji which is a lot more than what we did in the two England tests. We actually turned the ball over the same amount of times (20) against England in the 2019 semi final which we lost. Fiji didn’t make us pay for those turnovers but other teams will. In the 2nd test against England this year we had 100% success rate on attacking rucks. That’s the first time the AB’s have achieved this since the 2019 opening game of the RWC against South Africa. South Africa won last years RWC and Jesse Kriel did not pass once. The days of the Conrad Smith type centre might be over. Also Conrad Smith debuted in 2004 but he did not become an incumbent until Nonu did also in 2008. As for Rieko Ioane he and Jordie Barrett put in some very strong midfield hits in the 2nd test forcing turnovers several times. Rieko Ioane hasn’t played wing in years. If Proctor is moved to 13 then the best I think Ioane can hope for is an impact player off the bench. He does not have the aerial game of Caleb Clarke or the workrate of Tele’a for 11 and going to be selected over Jordan at 14. However its much too early to replace Rieko with Proctor. Rieko was excellent in the knock out rounds of the RWC. All Proctor has to show on his test CV is a good game against Fiji.

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N
Nick 7 hours ago
How 'gazelle' Nick Frost thawed the hearts of Wallaby fans at Suncorp

Its almost like you read my comment on the other site on sunday morning Nick - you flagged all the same examples! 😝 Frost was motm for mine. That eg in the 56th minute in particular impressed me, nothing but sheer effort and a dupont/smith-like tracking line behind the D. Surely an effort like that from frost marries perfectly with that quote from schmidt at the start of the year about effort and work rate being 70-80% and talent is just the icing on top… What it also showed though was the players not making that effort, in that example he goes past both valetini and ikitau, and in the eg that finished with valetini scoring hunter paisami barely breaks a canter to support the break. And then there was the chase from wright and lancaster for the 2nd georgian try! One blemish - at kickoff I saw frost miss or get bumped off a few tackles and I felt like I saw what has been holding his selection back. I think because he is so big and is trying to get low to tackle, he seems to dip his head and ends up losing his balance or ability to adjust and ends up missing or making a soft hit. I think in the first 2 minutes he misses or makes 2-3 soft tackles, but you could clearly see the work rate and desire! He (the pod) also missed a kick restart or two? Also very happy to see harry wilson back in the fold. What impressed me from him wasn’t all the usual stuff he is known for, but all the other bits that usually let him down. He looked surprisingly good in the air at lineout time, physical at the breakdown, and good in the maul peeling off 3 georgians for one of the maul tries. Id have frost, skelton, wright as my 4-6 with LSL and wilson on the bench. i’m once again unconvinced by tom wirght - he was very good game 1, but game 2-3 he was back to more rocks than diamonds. There is no real other player to usurp him really so he stays in the team for now but I think Joe should put kellaway wherever he serves the team best and wright can be moved around him. Did donno do enough to overtake noah? My gut says no. They clearly had a plan to attack more so he looked better in that regard because he just had more opportunity, but they looked better off tate (who had a v good game also) then they did off donno.

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