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The cool head of captain Stirling Mortlock has helped the CA Brumbies to a narrow 28-26 win over the Chiefs at Canberra Stadium.
With four minutes remaining and scores locked at 26-all, Mortlock calmly converted Mark Gerrard’s try from five metres inside the touchline to secure the win in front of a crowd of 17,217.
Similar to their performance against the Blues, the Brumbies showed ample attacking prowess but were frustrated by an inability to convert the pressure into points.
However, the three-tries-to-two victory ensures that the Brumbies maintain their position in the top four leading into their week off.
After trading penalties with Chiefs flyhalf Stephen Donald, Mortlock was the first to cross the tryline when he found himself on the receiving end of a superb cut-out pass from man-of-the-match Stephen Larkham.
The Wallaby centre raced around Sam Tuitupou to score – his conversion giving his side a 10-6 lead after 16 minutes.
Three minutes later the home side appeared to cross again when Mark Chisholm ran through some flimsy Chiefs defence, only to have it called back for a forward pass from George Gregan.
Another penalty goal each to Mortlock and Donald completed the scoring for the first stanza and afforded the Brumbies a 13-9 lead at the break.
The Chiefs wasted no time in reeling in the deficit when Waikato replacement Simms Davison burrowed over immediately after the break and winger Sosene Sivivatu crossed five minutes later for a 23-16 lead.
However, the Brumbies option not to take a straightforward penalty goal paid dividends when Clyde Rathbone crossed for his third try of the season.
Taking a slick offload from George Smith, Rathbone dummied inside Mark Ranby before diving over to reduce the margin to two.
A late Donald drop goal appeared to have sunk the Brumbies before Mortlock linked with Gerrard to score out wide.
The home side appeared destined for a four-try bonus point win when Rathbone tore down the right hand side on the stroke of fulltime only to have it snuffed out by a desperate covering tackle by Mils Muliaina.
CA Brumbies 28 (Stirling Mortlock, Clyde Rathbone, Mark Gerrard tries; Mortlock 2 conversions, 3 penalty goal) defeated Chiefs 26 (Simms Davison, Sitiveni Sivivatu tries; Stephen Donald 2 conversions, 3 penalty goals, drop goal) at Canberra Stadium, Canberra, AUS