2/23/2007

CA Brumbies feel final minute pain... again


Lightning has struck the CA Brumbies twice after losing their second match – at Westpac Stadium – on full time in three weeks.
 
The Canberra-based side held the Hurricanes try-less for 79 minutes before Wellington No.8 Thomas Waldrom crossed in the right-hand corner on full time to afford his side a 11-10 win.
 
The one-point loss was a cruel result for the CA Brumbies who had led for 62 minutes of the match – Waldrom's five-pointer evoking memories of the excruciating post-siren 17-15 loss to the Blues at Canberra Stadium a fortnight ago.
 
CA Brumbies head coach Laurie Fisher said  his side paid the price for not capitalising on opportunities earlier in the match.
 
“We’re pretty disappointed but our key focus now is to win 10 [competition] points in two games at home,” he said. “It’s a tight comp and if we’d played better we would have had the opposition out of reach with a minute to go. If you make mistakes then you keep the opposition interested and you’ll win some and lose some. We’ve lost two, so we’ll have to learn our lesson eventually.”
 
The CA Brumbies, having scored two tries in their first three matches, showed their intent to spread the ball from the outset despite the misty, greasy conditions.
 
The expansive game plan reaped dividends in the 17th minute when the visitors, responding to an early Jimmy Gopperth penalty goal, spread the ball from one side of the field to the other before lock Adam Wallace-Harrison crossed down the left-hand flank for his second Super 14 try.
 
Fullback Julian Huxley’s conversion gave his side a four-point lead and furthered the advantage of a one-man overlap after Hurricanes centre Ma’a Nonu received a yellow card when he was the third man in to an altercation in the CA Brumbies’ half.
 
The visitors looked set to extend their lead six minutes later when winger Mark Gerrard crossed in the left corner, only to have Jeremy Paul’s final pass ruled forward.
 
Gopperth and Huxley traded second half penalty goals before the Hurricanes looked set to score from a driving maul five metres from the CA Brumbies’ line, with Jeremy Paul ripping the ball from the hands of Neemia Tialata over the try line.
 
With a vocal home crowd behind them, the Hurricanes began peppering the CA Brumbies’ line late in the match but were denied on separate occasions due to try-saving tackles by Clyde Rathbone, Mark Chisholm and Nic Henderson, before Waldrom found his way across the line in the final play of the match.
 
In the absence of regular captain Stirling Mortlock, stand-in skipper George Smith led by example and received unwavering support from his backrow companions of Julian Salvi and Stephen Hoiles.
 
Guy Shepherdson and Nic Henderson continued to enhance their reputation amongst the competition’s front-rowers, scrummaging strongly and continually carrying the ball forward, while the centre pairing of tackling-machine Gene Fairbanks and powerful ball-runner Adam Ashley-Cooper were also heavily involved throughout the match.
 
Adding insult to the CA Brumbies’ injury was the loss of flyhalf Stephen Larkham at half time after suffering a sterno-clavicular joint injury midway through the first half.
 
The CA Brumbies take on the Bulls in their Week Five Investec Super 14 match at Canberra Stadium on Saturday.
 
MATCH DETAILS
Hurricanes 11 (Thomas Waldron try; Jimmy Gopperth 2 penalty goals) defeated CA Brumbies 10 (Adam Wallace-Harrison try; Julian Huxley conversion, penalty goal) at Westpac Stadium.
Referee: Craig Joubert
Half time: CA Brumbies 7-3
Crowd: Not announced
 
CA Brumbies
1. Nic Henderson
2. Jeremy Paul
3. Guy Shepherdson
4. Adam Wallace-Harrison 
5. Mark Chisholm
6. Julian Salvi
7. George Smith ©
8. Stephen Hoiles
9. George Gregan
10. Stephen Larkham
11. Mark Gerrard
12. Gene Fairbanks
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
14. Clyde Rathbone
15. Julian Huxley
 
Reserves
16. John Ulugia
17. Salesi Ma’afu
18. Richard Stanford
19. Jone Tawake
20. Patrick Phibbs
21. Tim Wright 
22. Matt Carraro
 
Replacements
10. Stephen Larkham replaced by 21. Tim Wright (40th minute) 
6. Julian Salvi replaced by 19. Jone Tawake (61st minute)
1. Guy Shepherdson replaced by 17. Salesi Ma’afu (62nd minute)
4. Adam Wallace-Harrison replaced by 18. Richard Stanford (70th minute)
 
Hurricanes
1. John Schwalger
2. Mahonri Schwalger
3. Neemia Tialata
4. Paul Tito
5. Bernie Upton
6. Luke Andrews
7. Nili Latu
8. Thomas Waldrom
9. Alby Mathewson
10. Jimmy Gopperth
11. David Smith
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Tana Umaga ©
14. Hosea Gear
15. Cory Jane
 
Reserves
16. Tone Kopelani 
17. Anthony Perenise
18. Bradley Mika
19. Hayden Hopgood
20. Chris Smylie 
21. Tamati Ellison
22. Shannon Paku
 
Replacements:
 
Yellow cards:
Ma’a Nonu (13th minute)
 
NEXT GAME:
Super 14 Week Five
CA Brumbies v Bulls at Canberra Stadium
Saturday, 3 March, 2007