CA Brumbies finish tour on high

The CA Brumbies have completed their three-week South African leg by grinding out a tough 14-9 win over the Lions at Ellis Park tonight.
In a highly defensive affair, points were at a premium with CA Brumbies fullback Julian Huxley and Lions flyhalf Andre Pretorius registering penalty goals at every opportunity and each attempting several drop goals throughout the match.
Huxley, who took man-of-the-match honours for the second consecutive week, scored all 14 points for the visitors with two penalties, one drop goal and the only try of the match. The 27-year-old utility back also showed his defensive capability midway through the first half when he tracked breakaway Lions winger Louis Ludik like a cougar before bailing the opposition speedster into touch just centimetres from the try line.
CA Brumbies head coach Laurie Fisher said the win completed a successful tour of South Africa.
“After a dusty start against a good Cheetahs side at Bloemfontein, we dug deep and strung two reasonable performances together,” he said. “The players have worked extremely hard off the field and we’re very happy to return to Australian two [wins] and one [loss].”
In what was a scrappy first half, neither team was able to gain the upper hand with play confined between the sides’ 22-metre lines. Penalty goals and a Huxley drop goal were only means of registering points during the first term, with the side’s sharing a 6-all scoreline at the break.
While Huxley and Pretorius traded penalties early in the second period, it was the Lions who took the majority of territory during the second half. However, the home side was unable to break the 9-all deadlock, constantly denied by a desperate CA Brumbies defensive line.
Lions replacement scrumhalf Jano Vermaak brought the deafening crowd of 19,204 to their feet when he scooted through to score in the 63rd minute, only to be penalised for crossing behind one of his own players by referee Paul Honiss.
With seven minutes remaining the CA Brumbies capitalised on one of their rare ventures into the Lions’ quarter when flyhalf Stephen Larkham directed a perfect cut-out pass to Huxley who dived over in the corner.
Fisher said he was pleased by the result against a strong Lions side.
“The Lions are a very good defensive side playing at home and they put a lot of pressure on us. They were very, very hard at the breakdown as they were last week against the Hurricanes. We knew we were in for a hard night and we certainly weren’t surprised. We turned over a lot of ball but we showed a lot character to keep hanging in and scored a crucial try late in the game to win.”
The win elevates the CA Brumbies to fifth on the Investec Super 14 table, after leapfrogging the Lions and the Bulls, on points difference.
CA Brumbies 14 (Julian Huxley try; Julian Huxley 2 penalty goals, drop goal) defeated Lions 9 (Andre Pretorius 3 penalty goals) at Ellis Park.
Referee: Paul Honiss (NZ)
Half time: 6-all
Crowd: 19,204
CA Brumbies
1. Nic Henderson
2. Jeremy Paul
3. Guy Shepherdson 
4. Adam Wallace-Harrison 
5. Mark Chisholm
6. Jone Tawake
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
16. Saia Faingaa
17. John Ulugia
18. Richard Stanford
19. Julian Salvi
20. Patrick Phibbs
21. Peter Playford 
22. Francis Fainifo
14. Clyde Rathbone replaced by 21. Peter Playford (22nd minute)
6. Jone Tawake replaced by 19. Julian Salvi (40th minute)
1. Nic Henderson replaced by 17. John Ulugia (51st minute)
9. George Gregan replaced by 20. Patrick Phibbs (63rd minute)
2. Jeremy Paul replaced by 16. Saia Faingaa (72nd minute)
4. Adam Wallace-Harrison replaced by 18. Richard Stanford (72nd minute) 
11. Mark Gerrard replaced by 22. Francis Fainifo (73rd minute)
1.  Brian Mujati 
2.  Ethienne Reynecke
3.  Bertus Smit
4.  Cobus Grobler
5.  Anton van Zyl
6.  Cobus Grobbelaar
7.  Ernst Joubert
8.  Jacques Cronjé
9.  Enrico Januarie
10. Andrè Pretorius ©
11. Jaque Fourie
12. Doppies la Grange
13. Jaco Pretorius
14. Louis Ludik
15. Jaco van Schalkwyk
16. Willie Wepener
17. Heinke van der Merwe 
18. Franco van der Merwe
19. Willem Alberts
20. Jano Vermaak
21. Earl Rose 
22. Wylie Human
Investec Super 14 Week Ten
CA Brumbies v Waratahs at Canberra Stadium
Sunday, 8 April, 2007