CA Brumbies claim bruising local derby

 The CA Brumbies have returned to the winners’ list with a 21-11 win over local rivals, the Waratahs, at Canberra Stadium tonight.

The two-tries-to-one win was the CA Brumbies’ 100th victory in Super Rugby and capped off a memorable ACT double with the Canberra Capitals claiming the WNBL title in the adjoining AIS Arena just minutes prior to kick-off.
CA Brumbies inside centre Tyrone Smith was outstanding in his first run-on performance of the season and linked well with centre partner Stirling Mortlock while the halves pairing of Joshua Holmes and Christian Lealiifano, who was named the CA/Dataflex Man of the Match, provided their side with direction and ensured clean ball for their teammates outside them. Flanker George Smith was another standout in a very physical and bruising encounter.
CA Brumbies Head Coach Andy Friend says the win was an important one following their loss to the Western Force a fortnight ago.
“When you have a loss like that [against the Force] – and it was basically an attitudinal loss – to turn that around in your next performance is important and the boys did that tonight which was great to see,” he said.
“[Tonight] was all about the performance. If we’d played like that and lost then I still would have been proud of them but it showed that we can move the football around and it’s nice to be jumping on the plane [to South Africa] with that win.”
In an opening half typifying that of a local derby, both sides threw themselves at one another with penalty goals the sole source of points in the first term. Gerrard drilled home goals in the ninth and 32nd minutes while Waratahs flyhalf Kurtley Beale hit the uprights twice before nailing a penalty goal on the half-time siren to have his side trailing 6-3 at the break.
The match’s try drought lasted just four minutes into the second half when the home side strung together 14 phases before shifting the ball from one side of the field to the other allowing winger Adam Ashley-Cooper to dive over in the corner for an 11-3 lead.
The touchdown preceded a horror two minutes for the CA Brumbies who lost Stephen Hoiles to a knee injury and Mark Chisholm to a head knock before Beale compounded the situation with his second penalty goal to draw his side to within five at the 49th minute.                                                                                                                                                                                          
However, the CA Brumbies wrestled back momentum in the 63rd minute when Tyrone Smith ignited a raid into the Waratahs half with a stepping and bumping 30-metre run which eventually saw replacement prop Ben Alexander burrow over for his second Investec Super 14 try. Gerrard added the extras and a penalty goal in the 75th minute to extend his side’s lead to 21-6.
The visitors managed consolation try four minutes from full time when Lote Tuqiri chipped across field for Lachie Turner to score.
The CA Brumbies depart for their three-week South African on Monday.
CA Brumbies 21 (Adam Ashley-Cooper, Ben Alexander tries; Mark Gerrard 1/2 conversions, 3/3 penalty goals) defeated Waratahs 11 (Lachie Turner try; Kurtley Beale 2/5 penalty goals, Daniel Halangahu 0/1 conversion) at Canberra Stadium, Canberra.
Referee: Mark Lawrence (RSA)
Half time: CA Brumbies 6-3
Crowd: 21,594
CA Brumbies
1. Nic Henderson
2. Stephen Moore 
3. Salesi Ma’afu 
4. Ben Hand 
5. Mark Chisholm 
6. Peter Kimlin
7. George Smith 
8. Stephen Hoiles (c) 
9. Joshua Holmes 
10. Christian Lealiifano 
11. Francis Fainifo 
12. Tyrone Smith
13. Stirling Mortlock
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper
15. Mark Gerrard
16. Huia Edmonds
17. Ben Alexander 
18. Sitaleki Timani 
19. Julian Salvi
20. Patrick Phibbs 
21. Matt Toomua
22. Clyde Rathbone
19. Julian Salvi for 8. Stephen Hoiles (48th minute)
18. Sitaleki Timani for 5. Mark Chisholm (49th minute)
17. Ben Alexander for 1. Nic Henderson (49th minute)
20. Patrick Phibbs for 9. Joshua Holmes (63rd minute)
16. Huia Edmonds for 2. Stephen Moore (63rd minute)
1. Nic Henderson for 3. Salesi Ma’afu (63rd minute)
22. Clyde Rathbone for 11. Francis Fainifo (70th minute)
1. Benn Robinson
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau 
3. Dan Palmer
4. Chris Thomson
5. Will Caldwell
6. Dean Mumm
7. Phil Waugh (c) 
8. Wycliff Palu 
9. Luke Burgess 
10. Kurtley Beale 
11. Lote Tuqiri 
12. Timana Tahu
13. Rob Horne
14. Lachie Turner
15. Sam Norton-Knight
16. Adam Freier
17. Jeremy Tilse
18. Luke Doherty
19. Ben Mowen
20. Brett Sheehan
21. Daniel Halangahu
22. Tom Carter
Yellow Cards:
Wycliff Palu (32nd Minute)
Investec Super 14 Week Six
CA Brumbies v Lions
Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Saturday, 21 March 2009