The Hurricanes salvaged a draw from their trial match with the CA Technologies Brumbies at Tuggeranong last night, scoring a try four minutes after the siren to claw level.
The CA Technologies Brumbies had the upper hand for the majority of the match, claiming victory at the set piece and through the inside backs.
But it wasn’t enough for an outright win with the Hurricanes peppering the CA Technologies Brumbies try line for the last six minutes of play.
After winning the toss, CA Technologies Brumbies skipper Matt Giteau opened the game up, linking with inside centre Robbie Coleman to make a huge break down the right hand touchline.
It wasn’t long after that Mitchell Chapman busted over from close range, and with the conversion successful by Giteau the CA Technologies Brumbies shot out to a 7-0 lead after three minutes.
The Hurricanes were scrappy from the outset, with drop ball and turnovers affecting their ability to gain ground and launch any meaningful attack. Much of this could be credited to the CA Technologies Brumbies defensive patterns, particularly Robbie Coleman’s rush on Ma’a Nonu, which took away the Hurricanes time and composure.
Julian Salvi was again dangerous in the opening minutes, making a quick dash from his own 22 metre line after a deep kick-off to relieve the pressure and put the CA Technologies Brumbies back into ascendancy.
More quality work from the Brumbies front row, including a bullocking run from Steve Moore, sent Ben Hand over the line again, only to be called back for a knock on.
Just minutes later Moore himself found space and crossed the line, which was again converted by Giteau keeping his 100 per cent strike record in tact.
The CA Technologies Brumbies scrum continued to drive up and through the Hurricanes pack, resulting in a number of penalties for ACT team.
Dan Palmer’s combination with both Moore and Ben Alexander has come along in leaps and bounds since the former Waratah moved to Canberra in the off season.
But against the run of play, Hurricane’s Victor Vito found himself in open space and strolled across the line and with Aaron Cruden’s conversion, the score was seven all going into half time.
Hurricanes fullback Cory Jane was quiet in the first half, as was Nonu after both players were starved of the ball and quality attacking opportunities by some enthusiastic CA Technologies Brumbies defence.
Rookie No 8 Ita Vaea was rewarded for some more quality scrummaging 10 minutes into the second quarter, when the dominant scrum pushed towards the Hurricanes line with Vaea smashing through from close range for a well deserved try.
Giteau continued his perfect night with the boot, lifting the CA Technologies Brumbies lead to 21-7 with 7 minutes left in the first half.
Pat McCabe started the second half the same way he finished the first, powering through the Hurricanes defence making valuable metre over the advantage line each time he touched the ball.
But the Hurricanes managed to score another lucky try with 30 minutes remaining and with Cruden again hitting the target they were back within seven points.
Late in the game Tyrone Smith, Huia Edmonds, Jono Owen, Michael Hooper, Sam Carter and Nic White took the field, with Carter earning his first State cap and with White being thrown into unfamiliar territory of fullback to replace Franky Fainifo.
With the change in players came a swing in momentum and the Hurricanes launched a relentless attack on The CA Technologies Brumbies line, lasting four minutes after the fulltime siren had sounded. A try to Julian Savea and a third conversion to Cruden helped the Canes claw back a draw, 21-21.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Brumby Runners came back from an early scare to run out winners 52-20 over the Melbourne Rebels A side.
CA Technologies Brumbies 21 (M Chapman, I Vaea, S Moore tries; M Giteau 3 cons) dr Hurricanes 21 (V Vito, M Nonu, J Savea tries; A Cruden 3 cons).
CA Technologies Brumbies
1 Ben Alexander (replaced by Jono Owen)
2 Stephen Moore (replaced by Huia Edmonds)
3 Dan Palmer
4 Ben Hand
5 Mark Chisholm (replaced by Sam Carter*)
6 Mitchell Chapman (replaced Colby Faingaa)
7 Julian Salvi (replaced by Michael Hooper)
8 Ita Vaea (replaced by Stephen Hoiles)
9 Josh Valentine (replaced by Pat Phibbs)
10 Matt Giteau © (replaced by Matt Toomua)
11 Francis Fainifo (replaced by Nic White)
12 Robbie Coleman
13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (replaced by Tyrone Smith)
14 Henry Speight
15 Pat McCabe (replaced by Nic White)
16 Huia Edmonds
17 Salesi Ma’afu
18 Sam Carter
19 Stephen Hoiles
20 Patrick Phibbs
21 Matt Toomua
22 Samu Wara
23 Tyrone Smith
24 Colby Faingaa
25 Michael Hooper
26 Jono Owen
*denotes first CA Technologies Brumbies and State cap.
1 John Schwalger
2 Andrew Hore
3 Neemia Tialata
4 James Broadhurst
5 Jason Eaton
6 Victor Vito
7 Jack Lam
8 Faifili Levave
9 Tyson Keats
10 Aaron Cruden
11 Julian Savea
12 Ma’a Nonu
13 Conrad Smith
21 Andre Taylor
15 Cory Jane
2 Dane Coles
16 Laurence Corlette
3 Michael Bent
3 Anthony Perenise
1 Jacob Ellison
18 Bryn Evan
26 Mark Reddish
7 Serge Lilo
23 Scott Fuglistaller
24 Rodney So’oialo
9 Chris Eaton
10 Daniel Kirkpatrick
25 Jayden Hayward
20 Alapati Leuia
22 Beauden Barret