Toomua try seals victorious Huxley return

CA Brumbies flyhalf Matt Toomua has scored a try with two minutes remaining to hand the CA Brumbies a 30-23 win over the Chiefs in their Investec Bank Super 14 encounter at Canberra Stadium tonight.
With the scores locked at 23-all, replacement scrumhalf Patrick Phibbs swooped on a loose ball at the back of a Chiefs ruck 15 metres from their try line to send his pivot over under the posts.

The win capped off a memorable evening for the ACT side and their 15,217 spectators as they welcomed back Julian Huxley for his first Investec Bank Super 14 match in two years after recovering from a brain tumour. The replacement fullback barely had time to make himself comfortable on the bench before he was thrown into the match at the 12-minute mark after winger Francis Fainifo fractured his fibula contesting a ball in the air. Huxley slotted into the backline as though he’d never left, proving a constant threat from the back and losing nothing of his reputable kicking game.

Huxley’s performance was matched by man-of-the-match Stephen Moore, who spearheaded a dominant CA Brumbies set piece, while Phibbs’ heroics in the dying stages reflected his tireless display throughout the match. Flyhalf Matt Giteau was another cool head in the ACT backline with his tactical kicking pinpoint, allowing his side to play in prime field position.

The Chiefs opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a Donald penalty goal and were unfortunate not to add a try to their tally two minutes later when flanker Liam Messam spilt the ball while reaching out over the try line.

There were no such problems down the other end in the eighth minute when Pat McCabe sent Josh Valentine across to score. The CA Brumbies winger found space off a perfectly timed Adam Ashley-Cooper pass 45 metres out before throwing ball inside to Valentine who beat the converging defence to the try line. Giteau added the extras for a 7-3 lead.
Having scored the opening try, Valentine was forced to the bench with hamstring tightness, allowing Patrick Phibbs into the fray. The replacement scrumhalf was into the action immediately when he received the ball off the top of a lineout 20 metres out from the Chiefs’ line, drew winger Lelia Masaga and handed off to 18-year-old Michael Hooper to touch down in his Investec Bank Super 14 debut. Giteau’s conversion gave his side a 14-3 advantage after 15 minutes.

Donald added penalty goals in the 18th and 24th minutes before a determined run from scrumhalf Brendon Leonard was rewarded with the Chiefs first try at the 29-minute mark.

Trailing 16-14, Giteau gave the home side a one point half-time lead when he slotted a penalty goal one minute from the break.

The CA Brumbies’ advantage was cancelled out three minutes into the new term when the Chiefs countered off a snuffed out Stirling Mortlock kick on the halfway line. Three short passes saw Waikato centre Richard Kahui race away for the try and give Donald a conversion to bring up 700 career points.

The CA Brumbies recorded a milestone of their own a minute later when Giteau landed a penalty goal to see in 5,000 Super Rugby points for the province.

With the visitors hanging onto a 23-20 lead, the final quarter provided a tense stalemate with the CA Brumbies demonstrating patience to maintain possession in their attacking half but lacking the killer punch to crack the Chiefs line.

With eight minutes remaining Giteau nailed his third penalty goal to lock up the scores before Phibbs and Toomua combined with the playmaker’s maiden Investec Bank Super 14 try handing the home side a seven-point victory.

The CA Brumbies will have the week off for the bye before returning to host the Cheetahs at Canberra Stadium on Saturday, 10 April.

CA Brumbies 30 (Josh Valentine, Michael Hooper, Matt Toomua tries; Matt Giteau 3/3 conversions, 3/5 penalty goals) defeated Chiefs 23 (Brendon Leonard, Richard Kahui tries; Stephen Donald 2/2 conversions, 3/3 penalty goals) at Canberra Stadium, Canberra.
Half time: CA Brumbies 17-16
Referee: Jaco Peyper (RSA)
Crowd: 15,217

CA Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Stephen Moore
3. Salesi Ma’afu
4. Mitchell Chapman
5. Ben Hand
6. Rocky Elsom
7. Michael Hooper
8. Stephen Hoiles (c)
9. Josh Valentine
10. Matt Toomua
11. Francis Fainifo
12. Matt Giteau
13. Stirling Mortlock
14. Pat McCabe
15. Adam Ashley-Cooper

16. Huia Edmonds
17. Guy Shepherdson
18. Mark Chisholm
19. Colby Faingaa
20. Patrick Phibbs
21. Tyrone Smith
22. Julian Huxley

22. Julian Huxley for 11. Francis Fainifo (12th minute)
20. Patrick Phibbs for 9. Josh Valentine (13th minute)
18. Mark Chisholm for 5. Ben Hand (52nd minute)
19. Colby Faingaa for 7. Michael Hooper (52nd minute)
21. Tyrone Smith for 13. Stirling Mortlock (58th minute)
16. Huia Edmonds for 2. Stephen Moore (67th minute)

1. Sona Taumalolo
2. Aled de Malmanche
3. Ben Afeaki
4. Craig Clarke
5. Culum Retallick
6. Liam Messam
7. Tanerau Latimer
8. Sione Lauaki
9. Brendon Leonard
10. Stephen Donald
11. Sitiveni Sivivatu
12. Jackson Willison
13. Richard Kahui
14. Lelia Masaga
15. Mils Muliaina (c)

16. Hika Elliot
17. Nathan White
18. Jarrad Hoeata
19. Luke Braid
20. Junior Poluleuligaga
21. Mike Delany
22. Tim Nanai-Williams.


Investec Bank Super 14: Week Nine
CA Brumbies v Cheetahs
Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Saturday, 10 April 2010

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