Hurricanes take the wind out of CA Brumbies

The CA Brumbies have recorded their first loss in nine matches at Canberra Stadium following a 23-13 defeat at the hands of the Hurricanes at Canberra Stadium tonight.
Missing six frontline players through injury, the CA Brumbies held a tight 5-3 lead at halftime before the visitors hit back in the second term to run out 10-point victors.

CA Brumbies Head Coach Andy Friend said despite the disruption to his line-up, he expected an improved performance.

“[Having injuries] never helps but we had a good side out there tonight; we should have been better than what we were,” he said.

“It’s about looking at that next game now [against the Waratahs] and making sure that we go out and put on a better performance than that. Every game now becomes a final; that’s the nature of the competition. The Hurricanes had theirs tonight and they got through.”

Flyhalves Aaron Cruden and Matt Giteau each missed early penalty goals and it took until the 34th minute for the nil-all deadlock to be broken. With Hurricanes scrumhalf Tyson Keats in the sin bin, the home side spent eight phases in the Hurricanes quarter only to result in outside centre Adam Ashley-Cooper being held up over the try line. However, an attempted pushover from the ensuing scrum edged the CA Brumbies to within a whisker of the line, allowing scrumhalf Patrick Phibbs to pick up the ball and dive over for his second try in as many weeks.

With Giteau’s conversion hitting the post, Cruden nailed his first successful penalty goal on the stroke of the half time siren to bring his side to within two points at the break.

Cruden added a second penalty four minutes into the second stanza with outside centre Conrad Smith finishing off some sharp, short ball movement amongst the Hurricanes backline to help his side to a 13-5 lead at the 50-minute mark.

The CA Brumbies returned to within three points when Giteau slipped under the grasping tackle of Ma’a Nonu to score at 56 minutes. However, the Wallaby playmaker pushed the conversion wide in an uncharacteristically off night with the boot.

The ACT side’s aspirations of a final quarter comeback were dealt a blow when replacement hooker Huia Edmonds was handed a yellow card in the 64th minute with Cruden capitalising on the infringement with another penalty.

Giteau kicked a penalty of his own to reinstate the three-point deficit at 16-13 after 68 minutes. However, thoughts of a come-from-behind win were snuffed out with eight minutes remaining when Kiwi flanker Victor Vito scooped up a loose ball and strode away to score with Cruden’s conversion securing the four competition points for the Wellington side.

The CA Brumbies will travel up the Hume Highway to take on the Waratahs in their Investec Bank Super 14 Week 11 blockbuster at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Saturday, 23 April.

Hurricanes 23 (Conrad Smith, Victor Vito tries; Aaron Cruden 2/2 conversions, 3/6 penalty goals) defeated CA Brumbies 13 (Patrick Phibbs, Matt Giteau tries; Matt Giteau 0/2 conversions, 1/2 penalty goals) at Canberra Stadium, Canberra.
Half time: CA Brumbies 5-3
Referee: Jonathon Kaplan (RSA)
Crowd: 14,825

CA Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Stephen Moore
3. Salesi Ma’afu
4. Ben Hand
5. Mark Chisholm
6. Rocky Elsom
7. Michael Hooper
8. Stephen Hoiles (c)
9. Patrick Phibbs
10. Matt Giteau
11. Alfie Mafi
12. Tyrone Smith
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
14. Pat McCabe
15. Julian Huxley

16. Huia Edmonds
17. Guy Shepherdson
18. Justin Harrison
19. Colby Faingaa
20. James Stannard
21. Brackin Karauria-Henry
22. Andrew Smith

18. Justin Harrison for 4. Mark Chisholm (blood – 17th minute)
4. Mark Chisholm for 18. Justin Harrison (blood return – 27th minute)
18. Justin Harrison for 5. Ben Hand (54th minute)
19. Colby Faingaa for 7. Michael Hooper (54th minute)
16. Huia Edmonds for 2. Stephen Moore (56th minute)
2. Stephen Moore for 19. Colby Faingaa (front row replacement – 69th minute)
19. Colby Faingaa for 2. Stephen Moore (front row replacement return – 75th minute)

Yellow Cards
16. Huia Edmonds (64th minute)

1. John Schwalger
2. Andrew Hore (c)
3. Neemia Tialata
4. Jeremy Thrush
5. Michael Paterson
6. Victor Vito
7. Nick Crosswell
8. Rodney So’oialo
9. Tyson Keats
10. Aaron Cruden
11. Hosea Gear
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Conrad Smith
14. Tamati Ellison
15. Cory Jane

16. Dane Coles
17. Jacob Ellison
18. Bryn Evans
19. James Broadhurst
20. Chris Eaton
21. Willie Ripia
22. Jason Kawau


Yellow Cards
7. Nick Crosswell (10th minute)
9. Tyson Keats (28th minute)

Investec Bank Super 14: Week 11
CA Brumbies v Waratahs
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Saturday, 24 April 2010