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The CA Technologies Brumbies horror run has continued – going down to the last placed Lions at Canberra Stadium in freezing conditions and in doing so denying Captain Matt Giteau a win for his 100th Super Rugby Cap.
The ACT based team were outmuscled in the forwards by an enthusiastic Lions outfit smarting from a heavy loss to the Cheetahs just a week before.
Giteau was again the stand out player. No one tried harder to get the team moving both in attack and defence, but it wasn’t enough to claim a win.
It was the CA Technologies Brumbies 9th loss of the season and their fourth at home – earning the Lions just their second win in two seasons of Super Rugby and their first in Canberra for 16 years.
Discipline and a lack of options hurt the CA Technologies Brumbies pack – with the Lions game plan to kick for touch rather than goal on all but one occasion paying dividends.
The CA Technologies Brumbies held a 10-point lead over the Lions early in the match but once again struggled to put their opposition to bed.
It had looked like the Lions would take an early advantage, when flanker Derick Minnie dove over from close range just two minutes into the contest. But Minnie was penalised, giving the CA Technologies Brumbies some breathing space and a chance to start the match again.
The ACT based side then swung the momentum their own way, pinning the Lions down the business end of the park for 10 minutes before Stephen Moore crossed to give his side an early lead.
Giteau made his intentions to play free-flowing rugby early – shunning two chances at goal to kick for touch and mount further pressure on the Lions defence.
A penalty and a conversion had given the CA Technologies Brumbies an early 10 point lead, but the Lions were not going to lie down, launching an attack of their own on the home team’s line which resulted in quick tries to flanker Michael Rhodes and winger Deon van Rensburg.
This was despite the Lions having just 14 players on the field – with Patric Cilliers yellow carded in the 17th minute.
The CA Technologies Brumbies were dealt another massive blow during that period when Salesi Ma’afu left the field with a suspected broken arm. Huia Edmonds was also injured late in the match, leaving the team’s coaching staff with more than a few head aches choosing a front row to take to Perth.
With just one of the Lions tries being converted by Jantjies, the Johannesburg side carried a slender two point lead to the break – 12-10.
The Lions started the second half in much the same manner as they left off in the first, punishing the CA Technologies Brumbies line, keeping the ball tight in the forwards before centre Alwyn Hollenbach reached over and scored under the posts.
The kick was again successful and the home team were looking shaky down 19-10.
A penalty goal to Janties just minutes later and a final try to Jaco Taute blew the lead out to 17 points – the CA Technologies Brumbies looking out of the match down 29-10.
A consolation try late in the match to Andrew Smith improved the score line, but it meant little at the Lions hung on to win 29-17.
Lions 29 (Michael Rhodes, Deon van Rensburg, Alwyn Hollenbach, Jaco Taute tries; Elton Jantjies 3 cons; pen) bt CA Technologies Brumbies 17 (Stephen Moore, Andrew Smith tries; Matt Giteau pen, 2 cons)
CA Technologies Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Stephen Moore (replaced by Huia Edmonds 63rd minute)
3. Salesi Ma’afu (replaced by Jono Owen, 36th minutes)
4. Peter Kimlin (replaced by Mark Chisholm 48th minute)
5. Ben Hand
6. Mitchell Chapman (replaced by Michael Hooper 63rd minute)
7. Colby Faingaa
8. Ita Vaea
9. Josh Valentine (replaced by Patrick Phibbs 63rd minute)
10. Matt Giteau
11. Adam Ashley-Cooper
12. Christian Lealiifano (replaced by Robbie Coleman 71st minute)
13. Tyrone Smith
14. Andrew Smith
15. Pat McCabe (replaced by Henry Speight 71st minute)
16. Huia Edmonds (replaced by Stephen Moore 73rd minute)
17. Jono Owen
18. Mark Chisholm
19. Michael Hooper
20. Patrick Phibbs
21. Robbie Coleman
22. Henry Speight