A hard fought win over the NSW Waratahs has left the University of Canberra Brumbies one point shy of sealing top spot of the Australian Super Rugby Conference and a home final at Canberra Stadium two weeks from now.
Running out 19-15 point winners in front of a healthy crowd at ANZ Stadium, The University of Canberra Brumbies ground the Waratahs down, kicking their way to a victory despite being outscore two tries to one.
Head Coach Jake White said while it wasn’t his side’s best performance he was thrilled to lead a Brumbies side out of Sydney with a win for the first time since 2002.
“To be honest, we probably didn’t play our best rugby, particularly in the first forty minutes,” White said.
“I spoke to Kafe (Rod Kafer) at half time and told him it was like we had the jitters during the day. I think that’s natural playing against 11 Wallabies at a ground that hasn’t traditionally held a lot of success for us. That was always going to present challenges.
“But I’m happy with the fight and composure we showed to stick it out and claim another win on the road. All credit to our conditioning staff, we haven’t had a point conceded against us in the final 15 minutes for our last nine games.
“Everyone is playing their part, this is why we are involved with rugby.”
Two penalties to fly-half Zack Holmes and a long range effort to Jesse Mogg handed the University of Canberra Brumbies a four point lead at half time, with a try to Tatafu Polota-Nau keeping the Tahs in the match at 9-5.
Waratahs No 7 Chris Alcock was in everything, dominating the breakdown, forcing a series of turnovers and causing headaches for the University of Canberra Brumbies. Along with Polota-Nau and Berrick Barnes, Alcock was one of the Waratahs best.
An overlap on the right flank handed Henry Speight his seventh try of the season as he found himself on the end of a lofty pass from Holmes.
And while the Waratahs hit back with a try under the posts to Barnes, the University of Canberra Brumbies ground the finals minutes of play down to claim another four points on the road.
UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA BRUMBIES 19 (Henry Speight try; Zack Holmes con Holmes 2, Jesse Mogg 2 pens) bt NSW WARATAHS 15 (Berrick Barnes, Tatafu Polota-Nau tries; Barnes con, pen) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: Keith Brown. Crowd: 22,844.
University of Canberra Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Stephen Moore
3. Dan Palmer (replaced by Ruaidhri Murphy, 50 mins)
4. Scott Fardy
5. Sam Carter (replaced by Ita Vaea, 58 minutes)
6. Peter Kimlin
7. Michael Hooper
8. Ben Mowen (C)
9. Nic White
10. Zack Holmes
11. Jesse Mogg
12. Pat McCabe
13. Andrew Smith
14. Henry Speight
15. Robbie Coleman
16. Anthony Hegarty
17. Ruaidhri Murphy
18. Leon Power
19. Ita Vaea
20. Ian Prior
21. Tevita Kuridrani
22. Cam Crawford