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The University of Canberra Brumbies have been beaten for the first time in 2013, going down 35-22 at Newlands on Sunday morning (AEDT).
The Cape Town outfit managed a four-try bonus point which included a double from African giant, Andries Bekker.
A late change saw Robbie Coleman named at fullback after Jesse Mogg couldn’t pull through a shoulder knock suffered the week earlier. It gave Zack Holmes his first appearance of the year on from the bench alongside fellow new comer Mark Swanepoel who replaced Nic White.
As usual, the Stormers defence was outstanding with the Brumbies managing just two line breaks throughout the 80 minutes of play.
“That’s not the way we wanted to end the tour, but I can’t take much away from the Stormers tonight they played some quality rugby,” Head Coach Jake White said.
“It doesn’t get any easier for us next week with the Bulls coming to Canberra so we need to recover and prepare properly.
“There were things we spoke about during the week that probably didn’t happen the way I would have liked. But the great thing about rugby is that there’s always next week to make amends.”
The try-scoring opened with some individual brilliance by Stormers winger Gio Aplon, who found himself in space off the hip of skipper, Jean de Villiers. Aplon moved the ball 30 metres forcing a one-on-one with Coleman to score under the posts.
It was all the Stormers early, as Bekker made the most of some quality field position to claim the home side’s second try. After 22 minutes the Stormers looked in full control of the match leading 12-3.
When Henry Speight went over for his third try of 2013, it looked like the Brumbies were back in the game. Speight combined nicely with the team’s second Fijian, Tevita Kuridrani, launching into space to score under the posts.
But Bekker wasn’t done for the half and scored his second just two minutes before the bell to give his side a 22-10 lead at the break.
The second half was an arm wrestle for both sides, with Christian Lealiifano and Joe Pietersen trading shots to move the score to 22-25, Stormers up.
Some brutal defence from Matt Toomua and four turnovers to George Smith gave the Brumbies a sniff, but breaks in the Stormers defensive line were few and far between.
With the Brumbies on the attack and enjoying plenty of quality field position it looked like they might just sneak home. But another penalty to Pietersen and an intercept try to winger Gerhard van den Heever put the result out of reach for the visitors.
Stormers 35 (Andries Bekker 2, Gerhard van den Heever, Gio Aplon tries; Joe Pietersen 3 cons, 3 pens) bt University of Canberra Brumbies 22 (Henry Speight try; Christian Lealiifano con, 5 pens) at Newlands Sradium, Cape Town. Referee: Glen Jackson.
University of Canberra Brumbies
1. Scott Sio
2. Stephen Moore (replaced by Siliva Siliva)
3. Dan Palmer (replaced by Ben Alexander)
4. Peter Kimlin
5. Sam Carter (replaced by Colby Faingaa)
6. Ben Mowen (c)
7. George Smith
8. Fotu Auelua (replaced by Scott Fardy)
9. Ian Prior (replaced by Mark Swanepoel)
10. Matt Toomua
11. Joe Tomane
12. Christian Lealiifano
13. Tevita Kuridrani (replaced by Clyde Rathbone)
14. Henry Speight
20. Robbie Coleman (replaced by Zack Holmes)
15. Siliva Siliva
16. Ben Alexander
17. Scott Fardy
18. Colby Faingaa
21. Mark Swanepoel
22. Clyde Rathbone
23. Zack Holmes