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The University of Canberra Brumbies have their season back on track following a 30-19 win over the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday night.
It comes on the back of more good news for the club with 11 players announced earlier in the day as starters for the Wallabies camp which starts on Saturday back in Sydney.
Once again both the Brumbies wingers played hands in the scoring, with Henry Speight and Joe Tomane both turning on the gas to register classy five-pointers. George Smith bagged the Brumbies other try to put the visitors out of reach and leaving Dunedin with four competition points.
“I said when I landed here, to win in New Zealand isn’t easy, I just got a text from a mate who said to remember, this competition isn’t a sprint it’s a marathon and there’s still a long way in this race for us to travel,” Head Coach Jake White said.
“11 points, it’s a win regardless, when I landed here I spoke with Benny Mowen and we said we’d be happy to win 3 nil.
“Now it’s time to focus on the Reds. They are a champion team and a team full of champions, so next week poses an immense challenge for us if we are to keep up with them.”
Claiming his fifth try of the year, Speight opened the bidding again in the right hand corner after chiming in on the end of some fluid backline movement from Andrew Smith and Christian Lealiifano. Speight still had plenty of work to do, wrong footing two defenders before flirting with the sideline to score one of his best tries of the season.
Next on the board was Smith, who capitalised on a lengthy period of sustained pressure to push his side further ahead. Penalty goals kept the Highlanders in with a sniff but heading to the sheds 17-12 the Brumbies looked the more controlled outfit.
Tomane’s try had shades of 2012 about it with the speed merchant grabbing the ball from around halfway to streak away and score. The former league star’s first try in rugby was scored in the same fixture last season.
The Highlanders managed to claw back one try thanks to Aaron Smith, but more penalties from Lealiifano ad Nic White put the result out of doubt.
The University of Canberra Brumbies face their biggest test of the season next weekend when they go head-to-head with the Reds at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
University of Canberra Brumbies 30 (George Smith, Henry Speight, Joseph Tomane tries Christian Lealiifano 3 cons Lealiifano 2, Nic White pens) bt Highlanders 19 (Aaron Smith try Hayden Parker con 4 pens) at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Referee: Chris Pollock
University of Canberra Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Stephen Moore
3. Dan Palmer (replaced by Scott Sio)
4. Peter Kimlin
5. Sam Carter
6. Jordan Smiler (replaced by Fotu Auelua)
7. George Smith (replaced by Colby Faingaa)
8. Ben Mowen
9. Nic White (replaced by Ian Prior)
10. Matt Toomua
11. Joe Tomane
12. Christian Lealiifano
13. Andrew Smith (replaced by Tevita Kuridrani)
14. Henry Speight
15. Jesse Mogg (replaced by Pat McCabe)
16. Siliva Siliva
17. Scott Sio
18. Fotu Auelua
19. Colby Faingaa
20. Ian Prior
21. Pat McCabe
22. Tevita Kuridrani