Super Rugby: Brumbies move second after defiant victory in Canberra
By Ben Hampshire. Last Updated: 31/05/13 5:31pm
The Brumbies resisted a spirited Hurricanes fightback to run out 30-23 winners in Canberra on Friday.
The Hurricanes defence was under immediate pressure as the Brumbies made a strong territorial start, earning two penalties in the process which Christian Leali'ifano successfully converted into six points for the hosts.
Beauden Barrett got the Hurricanes on the scoreboard with a three-pointer before failing to seize the opportunity to level the scores with his second attempt from the tee sailing right.
Vulnerability in the Hurricanes defence was exposed moments later when Brumbies scrum-half Nic White stole the ball at the line-out to dive over the line with ease to score the first try of the match.
The visitors responded immediately as they made their way through Brumbies territory and worked the ball down the line with Reynold Lee-Lo managing to touch down a first Hurricanes try despite being tackled on the line.
Barrett's conversion took the Hurricanes within one point before Leali'ifano added another penalty to give the Brumbies a 14-10 half-time lead.
Brumbies continued to attack following the restart but were denied twice by the television match official before Leali'ifano added the first points of the second period with a penalty. Barrett responded with two three-pointers of his own in four minutes to put the Hurricanes within a point of the Brumbies.
Leali'ifano added a further six points from the kicking tee to take the hosts seven points clear. The Brumbies attacking play continued in full flow with the Hurricanes caught on the back foot again as the hosts drove over the line with Peter Kimlin eventually touching down.
With 15 minutes left on the clock the Hurricanes launched their comeback attempt as TJ Perenara powered over the line with two Brumbies in tow to register a second try for the visitors.
Barrett's conversion left the Hurricanes needing a converted try to level the scores but there was no way back as the Brumbies dominated possession and continued to attack in the closing stages.
Victory elevates the Brumbies into second place in the Super Rugby standings, just two adrift of leaders Chiefs who earn an automatic four points with no fixture this weekend.
Super Rugby 2013 Round 16
The Bulls opened an eight-point gap at the top of the South African conference with a 30-25 victory over the Cheetahs.
The Reds kept their play-off hopes alive with a hard-fought 33-20 win over the Rebels in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Highlanders ran in four first-half tries tries before holding on to secure a 38-28 victory over the Blues.