The Brumbies 2017 season is done after they went down to the Hurricanes 35-16 in Canberra tonight. The Brumbies had a slight lead at the break but just like in Napier earlier in the year, the Hurricanes took charge in the second half to put the Brumbies under defensive pressure to see them run away with the match and book their place in the semi-finals.
The Brumbies had all the ball in the opening minutes and despite looking a bit shaky in their attack, they eventually managed to get the opening try to winger James Dargaville after just three minutes after some strong runs in tight from the Brumbies forwards in the lead up.
The Hurricanes didn’t take long to hit back and they did it in style as Wes Goosen hot stepped his way through the defensive line off a lineout move near the 22 to level it at 5-5.
The Brumbies got the scoreboard ticking over again as they received a penalty about 40 metres out Wharenui Hawera converted his first kick of the night to make it 8-5.
It was a very good opening 15 minutes from the Brumbies as their backs started to make some gains out wide with Tom Banks and Andrew Smith making good metres out wide before their forwards got in on the act. A rolling maul try was next up with Josh Mann-Rea given the nod from the TMO after a few looks. Hawera’s attempt hit the uprights for the second time to leave it at 13-5.
The Hurricanes finally got a chance to settle into their game and worked up the field through pick and drives before trying to get their backs involved. Julian Savea went close but was stopped in a brilliant tackle from Banks and Kuridrani. They did eventually get over the line in unconventional style as a pass hit Ben May in the head and bounced forward and Jordie Barrett swopped to score their second of the night and he converted his own try to make it 13-12.
The Brumbies were able to edge their lead ahead again with another penalty goal to Hawera to make it 16-12.
The Hurricanes looked likely to score next but some good defence and a relieving a scrum penalty got the Brumbies off the hook.
Just before the break, the Hurricanes reduced the margin to one point but the Brumbies had a good chance to extend their lead after Hurricanes prop Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen was binned for a high hit on Hawera and then followed that with another penalty and attacked the line but the Hurricanes defence held them up over the line to leave it at 16-15 at the break.
The moment all rugby fans had waited for occurred at half time as Christian Lealiifano made his return to Super Rugby as he came on for James Dargaville and take his place at inside centre.
Early in the second half, the home side were lucky to escape with only conceding a penalty goal after a series of mistakes where they failed to find touch after a penalty and then a loose pass from Scott Fardy saw them under real pressure with a scrum on their own line.
They had to spend the next 20 minutes defending to keep the Hurricanes at bay as the visitors started to get front foot ball and put the Brumbies on the back foot in their own 22. Somehow the Brumbies were able to come away with another penalty goal conceded despite being under immense pressure.
With the Brumbies unable to get their hands in the ball in good field position they resorted to kicking it back to the Hurricanes which was not what the best idea and the pressure finally proved too much as the Hurricanes finally broke away with TJ Perenara collecting a nice pass from Dane Coles to make the margin 12 points with ten minutes remaining.
The Hurricanes added some icing on the cake as the Brumbies attempted to chase the game from deep in their own half and Wes Goosen swooped on an intercept from Robbie Abel to score his second of the night. Jordie Barrett converted to make the final score 35-16.
The Game Changer
The second half – the Brumbies had to defend for dear life but it caught up with them as the Hurricanes turned the screws to run away with it.
The G&GR MOTM
Ardie Savea – The Hurricanes forwards took charge of the show in the second half and Savea lead the way with some strong runs and tackle busts galore.
A tough night for the Brumbies with a lot defending to do. The prop duo of Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa had a decent night in a tough game. Tevita Kuridrani had some strong carries and Rory Arnold put in a decent shift with some good work at the breakdowns.
Score & Scorers
Tries: Dargaville, Mann-Rea
Penalties: Hawera 2
Tries: Goosen 2, J Barrett, Perenara
Conversions: J Barrett 3
Penalties: J Barrett 3
40 mins – Toomaga-Allen (Hurricanes) – Yellow