Brumbies go down in another heartbreaker - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies go down in another heartbreaker

By David Beniuk 23/02/2007 08:03:09 PM Comments (0)

Another injury to Wallaby five-eighth Stephen Larkham added to the heartbreak as a last-minute try to the Hurricanes sank the Brumbies 11-10 at Wellington.

Larkham went down in the 37th minute when he was caught under the Hurricanes' forwards close to the Brumbies' line and lay on his back clutching his chest.

He tentatively played out the final minutes of the half but didn't return for the second stanza at Westpac Stadium.

The Brumbies led 10-6 with 12 minutes to go and some inspired defence repelled wave after wave of Hurricanes attack as the home side camped in the visitors' half for almost the entire second half.

But powerful No.8 Thomas Waldrom crashed over in the corner in the 80th minute to give the Hurricanes the get-out-of-jail win and consign the Brumbies to their second last-minute loss in three matches.

The game finished a try apiece, although the Brumbies also had one disallowed for Mark Gerrard in the 24th minute due to a forward pass.

Lock Adam Wallace-Harrison scored for the visitors in the 19th minute, Julian Huxley's conversion giving the Brumbies a 7-3 lead which they took to the break.

Huxley also booted a penalty goal in the 68th minute, while Hurricanes five-eighth Jimmy Gopperth booted two penalty goals.

The Canberrans' scrambling defence looked like it was going to hold out for a gritty win when prop Nic Henderson made good ground to rumble Hurricanes tight-head Neemia Tialata over the sideline two metres out in the 75th minute.

The Brumbies had already withstood a kick and chase by winger David Smith, which Clyde Rathbone defused with a desperate dive, and Tialata dropping the ball over the line in a driving maul.

They had even mustered their under-pressure scrum to win a feed close to the line and gotten away with a sneaky George Smith rake from the hands of the opposition halfback after a ruck.

The Hurricanes had begun the first half the stronger and flyhalf Jimmy Gopperth converted the early pressure into points with a fifth-minute penalty.

But the Brumbies threatened to click when Hurricanes centre Ma'a Nonu was yellow-carded.

Huxley had defused a mammoth Gopperth bomb but a melee broke out after Nonu was third man in and coat-hangering Brumbies winger Clyde Rathbone.

The visitors took advantage of their extra man, lock Wallace-Harrison creating his try when he cleverly passed to flanker Julian Salvi before collecting the return and crossing for the Brumbies' first try in three weeks.

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