Hurricanes beat Brumbies in Canberra - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hurricanes beat Brumbies in Canberra

By Crystal Ja 16/04/2010 10:48:27 PM Comments (0)

The Hurricanes continued their recent dominance over the Brumbies and kept their Super 14 finals hopes alive with a grinding 23-13 Super 14 victory at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.

Claiming their fourth successive win over the ACT side, the Hurricanes also managed to avoid what would have been a record sixth-straight loss for the Wellington club.

Instead, they turned around a 5-3 halftime deficit for a 10-point victory and another crucial four points just a month out from the finals.

The loss left the Brumbies' run to the finals on shaky ground, having let an opportunity to jump into the top four go to waste.

After a tight arm-wrestle in the first half, it was the Hurricanes that lifted a gear when Conrad Smith left a fingernail on the ball to score their first try.

It pushed them 11-5 in front and from there, the Brumbies were never able to catch up in front of 14,825 disappointed fans.

A desperate lunging try to Matt Giteau, one of the home side's best at five-eighth, gave the injury-depleted Brumbies some hope but it was all they could muster by way of tries in the second half.

With seven minutes to go, the Hurricanes' Victor Vito picked up an errant Brumbies' ball and carried it to the line to add sting to the defeat.

Youngster Aaron Cruden, who got the call at flyhalf over Willie Ripia, converted yet again to ensure the 23-13 win.

Patrick Phibbs, who came in after Josh Valentine failed to recover from injury, recorded the lone try of the opening half for the Brumbies in the 34th minute.

Brumbies coach Andy Friend said the clash was won on a matter of discipline, something sorely lacking in his players.

"If you want to do things solo and not work as a team, that's a big issue," he said.

"It's been the story of our season that we get into that attacking zone and we're just not team-enough and collective-enough to get the ball across the line."

Some big changes could be on the cards given Friend's admission that "what we're currently doing isn't working".

But he denied their extensive injury list was to blame, which includes Wallabies veteran Stirling Mortlock, Matt Toomua, Christian Leoliifano and Francis Fainifo.

Valentine should be back in time for next week's blockbuster clash against the Waratahs.

"We had a good side out there tonight, and we should have been better than we were," Friend said.

A happier Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper paid tribute to his squad for having adjusted to the style of play.

Both coaches named referee Jonathon Kaplan as the man on the field who made his presence most felt, with Friend saying five penalties in the second half cost them the match.

Meanwhile, Cooper said his players adjusted accordingly.

"At the second half, we had some hard words in here about discipline and about adjusting," he said.

"The Brumbies seeing the defensive side of Jonathan, they paid for that in the second half (whereas) we adjusted."

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