Brumbies suffer another narrow loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies suffer another narrow loss

Adrian Warren 01/04/2011 09:25:17 PM Comments (0)

The Brumbies' season of Super Rugby heartbreak continued and their finals hopes receded further with a 26-20 loss to the Highlanders in Invercargill on Friday.

Both teams scored three tries, but Brumbies skipper and five-eighth Matt Giteau had an off night with the boot, missing four shots at goal.

It was a fifth straight loss for the Brumbies, and fifth from six games overall, and their fourth by seven points or less.

A 75th minute five-pointer to captain and prop Jamie Mackintosh gave the home team a decisive 26-15 lead.

Replacement halfback Patrick Phibbs earned a bonus point for the Brumbies with a late try, but it was scant reward for the visitors who had plenty of possession and territory, but paid for poor kicking and discipline.

Two tries to hooker Jason Rutledge, both set up by strong running from winger Kade Poki, set up the Highlanders' 15-7 halftime lead.

The Brumbies failed to turn early scoring opportunities into points, with Giteau missing two penalties in the first 15 minutes.

The Highlanders capitalised on the Brumbies' profligacy to lead 12-0 by the 20th minute.

Poki's big run from deep in his own half culminated in Rutledge scoring his first try following a perfectly weighted chip kick from halfback Jimmy Cowan to the hooker, who was lurking near the left touchline.

Poki combined with fullback Ben Smith and prop Chris King to set up Rutledge's second try.

Five-eighth Colin Slade converted and kicked a penalty to give the home team a 15-0 lead.

Giteau partially atoned for his early wayward kicks by stepping through three players to score a 32nd minute try, which he also converted.

Brumbies inside centre Christian Lealiifano missed a long distance penalty attempt just before halftime.

Replacement five-eighth Tony Brown swelled the Highlanders' advantage to 18-7 with a penalty.

A close range penalty to Giteau again reduced the deficit to eight.

Brown added a 66th minute penalty to restore his team's 11-point lead, but he was sin-binned for a breakdown infringement in the 68th minute.

Centre Andrew Smith gave the Brumbies a little hope as he powered and squeezed his way past several defenders in the 69th minute, but they ultimately fell short again.

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