Lions first Super Rugby win in Canberra - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions first Super Rugby win in Canberra

Ed Logue 15/05/2011 12:45:54 PM Comments (0)

The Lions have spoiled Brumbies captain Matt Giteau's 100th Super Rugby match with a historic 29-20 win in Canberra.

The Johannesburg-based side's four to two tries win on Saturday was their second for 2011 and their first in nine attempts at Canberra Stadium.

For a second consecutive week, the intensity of the Brumbies fell sharply in the second half.

Their 2011 season goes on to reach new depths with the twice winner of the southern hemisphere's provincial competition continuing to post new records.

The loss was their ninth of the season and fourth at home, both records since the competition began in 1996.

Crowds have dwindled this season in Canberra following the performances of the Brumbies, with a 12-year low of 10,122 to watch ACT-raised Giteau's 100th match.

The crowd was the lowest at Canberra Stadium since 4000 spectators watched the Brumbies beat the Northern Bulls 73-9 in March 1999.

Giteau scored 10 points through two conversions and two penalties.

The home side started the match on the front foot, with hooker Stephen Moore's bullocking try to the right of the posts in the 10th minute, following several phases, after flanker Colby Faingaa made a 30-metre break.

Giteau converted and put the side a further three points ahead to 10-0 when Lions prop Patric Cilliers was sinbinned for dumping Brumbies scrumhalf Josh Valentine in the 18th minute.

Despite being a man down, the Lions began to keep the ball where several phases at the Brumbies line yielded a try for flanker Michael Rhodes.

Lions five-eighth Elton Jantjies converted to reduce the score to 10-7.

The visitors continued to keep possession and territory as the half progressed.

Six minutes before halftime, the Lions went 12-10 ahead, after several phases bashing at the Brumbies line, before three passes left created an overlap for winger Deon van Rensburg to score untouched.

With the break near, Brumbies prop Salesi Ma'afu left the field with a suspected broken right arm.

Ma'afu's injury adds to the side's narrowing of front row stocks, with prop Dan Palmer ruled out for the match with an injured foot.

The Brumbies head to Perth next week to play the Western Force.

Angry Brumbies coach Tony Rea said the loss reflected the easy choices his players have taken during their poor 2011 season.

"We are just a mob without any fight in us when it gets tough, even if we win," Rea said.

"It has been since day one of pre-season, pretty much all laid bare.

"(Using) smokes and mirrors, we have tried to get it through there for a while but if it is not in you, it's not in you, you are not going to find it under pressure."

Rea said too many at the Brumbies, players and management, had taken too many soft options during the year.

"We have just too many people and an organisation that makes too many soft decisions too often and now they're the bulk and the norm, it's in the wood now," he said.

"We have been covering them for a while."

Asked if the side could lift for their last five matches of the Super season, Rea replied: "No, no chance.

"These blokes are not going to find something that is not there."

Lions coach John Mitchell said his team had rebounded following their 53-19 loss to the Cheetahs last week.

The win was the second from their past 26 Super Rugby matches.

"Considering the response to last week's performance after the bye, I thought it was won on defence," Mitchell said.

"We worked a lot harder on the inside."

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