Hoiles the hero as Brumbies hang on - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hoiles the hero as Brumbies hang on

By David Beniuk 23/02/2008 09:32:04 PM Comments (0)

Brumbies No.8 Stephen Hoiles turned hero at either end of the field to help his side hang on for a 22-20 Super 14 win over the Highlanders at Canberra Stadium.

Hoiles scored the Brumbies' only second half try and then pulled off a try-saving ankle tap at the other end of the field as his inexperienced team-mates almost blew their 17-7 halftime advantage.

The injury-hit Brumbies went into Saturday night's match without backs Stirling Mortlock, Clyde Rathbone, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Gene Fairbanks.

They received a first half penalty try and also scored five-pointers through Anthony Faingaa and Hoiles while outstanding fullback Julian Huxley booted a conversion and a penalty.

For the Highlanders, Fetu'u Vainikolo and Chris King scored tries while James Wilson kicked two conversions and two penalties.

The Brumbies' backline inexperience was shown up early in the second half with error after error and the home side watched their lead get cut to four by the 50th minute with two Wilson penalty goals.

It took the home side until midway through the second to find some patience, and they put together 15-odd phases before sending Hoiles speeding over in the corner in the 60th minute to extend their lead to 22-13.

Huxley and Alister Campbell somehow held up Highlanders No.8 Steven Setephano in the 65th minute but a minute later King barged over, the conversion narrowing the score to 22-20.

Hoiles then turned defensive hero when he ankle-tapped a runaway Vainikolo in the 71st minute to save a certain try and help the Brumbies cling to their lead.

In a pulsating first half, the Brumbies had most of the territory, most of the refereeing decisions and a significant southerly breeze.

They were awarded a penalty try in the 31st minute when hooker Huia Edmonds set sail for the corner and was taken high by Highlanders lock Hayden Triggs.

Triggs was yellow-carded after what was the home side's second five-pointer and Huxley's conversion from in front of the sticks took the Brumbies out to their 17-7 buffer.

Their inexperienced centre pairing of Faingaa and Tyrone Smith both showed glimpses of their talent, with Faingaa grabbing his side's first try in the 11th minute.

But the lowly rated Highlanders had shocked the home side in just the fourth minute when flyhalf Daniel Bowden sliced through before sending an inside ball to Vainikolo.

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