Brumbies blow through Hurricanes
Sportal.co.nz 07 Mar 2014 Getty Images
Brumbies second five-eighths Pat McCabe made some telling midfield breaks to lift the attacking spirit of his side, and he was a key contributor in three of their tries. The mood was developed further by fullback Jesse Mogg who also found spaces to advantage as the Brumbies came from behind to go to the break ahead 15-13.
Halfback Nic White was a speedy asset behind the scrum and in distribution giving first five-eighths Matt Toomua invaluable time to make his decisions while the loose forwards Ben Mowen, Scott Fardy and Jarrad Butler were an efficient combination.
The Hurricanes by comparison were scrappy, and disorganised under defensive pressure with too many gaps in their line when hot on defence. Their set piece play was inconsistent, especially at lineouts while some of the frenetic catch-up play meant ball was thrown away too often.
Even when attempting to kick for position in the second half, they too often found hand rather than land, gifting the ball back to the Brumbies.
An early and powerful break by All Blacks wing Julian Savea suggested danger for the visitors but he was bottled up for much of the game.
First five-eighths Beauden Barrett was close to securing a penalty try while his break created the initial impetus in the build-up for halfback TJ Perenara's try.
The home team went out to a 6-0 lead through two Barrett penalty goals, including his 400th Super Rugby point, to which Nic White responded for the Brumbies.
Then in the 31st minute, TJ Perenara scored a fortuitous try, it appeared wing Cory Jane had stepped on the sideline, after a Barrett break opened the defences. Some tap ball on the Brumbies goal-line from Jane and Conrad Smith resulted in Perenara racing through to tidy up and drive over.
But in the 35th minute after some solid build-up work which resulted in a five-metre scrum, the ball was moved to the left where fullback Jesse Mogg strolled through a one-off gap from the scrum to score beside the posts.
Then a Mogg-inspired breakout from their own territory, saw him chip ahead to regain the ball to set up another drive at the line. It wasn't an instant result, but steady build-up created space out wide, and first five-eighths Matt Toomua sensed it to fling a long pass to wing Robbie Coleman who scored.
McCabe made another break early in the second half which almost produced a try for Fardy who was ruled just short. But from the scrum the Brumbies demonstrated the continuity play that is their tradition.
It was Fardy who linked after a drive by hooker Stephen Moore to allow White to fling a pass across the Hurricanes defence and it was centre Tevita Kuridrani who cork-screwed through the gap to score.
It typified the Hurricanes night that an attempted grubber kick by Barrett was turned over and moved wide for McCabe to set up opportunities and in a second attempt to score it was replacement forward Lachie McCaffrey who scored.
Hurricanes 21 (TJ Perenara, Blade Thompson tries; Beauden Barrett con, 3 pen) Brumbies 29 (Jesse Mogg, Robbie Coleman, Tevita Kuridrani, Lachie McCaffrey tries; Nic White 3 con, pen). HT: 13-15
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