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Brumbies end Hurricanes' unbeaten run

SUPER RUGBY WRAP: The Brumbies have breathed new life into their Super Rugby Pacific title charge, knocking off the league-leading Hurricanes 27-19 on Saturday.

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Power-running and a clinical display from their forward pack helped the Brumbies sprint away to an early 24-5 lead they would never relinquish, handing the visitors their first loss of the season.

Flyhalf Noah Lolesio confidently pulled the strings via foot as his side withstood the Hurricanes’ second-half fightback, with his two penalty goals giving them the breathing room they needed.

It was the Brumbies’ first win of the season against a top-four side, having fallen short against the Chiefs and the Blues.

Intent on responding to last weekend’s embarrassing 46-7 defeat to the Blues in New Zealand, the Brumbies delivered the best 20 minutes of their campaign to date and raced to a 21-5 lead.

A perfect cut-out pass from Ryan Lonergan got Lolesio the opening points in the corner, and even a quick response from Hurricanes prop Xavier Numia didn’t knock their confidence.

Content with powering the ball up the middle of the park via their bruising carriers, centre Tamati Tua burst through the line to score, before winger Ollie Sapsford capped a beautifully worked team move for their third try.

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Numia’s second kept the Hurricanes within 12 points at halftime, and All Black talent Jordie Barrett benefited when his side finally found some space for their backs to work in, scoring early in the second half.

Game management became key for the Brumbies, winning field position well in the second half to stifle the dangerous Hurricanes.

Tua was close to best-on-ground, churning out 100m-plus through a series of violent runs.

Returning Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa played 40 minutes in his first game since rupturing his achilles against the All Blacks in July.

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But winger Corey Toole left the contest early with a foot injury he appeared to suffer in the first half, and star centre Len Ikitau was taken off after a head knock.

Bench prop Blake Schoupp joined them on the injured list, stretchered off late in the piece as his Brumbies fought to hold on to their lead.

*Meanwhile, the Western Force have missed the chance to claim another Kiwi scalp, falling to the Highlanders in a 6-7 arm-wrestle in their Super Rugby Pacific clash in Dunedin.

Highlanders scrumhalf Folau Fakatava was the sole try-scorer, with both teams guilty of a swag of handling errors despite the match being played under the roof of Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.

After a rousing win over the defending champions Crusaders last round, the Force were looking for successive victories over New Zealand sides but came up short.

In a frustrating affair, their only points came through two penalty strikes by flyhalf Ben Donaldson.

*Elsewhere, the Fijian Drua have hung on for a 24-17 win over Moana Pasifika in Lautoka.

It was a pair of returning stars for Mick Byrne’s side that proved the difference and Taniela Rakuro and Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula secured their place in the top eight.

*An 82nd-minute try from Blues’ Sam Nock has delivered the Reds a heartbreaking Super Rugby Pacific.

The Reds looked on track for the biggest win of their season after a stunning hat-trick from 20-year-old wing Tim Ryan on his starting debut put them 31-20 clear on Saturday night.

But the powerful Blues somehow found an answer, scoring three tries in the match’s last 13 minutes – including one deep into additional time – to sink their rivals 41-34.

Nock was backing up perfectly to find the winning points after wing Caleb Clarke initially broke the line, countering a Reds’ drive where they looked intent on finding the winning points.

The visitors had only tied the scores on 75 minutes through bench prop Kurt Eklund, with dynamic No. 8 Hoskins Sotutu sparking their late rally six minutes earlier.

It was the Blues’ sixth straight win to sit one point behind the ladder-leading Hurricanes, although the Reds delivered another reminder their best rugby can challenge the competition’s best.

*More to follow…

See below for Saturday’s scores and scorers!

Fijian Drua 24-17 Moana Pasifika

The scorers:

For Fijian Drua:
Tries: Rakuro 2, Ravutaumada
Cons: Armstrong-Ravula 3
Pen: Armstrong-Ravula

For Moana Pasifika:
Tries: Taefu, Havili, Malolo
Con: Leali’ifano

Teams:

Drua: 15 Ilaisa Droasese, 14 Selestino Ravutaumada, 13 Iosefo Masi, 12 Apisalome Vota, 11 Taniela Rakuro, 10 Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula, 9 Peni Matawalu, 8 Meli Derenalagi, 7 Kitione Salawa, 6 Etonia Waga, 5 Leone Rotuisolia, 4 Isoa Nasilasila, 3 Mesake Doge, 2 Zuriel Togiatama, 1 Haereiti Hetet.
Replacements: 16 Mesu Dolokoto, 17 Livai Natave, 18 Samu Tawake, 19 Mesake Vocevoce, 20 Vilive Miramira, 21 Elia Canakaivata, 22 Simione Kuruvoli, 23 Michael Naitokani.

Moana: 15 Danny Toala, 14 Viliami Fine, 13 Henry Taefu, 12 Julian Savea, 11 Fine Inisi, 10 William Havili, 9 Ereatara Enari, 8 Sione Havili Talitui, 7 Jacob Norris, 6 Irie Papuni, 5 Allan Craig, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 Samiuela Moli, 1 Abraham Pole.
Replacements: 16 Sama Malolo, 17 Sateki Latu, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Ola Tauelangi, 20 Lotu Inisi, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Christian Lealiifano, 23 Neria Fomai.

Referee: Graham Cooper
Assistant referees: George Myers, James Palmer
TMO: Oli Kellett

Brumbies 27-19 Hurricanes

For Brumbies:
Tries: Lolesio, Tua, Sapsford
Cons: Lolesio 3
Pens: Lolesio 2

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Numia 2, Barrett
Cons: Cameron 2

Teams:

Brumbies: 15 Tom Wright, 14 Ollie Sapsford, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Tamati Tua, 11 Corey Toole, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Ryan Lonergan, 8 Charlie Cale, 7 Rory Scott, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Billy Pollard, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Blake Schoupp, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 Tom Hooper, 20 Jahrome Brown, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Jack Debreczeni, 23 Andy Muirhead.

Hurricanes: 15 Ruben Love, 14 Kini Naholo, 13 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Brett Cameron, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brayden Iose, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 Caleb Delany, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 James O’Reilly, 1 Xavier Numia.
Replacements: 16 Raymond Tuputupu, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Pasilio Tosi, 19 Ben Grant, 20 Peter Lakai, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Riley Higgins, 23 Bailyn Sullivan.

Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy, Jeremy Markey
TMO: Brett Cronan

Highlanders 7-6 Western Force

The scorers:

For Highlanders:
Try: Fakatava
Con: Millar

For Western Force:
Pens: Donaldson 2

Teams:

Highlanders: 15 Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, 14 Timoci Tavatavanawai, 13 Tanielu Tele’a, 12 Jake Te Hiwi, 11 Connor Garden-Bachop, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Folau Fakatava, 8 Billy Harmon (captain), 7 Sean Withy, 6 Oliver Haig, 5 Fabian Holland, 4 Mitch Dunshea, 3 Saula Ma’u, 2 Henry Bell, 1 Ethan de Groot.
Replacements: 16 Jack Taylor, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Will Tucker, 20 Hugh Renton, 21 James Arscott, 22 Cameron Millar, 23 Martín Bogado.

Force: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Bayley Kuenzle, 13 Sam Spink, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Chase Tiatia, 10 Ben Donaldson, 9 Nic White, 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Carlo Tizzano, 6 Will Harris, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Tom Horton, 1 Marley Pearce.
Replacements: 16 Feleti Kaitu’u, 17 Josh Bartlett, 18 Tiaan Tauakipulu, 19 Jeremy Williams, 20 Michael Wells, 21 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 22 Max Burey, 23 Henry O’Donnell.

Referee: Dan Waenga
Assistant referees: Paul Williams, Mike Winter
TMO: Richard Kelly

Reds 34-41 Blues

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Toomaga-Allen, Vunivalu, Ryan 3
Cons: Lynagh 2, Creighton
Pens: Creighton

For Blues:
Tries: Tuipulotu, Forbes, Ta’avao, Sotutu, Eklund, Nock
Cons: Plummer 4
Pens: Plummer

Teams:

Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Suliasi Vunivalu, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Tim Ryan, 10 Tom Lynagh, 9 Kalani Thomas, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 John Bryant, 6 Liam Wright, 5 Angus Blyth, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Matt Faessler, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Connor Vest, 20 Joe Brial, 21 Louis Werchon, 22 Lawson Creighton, 23 Floyd Aubrey.

Blues: 15 Cole Forbes, 14 AJ Lam, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Bryce Heem, 11 Mark Tele’a, 10 Harry Plummer, 9 Taufu Funaki, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papali’i, 6 Anton Segner, 5 Sam Darry, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Soane Vikena, 1 Ofa Tu’ungasfasi.
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Joshua Fusitu’a, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Laghlan McWhannell, 20 James Thompson, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Corey Evans, 23 Caleb Clarke.

Referee: James Doleman
Assistant referees: Jono Bredin, Fraser Hannon
TMO: Chris Hart

Source: AAP and SuperRugby 

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