Sun 24 Apr 2022 | 08:48

Brumbies spoil Kiwi party with Highlanders' scalp

Brumbies spoil Kiwi party with Highlanders' scalp
Sun 24 Apr 2022 | 08:48
Brumbies spoil Kiwi party with Highlanders' scalp
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REPORT: The Brumbies restored some pride in Australian rugby by claiming the first Kiwi scalp of Super Round with a hard-fought 28-17 victory over the Highlanders.

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After the NSW Waratahs and Queensland both fell short in the opening two days of action at AAMI Park, the Brumbies broke through for the rare win in an arm-wrestle contest.

Last year the Australians only managed two wins from 25 games in the trans-Tasman competition but the Brumbies’ performance promised better results this time around.

The Canberra side had only lost once through the 2022 domestic component of the competition while the Highlanders had only banked one win but the men from Dunedin proved difficult to shake on Sunday.

The Brumbies looked sharp early but were made to work for their points while the Highlanders made their opportunities in the 22 count.

The Brumbies should have been up 5-0 after a minute but for fullback Tom Wright dropping the ball cold as he attempted a one-handed put-down over the line.

Flanker Jahrome Brown made no mistake 10 minutes later when his outstretched arm slammed down the ball for the Brumbies to take a 7-0 lead.

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A try by hooker Lachlan Lonergan then made it 14-0 but the Highlanders rallied with centre Thomas Umaga-Jensen scoring and the teams went into halftime at 17-7.

After a Brumbies penalty, the Highlanders hit back again with a try by flanker James Lentjes closing the margin to seven.

Another penalty strike by Noah Lolesio gave them a little more breathing room and then the young Wallabies playmaker was able to run on to a pop pass from Irae Simone for a 72nd-minute try.

It was a strong performance from Lolesio after five weeks out with an ankle injury.

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While the desperate Highlanders scrambled for points the Brumbies defence held firm to secure the win.

The scorers:

For Highlnaders:
Tries: Lentjes, Umaga-Jensen
Cons: Banks 2
Pen: Banks

For Brumbies:
Tries: Lolesio, Lonergan, Brown
Cons: Lolesio 2
Pens: Lolesio 3

Teams: 

Highlanders: 15 Mitch Hunt, 14 Freedom Vahakolo, 13 Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 12 Scott Gregory, 11 Mosese Dawai, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Folau Fakatava, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Hugh Renton, 5 Sam Caird, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ethan de Groot
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makailo, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Josh Johneck, 19 Max Hicks, 20 Billy Harmon, 21 Kayne Hemmington, 22 Sam Gilbert, 23 Christian Lio Willie

Brumbies: 15 Tom Wright, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White (captain), 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Caderyn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Sefo Kautai, 2 Lachlan Lonergan, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Tom Hooper, 20 Luke Reimer, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Rod Iona, 23 Hudson Creighton

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper& Reuben Keane
TMO: James Leckie

PV: 10
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