White pleased with tight win

Sat, 30 Mar 2013 14:38
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Brumbies coach Jake White feels his team's narrow 23-20 win over the Bulls reflects the growing maturity in the side.

Brumbies coach Jake White feels his team's narrow 23-20 win over the Bulls reflects the growing maturity in the side.

A penalty after the siren sealed the three-point win for the Brumbies, with Christian Lealiifano landing the shot from 40 metres out to sink the Bulls.

In a Canberra Stadium slugfest, the Brumbies managed to cling to victory having held the lead up until the 78th minute.

However, a try by Bulls winger JJ Engelbrecht with two minutes to go looked to have sealed the draw for the visitors, but the Pretorians were penalised from the kick-off - handing Lealiifano a chance to put them away.

The kick, which never looked like missing, had Brumbies fans reminiscing of Lealiifano's 2012 match-winner against the Cheetahs at the same venue.

The Bulls played their signature style of grind-it-out rugby, putting all their effort into field position and penalties to keep the score ticking over.

But unlike last week's loss to the Stormers, the Brumbies managed to adjust their own game accordingly, eventually breaking the Bulls' hearts - beating them for the first time since 2009.

"I thought at 20-13, with four minutes to play when we had a line-out in their half, after we really defended well and got a turnover on the edge, that would be enough to win it," White said.

"That really reaffirms how tough this competition is, when you think you've got it won with minutes to go, but it's not like that.

"I guess what I'm really proud of is that this team has shown that we can win the tight ones, that's always a bonus.

"This may not have been our best rugby and as a coach you're never fully satisfied, but to grind out a win like that is still pleasing."

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26