Highlanders edge Brumbies in snorefest

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 08:45
Large elliot dixon highlanders tackled 800

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Highlanders managed to overturn a five-point half-time deficit to edge the Brumbies 18-13 in a poor display by both teams.

The Highlanders returned to the ground where they knocked the Brumbies out of last season's quarter-finals to overturn a 5-10 half-time deficit and extended Australian teams' misery against Kiwi opposition this season with New Zealand boasting a 7-0 winning record so far this year.

"It had a similar feel to the quarter-final last year when we were under the pump there at the end and we were able to hold out. Tonight was no different and it was a bloody tough contest.

"For us to come over here and do the job, hopefully it will kick-start our campaign and we can get a bit of a roll on," Highlanders coach Tony Brown said.

The Brumbies led 13-11 with 16 minutes left but relinquished the lead when Aki Seiuli charged over from close range to put the Highlanders in front for the first time with seven minutes remaining.

While the home side piled on the pressure in the final stages, the Highlanders held firm on their own try line to take the points.

The Brumbies looked set to keep the Highlanders scoreless in the first half until Richard Buckman gave young wing Sio Tomkinson the space to score his first Super Rugby try.

The Brumbies scored first off a well-worked set play from a line-out with flank Chris Alcock breaking through on the short side to pick up his first try for the club and open up a 10-0 lead. Wharenui Hawera made it three from three by kicking another penalty shortly after half-time to extend the Brumbies lead to eight points.

Replacement flyhalf Marty Banks reduced the deficit to five to keep the Highlanders in touch. Another Banks penalty trimmed the margin to two, setting up a grandstand finish and Seiuli's clinching try.

It was the Highlanders' second victory of the season and their third successive triumph over the Brumbies in recent seasons.

"The guys did everything right to win but sometimes it doesn't fall your way and that was the case tonight.

"There's no doubting the effort. The execution was obviously difficult in those wet conditions and once you fall behind on the scoreboard and you've got to score a try, you chance your arm a little bit more than you'd like," Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said.

Man of the match: Elliot Dixon was the only Highlander who performed admirably. Henry Speight was solid under the high balls while his defensive effort complimented his carries. Sam Carter set a good standard for his team to follow but it was Scott Fardy who secured numerous crucial turnovers that kept the opposition under pressure.

Scorers:

For the Brumbies:
Try: Alcock
Con: Hawera
Pens: Hawera 2

For the Highlanders:
Tries: Tomkinson, Seiuli
Con: Banks
Pens: Banks 2

Teams:

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Blake Enever, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Nathan Mayhew.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Tom Staniforth, 21 Lolo Fakaosilea, 22 De Wet Roos, 23 Jordan Jackson-Hope.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Patelesio Tomkinson, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Matt Faddes.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Blues 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 57 | 14
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10