The Plus500 Brumbies have broken their Harvey Norman Super Rugby Trans-Tasman drought after hanging on for a gutsy 12-10 win against the Hurricanes at GIO Stadium.
Wearing their Pasifika jersey, ‘Warrior over the Waves’, the Brumbies scored two tries to the Hurricanes one, the home sides defence resolute throughout the gripping fixture.
Fortune favoured the Brumbies in the end, who were deserved winners on the night despite Jordie Barrett having two cracks off the tee to win it at the death.
Flying high, the Hurricanes came out with real intent early on, using their considerable firepower out wide to test the Brumbies.
There was a different edge to the Brumbies defence however, and soon their physicality turned the tide in their favour.
Confident, the Brumbies moved the ball deep into the Hurricanes defensive zone. Lachlan Lonergan, who was outstanding on the night, took a hard line off his brother Ryan and went agonisingly close. His elder sibling finished the job, diving over from close range to open the Brumbies account.
Noah Lolesio’s conversion made it 7-0 to the Brumbies.
The Hurricanes responded however and were clearly going to be in the wrestle for the full eighty-minutes.
Maul defence was a key component in the Brumbies victory, and though it stood up to the Hurricanes, All-Blacks hooker Dane Coles was too good and too quick off the base of the drive, and scooted into level up the scores.
Barrett’s conversion and penalty shot made it 10-7 at the break.
The second half produced much of the same gritty, intense rugby but a moment of magic would win it for the Brumbies.
An instinctual inside ball from Nic White put Len Ikitau into half a gap, and from there the star centre somehow managed to break through a couple tackles and dived over, putting the Brumbies back into the lead.
At times in the dying minutes, the Brumbies had to hang on, a disallowed try and Barrett’s pair of uncharacteristic misses off the boot keeping them up in the score, but the night and the occasion belonged to the Brumbies, as they claimed a famous 12-10 victory back in front of their home fans.
Plus500 Brumbies 12 (T: R. Lonergan, L.Ikitau; C: N.Lolesio) def Hurricanes 10 (T: D.Coles; C: J.Barrett; P: Barrett)