The Waratahs rolled into Canberra putting their unbeaten start to the season on the line. Two bonus point win had them early favourites but they had struggled in recent times in Canberra.
The Brumbies have just hung for a nail biting 28-23 win in front of 17,016 fans at Canberra Stadium tonight.
The Brumbies at one stage had a 16 point lead but the Waratahs gave them too much of a head start and came up just short of a great fight back.
The Waratahs opened the scoring early from a Bernard Foley penalty to settle the nerves but the Brumbies responded almost immediately from Nic White.
The Waratahs had great field position and the majority of the possession in the opening ten minutes but they couldn’t take the advantage with the Brumbies defense putting in some great work.
The combination of Foley and Beale was looking good for the Waratahs and started to look dangerous.
The visitors extended their lead to three after Israel Folau was taken out off the ball after a kick through.
The Brumbies got the first try on the board following their first real entry into the Waratahs 22. Jesse Mogg kicked into open space and from the resulting lineout, the Waratahs ball was sloppy and picked up by the Brumbies forwards.
After one phase, Nic White darted over against a surprised Waratahs defensive line that had aligned out the opposite way following the ruck.
Then just minutes later the Brumbies had their second try of the night. Jesse Mogg chip kicked and just won the race for the ball ahead of Israel Folau in a photo finish after a look from the TMO. White’s conversion gave the Brumbies a 17-6 lead just before the the 20 minute mark.
Foley had a chance to close the gap but his penalty attempt was off the uprights and was knocked on by the Brumbies inside their own 10m zone. They got the upper hand at the resulting scrum and Foley was then able to land his third penalty of the night from in front.
With 10 minutes left in the half The Waratahs looked certain to score after a great attacking run but the ball was lost forward and the Brumbies were off the hook.
Just before half time, Waratahs scrum half Nick Phipps was pinged for an incorrect feed at the scrum inside their 22. The Brumbies took another scrum and marched the Tahs pack and resulted in Nic White landing his second penalty of the night and give the Brumbies a 20-9 lead at half time.
The second half saw the Waratahs with an extra step in aggression. They started to use the forwards more effectively and were starting to bend the line, especially from Jacques Potgieter.
They weathered one attacking raid from the Brumbies with some great defensive work but the work took its toll with Tevita Kuridrani scoring on the right side to make it 25-9 after a great run from Ben Alexander in the leadup.
This sprung the Waratahs into action and the Brumbies were on the back foot in their own half. Matt Toomua received a yellow card for taking out Kurtley Beale early and the one man advantage proved too much for the Brumbies with Michael Hooper scoring the Waratahs first try in Canberra since 2011.
They looked certain to score again after Robbie Coleman had to ground the ball in his own in goal under pressure from the Waratahs chasers. Wycliff Palu peeled off the back of the scrum and barged over the line but was ruled to be held up but they let the Brumbies off the hook after the scrum was lost on the Brumbies 5m line.
With the half winding down, the Brumbies received another yellow card and Israel Folau showed his brilliance to beat four tacklers and he scored out wide. Foley’s conversion made the score 25-23 with a grandstand finish in store.
It came down to the final minute and the Brumbies got a scrum penalty despite being under heavy pressure from the Waratahs who were coming home with a wet sail.
Nic White stepped up and took his time to land the penalty that made the final score 28-23.
The Game Changer
The final 20 minutes saw the Waratahs launch their fight back and came up just short of victory.
The G&GR MOTM
A few to choose from but Scott Fardy in a photo finish. Great work at the ruck and even a relieving kick!
Some good battles all over the field. Matt Toomua was hitting anything that came his way hard but resulted in a yellow card for him.
Michael Hooper and Scott Fardy were exceptional around the ruck.
Score & Scorers
Tries: White, Mogg, Kuridrani
Conversions: White 2
Penalties: White 3
Tries: Hooper, Folau
Conversions: Foley 2
Penalties: Foley 3
Cards & Citings
60 mins – Matt Toomua (Brumbies) – Yellow
73 mins – Ruan Smith (Brumbies) – Yellow
Photos courtesy Tim Anger