Brumbies suffer last gasp defeat

Saturday March 4, 2017

The Brumbies have suffered a heartbreaking bonus-point loss at the hands the Sharks at GIO Stadium.

With scores locked at 22 apiece as the full-time hooter sounded, Sharks centre Lukhanyo Am was able to get on the end of a Curwin Bosch kick and seal the win for the visitors.

It was a cruel end to a match the home side had fought so brilliantly to still be in after losing Kyle Godwin to the sin bin and absorbing some intense pressure from the Sharks.

The Brumbies made an energetic start, peppering the Sharks and keeping the visitors on their toes. That resistance was short loved however as only two minutes in the crowd had something to cheer about with Henry Speight going over in the corner.

A fantastic sequence of play, culminating in a slick back-line move, saw the Wallabies winger latch onto a cut-out ball to cross over untouched. Wharenui Hawera missed the extras but the home side were off to a flyer.

The Brumbies faithful were then treated to some determined defending as the Sharks were twice denied in the space of a few minutes. Some great covering tackles thwarting the Durban side and preserving the home team’s lead.

Not to be continually denied the Sharks reduced the gap to two through a Patrick Lambie penalty kick after Rory Arnold failed to roll away following the tackle.

The Brumbies thought they had a second score 16 minutes in when Scott Fardy crashed over but upon review a knock on was found in the lead up.

It mattered little as on 24 minutes the home side extended their lead to seven. Josh Mann-Rea driving over from a strong rolling maul. Hawera converted as the Brumbies were rewarded for their patience having turned down several chances to go for goal as the Sharks were continuously penalised.

Hawera added another three points a few minutes later as the visitors were again caught offside. Leading 15-3 the Brumbies were heading towards the break in good nick but the Sharks managed to sneak one back after Tendai Mtawarira forced his way over underneath the posts to reduce the gap to five.

Another Lambie penalty saw the sides go into the break with only two points the difference, the Brumbies just in the lead 15-13.

The Sharks picked up where they left off in the second half as Lambie was presented with another three points but his long-range attempt drifted wide.

On 52 minutes the Brumbies’ night was made much harder when Godwin was sent to the bin for a ruck infringement. Despite being outnumbered the home side refused to be out enthused, some fantastic defending restricting the Sharks to three points, via the boot of Lambie, for the next 10 minutes.

Both sides traded penalty kicks before the Brumbies levelled proceedings with a superb Tevita Kurindrani try. After again turning down chances to nab three back, some slick hands created an overlap which the speedy centre exploited. Isaac Thompson, fresh into the fray, added the extras for a 22-all score line.

Despite throwing everything into a winner, the home side suffered a sucker punch as the Sharks scored an unlikely winner. Hugging the sideline, Bosch produced a clever in field kick that eluded defenders and into the path of Am.

A tough pill to swallow but the team can hold their heads high after an inspired fightback. The Brumbies will host the Western Force on Friday as they look for their first win of the season.

Sharks 27 (Mtawarira, Am tries; Lambie conv; Lambie 5 pen goals) def. Brumbies 22 (Speight, Mann-Rea, Kurindrani tries; Hawera, Thompson convs; Hawera pen goal) at GIO Stadium, Canberra.

News Source: Brumbies Rugby