Brumbies fight off brave 'Tahs
Canberra - The Brumbies ended the Waratahs' winning start to the Super 15 season with a thrilling 28-23 victory in Canberra on Saturday.
The Brumbies supplanted the Waratahs at the top of the Australian conference despite playing the final 20 minutes a man down, after two yellow cards.
The home side had to defend grimly to hold out the fast-finishing Waratahs, who piled on 14 late points to trail 25-23 with six minutes left.
But a last-minute penalty goal from scrum-half Nic White ensured the points would remain in the national capital after a fiercely-fought Australian derby.
The Brumbies trailed 6-3 early, but hit the front when White crossed in the 14th minute.
Brumbies Jesse Mogg got one over his celebrated opposing fullback Israel Folau when he chipped over Folau's head and won the race to ground the ball for a 17-6 lead.
The Brumbies' scrum was so dominant early that not only did they force a short arm penalty from a Waratahs feed late in the first half, but earned a penalty off the ensuing scrum to open up a 20-9 lead at halftime.
The home side had all the early chances in the second half and skipper Ben Mowen turned down two shots at goal to go after a try only for the Waratahs to repel them both times.
Centre Tevita Kuridrani extended the home side's lead to 16 points with a try before Matt Toomua was given a yellow card in the 60th minute for not rolling away from a tackled player.
The Tahs made the most of their numerical advantage through Michael Hooper's try to narrow the gap to 25-16.
Another Brumbies yellow card to reserve prop Juan Smith with seven minutes to go again had the Brumbies under pressure.
Folau brushed aside four players to score in the corner with six minutes left with Bernard Foley converting to trail by just two points.
But the Brumbies hung on, with White, who kicked five from six, slotting a penalty.
Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen said to hold the Waratahs' attack to just nine points for the first 60 minutes spoke volumes about his side's grit.
But he lamented the two late yellow cards that almost cost them the match.
"We were very disappointed in that. Discipline goes hand in hand with how we want to play," he said.
"That's not something you can do regularly and expect to get a result."
The Brumbies' celebrations were tempered by a possible serious jaw injury to winger Henry Speight, who came off in the first half.
Brumbies: 28 - Tries: Nic White, Jesse Mogg, Tevita Kuridrani; Conversions: White (2); Penalties: White (3)
Waratahs: 23 - Tries: Michael Hooper, Israel Folau; Conversions: Bernard Foley (2); Penalties: Foley (3) Brumbies:
15. Jesse Mogg, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Pat McCabe, 11. Robbie Coleman, 10. Matt Toomua, 9. Nic White, 8. Ben Mowen (captain), 7. Jarrad Butler, 6. Scott Fardy, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Leon Power, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16. Josh Mann-Rea, 17. Ruan-Henry Smith, 18. Jean-Pierre Smith, 19. Jordan Smiler, 20. Locky McCaffrey, 21. Michael Dowsett, 22. Andrew Smith, 23. Lionel CronjéWaratahs:
15. Israel Folau, 14. Alofa Alofa, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12. Kurtley Beale, 11. Peter Betham, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Nick Phipps, 8. Wycliff Palu, 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Dave Dennis (captain), 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Jacques Potgieter, 3. Paddy Ryan, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. Benn Robinson
Substitutes: 16. Tola Latu, 17. Jeremy Tilse, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. Will Skelton, 20. Stephen Hoiles, 21. Brendan McKibbin, 22. Rob Horne, 23. Matt Carraro