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    Brumbies hold off brave Sharks

    2014-05-10 13:21
    Canberra - Jake White has had a losing return to Canberra as the Brumbies ground out a 16-9 win over Super 15 leaders Sharks on Saturday.

    As it happened: Brumbies v Sharks

    Jake White had a losing return to Canberra as the ACT Brumbies ground out a 16-9 win over Super 15 leaders Sharks on Saturday.

    The Brumbies scored the only try of a dour match in wet conditions with an over-emphasis on field kicking from both sides.

    Lock Sam Carter scored the sole try surging through a hole in the Sharks defence off a short pass from scrum-half Nic White in the 63rd minute.

    The Durban team's chances were not helped by an off-night from their Springbok goalkicker Frans Steyn, who missed three penalty attempts and was astray with his general kicking.

    White's return to Canberra added spice to the top-of-the-table showdown, after the former World Cup-winning Springbok coach quit the Brumbies halfway through a four-year contract after steering the Canberra-based side to last year's Super 15 final.

    It was a triumph for former Wallaby flyhalf and now coach Stephen Larkham, whose Brumbies side shaded the Sharks in a physical forwards-dominated contest with both teams obsessed with kicking for field position.

    There was a total of 98 kicks in the stop-start match with very little ball in hand attacking movements.

    "We had our chances in the beginning to get the scoreboard rolling and maybe create a bit of distance, but we missed those," White said.

    "The game goes in momentum. When we had the momentum we lost it and when they got the momentum they took charge of it.

    "I'm sure we'll play the Brumbies again this year so you'd rather win the next one."

    While Steyn was having problems, finishing with three penalties from six attempts, Christian Lealiifano landed three penalties and a conversion from seven shots to keep the home side ahead in the second half.

    Two of Lealiifano's penalty attempts hit the upright, but in the end it didn't prove costly for the Brumbies.

    The Sharks took a losing bonus point out of the defeat to lead the competition by one point on 36 points from defending champions Chiefs (35) and the Brumbies (34).

    "It was a hugely rewarding result, any time you get a win over the Sharks is good, especially in the context that they have been leading the competition this year," Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen said.

    "The boys had to dig deep in tough conditions but I thought we managed it well."

    It was the Brumbies' fifth straight win at home this season, while the Sharks now head to New Zealand for two tough matches against the Crusaders and Auckland Blues.

    The Brumbies are likely to be without winger Joe Tomane for some weeks with a suspected fractured eye socket after a collision with a teammate in a tackle in the first half.

    The Brumbies, who lead the Australian conference by five points, now head off for a two-match tour to South Africa, beginning with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein next weekend.

    Scorers:

    Brumbies - Try: Sam Carter; Conversion: Christian Lealiifano; Penalties: Lealiifano (3)

    Sharks - Penalties: Frans Steyn (3)


    Teams:


    Brumbies

    15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 Jarrad Butler, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Fotu Auelua, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio

    Substitutes: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Ruaidhri Murphy, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Tom McVerry, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Pat McCabe

    Sharks
    15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Francois Steyn, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira

    Substitutes: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 SP Marais


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