Jake's Brumbies win Oz derby
Cape Town - The Brumbies edged closer to clinching the Australian conference with a grinding 19-15 Super Rugby win over the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
The Brumbies maintained their five-point lead over defending champions Queensland Reds at the top of the Australian group with their first win in Sydney for a decade and their fifth consecutive away victory.
They will seal the conference and their place in this month's top-six playoffs by earning at least one point against the lowly Auckland Blues in Canberra next weekend.
The Waratahs hit the front 15-9 with just over 30 minutes left in a grinding Australian derby at the sparsely-populated Olympic stadium, only for the Brumbies to come home the stronger in the closing stages.
Fijian winger Henry Speight scored off Zack Holmes' floating pass, evading Wallabies' backs Adam Ashley-Cooper and Drew Mitchell on the right wing just after the hour.
The Waratahs, with 10 Wallabies in their starting XV, have now lost seven games by four points or less this season and are well out of contention for the playoffs later this month.
NSW scored two tries to the Brumbies' one with young flyhalf Holmes landing two penalties and a conversion and Jesse Mogg two penalties.
"It wasn't exactly the victory we were after, but you've got to give credit to the 'Tahs, they are a quality side across the park and coming up here and winning, it's not something the Brumbies have done since 2002," skipper Ben Mowen said.
"We keep breaking these hoodoos, we keep taking a step forward."
The Waratahs looked threatening at times and scored tries through Wallabies Tatafu Polota-Nau and Berrick Barnes, but made some crucial errors in the final quarter as the Brumbies hit back.
"It wasn't a good performance by us, we're a better team than that," Waratahs skipper Benn Robinson said.
"The Brumbies came out and played a solid game tonight and they deserved to win.
"As a team we'll definitely learn and grow from this. It is disappointing when we lose so closely."
The Waratahs can end the Queensland Reds' season if they win in Brisbane next Saturday in their final game of an underachieving campaign.
15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson
Substitutes: 16 Josh Mann-Rae, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Tom Carter, 22 Tom Kingston
15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Jesse Mogg, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander
Substitutes: 16 Anthony Hegaty, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Leon Power, 19 Ita Vaea, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Tevita Kuridrani, 22 Cam Crawford