Vodacom Super 14

Brumbies edge Stormers

2009-04-11 11:36
The Brumbies' Mark Gerrard

Canberra – The Brumbies, playing their first match since the death six days ago of team-mate Shawn Mackay, beat South the  Stormers 17-10 in a Super 14 match on Saturday.

Mackay, a 26-year-old backrower, died in a Durban hospital on Monday from injuries he sustained when he was hit by a car following a Super 14 game against the Sharks.

The Brumbies, now 5-3 this season, led 9-0 at half-time after three penalties by Mark Gerrard. Rain began to fall in the ninth minute and continued for the remainder of the match in cold conditions.

Only try

Captain Jean de Villiers scored the Stormers' try two minutes into the second half, evading two tacklers and Peter Grant converted to pull the visitors to within two points.

But Patrick Phibbs, a former team-mate of Mackay's at Waverley College in Sydney, then scored the Brumbies' only try. Gerrard added a fourth penalty for the hosts, before Grant kicked a Stormers penalty.

The Stormers dropped to 2-6, their third loss in a row on a five-match New Zealand-Australia road trip.

Before the match on Saturday, the Brumbies players formed a circle on the ground to join a minute's applause for Mackay, with some wiping tears from their eyes with their jerseys.

To honour his memory, the Brumbies players wore uniforms with Mackay's name, the years of his life, 1982-2009, and his player number - 118 -embroidered on the chest. The No 18 jersey Mackay wore in his last match was retired for the rest of the year.

'Leave someone behind'

The players wore black armbands, and will do so for the remainder of the season. Flags around Canberra Stadium flew at half mast.

"It's great to get the win tonight, and to get a win for Shawn," acting Brumbies captain George Smith said.

"Because you're around the fellas all the time, you're reminded that we did leave someone behind.

"Our thoughts have been with the Mackay family for the past two weeks and thinking of them and thinking of Shawn as well. But we're never too far from what we need to do and focusing on playing some good football."

De Villiers said the rain and cold didn't help his side.

"The conditions weren't great, but it was another close loss by seven points," said De Villiers.


Brumbies: Try: Patrick Phibbs; Penalties: Mark Gerrard (4).

Stormers: Try: Jean de Villiers; Conversions: Peter Grant; Penalties: Grant.


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