Fainga'a hat-trick not enough as Brumbies lose thriller to Highlanders
Cape Town - A hat-trick of tries by hooker Folau Fainga'a was not enough as the Brumbies lost a Super Rugby thriller to the Highlanders in a wet Canberra.
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The New Zealand franchise ran out 23-22 winners in a close-matched encounter thanks to a converted Teariki Ben-Nicholas try two minutes after the final hooter.
Fainga'a seemed to have won the match for the home side with two tries in the first half and his third coming in the second stanza with 15 minutes left in the match.
Noah Lolesio and Ryan Lonergan added a conversion each with Longergan also kicking a late penalty.
The Highlanders other try was scored by Jona Nareki with Josh Ioane adding a conversion and three penalties.
Next week the Brumbies are away to the Chiefs while the Highlanders travel to the Crusaders.
Tries: Folau Fainga'a (3)
Conversions: Noah Lolesio, Ryan Lonergan
Penalty: Ryan Lonergan
Tries: Jona Nareki, Teariki Ben-Nicholas
Conversions: Josh Ioane (2)
Penalties: Josh Ioane (3)
15 Tom Banks, 14 Solomone Kata, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Will Miller, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Murray Douglas, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper
Substitutes: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Tom Ross, 18 Scott Sio, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Len Ikitau, 23 Andy Muirhead
15 Josh McKay, 14 Sio Tomkinson, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Josh Ioane, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 7 James Lentjes (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Jesse Parete, 4 Josh Dickson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone
Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Conan O’Donnell, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Dillon Hunt, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Michael Collins, 23 Teariki Ben-Nicholas