The Brumbies have put the rest of the Super Rugby competition on notice, comprehensively defeating last year’s grand finalists the Hurricanes 52-10 at GIO Stadium.
The Brumbies started the opening game of the season slowly going behind 3-0 early following a penalty goal to Beauden Barrett, but after nine minutes the home side kicked into a higher gear and never looked back, their new attacking brand of rugby shining throughout the encounter.
Brumbies Co-captain Stephen Moore marked his 150th Super Rugby match with a stellar performance, scoring a try and carrying well all night. Moore’s work on defence was immense also. He was dominant across the park and a deserving winner of Man of the Match.
Tomas Cubelli made his Super Rugby debut and the Argentinian import electrified the Brumbies crowd of close to 13,400, scoring a try and creating a number of attacking opportunities with his trademark flair.
After levelling the scores at 3-3 following a Christian Lealiifano penalty goal, the Brumbies scored their first try of the evening, Tevita Kuridrani charging his way over the line from close range with defenders draped all over him. Lealiifano converted and the Brumbies had a 10-3 lead.
The next 15 minutes both sides traded possession but were unable to turn it into points. With 10 minutes to go in the half Cubelli dived over from close range to score his try. Lealiifano added the extras and the Brumbies had a 17-3 lead.
Just before halftime the Brumbies were in again. With the entire Hurricanes squad waiting for a maul, Ita Vaea caught a short lineout before Stephen Moore put David Pocock over the line with a move that will be played in highlight reels for some time. Lealiifano converted and the Brumbies had a 24-3 lead going in to the break.
during the round one Super Rugby match between the Brumbies and the Hurricanes at GIO Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Canberra, Australia.
The second half started just as the first ended, with the Brumbies on a roll. After just five minutes Scott Fardy crossed for a rare try following a Henry Speight break. Lealiifano made no mistake with the extras to make it 31-3.
The Hurricanes hit back almost immediately, Nehe Milner-Skudder breaking through a few would be tackles then drawing the fullback and putting Ngani Laumape in to the corner. Barrett slotted the sideline conversion and the Hurricanes had cut it back to 31-10.
The Brumbies hit back only a minute later, skipper Moore scoring off the back of a trademark rolling maul. Lealiifano continued his strong night with the boot and the Brumbies extended their lead to 38-10.
15 minutes later the Brumbies were at it again, the oldest player in the squad, Josh Mann-Rea, scoring his first ever Super Rugby try after another Brumbies rolling maul. Lealiifano nailed his sixth conversion and the Brumbies had a 45-10 lead.
Just two minutes later Mann-Rea was in the thick of the action again, making a break down the middle of the field and putting the crowd into a deafening roar, before a series of offloads led to Sam Carter scoring a try next to the posts. Lealiifano added the extra two points and the Brumbies lead 52-10.
The final 10 minutes of the game the Hurricanes pressed the Brumbies inside their 22 but the ACT side’s defence held strong. The match finished 52-10 to the Brumbies, an impressive statement to the rest of the competition.
The win was the Brumbies biggest ever over the Hurricanes and leaves the side in good stead heading into next Friday night’s blockbuster against the NSW Waratahs at GIO Stadium.
BRUMBIES – 52
Tries : Tevita Kuridrani(15), Tomas Cubelli(27), David Pocock(37), Scott Fardy (45) , Stephen Moore (51), Josh Mann-Rea (65), Sam Carter (68)
Penalties : Christian Lealiifano (9)
Drops : None
Cons : Christian Lealiifano (16, 28, 38,46,53, 66,69)
HURRICANES – 10
Tries : Ngani Laumape (47)
Penalties : Beauden Barrett(4)
Drops : None
Cons : Beauden Barrett (48)
Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Allan Alaalatoa
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Nigel Ah Wong
Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Blade Thomson, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Leni Apisai, 1 Reggie Goodes
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Otere Black, 23 Willis Halaholo
Date: Friday, February 26
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Michael Hogan (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)