The Brumbies have scored a narrow win over the NSW Waratahs at ANZ Stadium this evening, courtesy of a 77th minute try to Issak Fines.
It was a heartbreaking finish for Rob Penney’s side, who led for the majority of the match with Tom Horton and James Ramm scoring – while Will Harrison kicked three penalties.
Angus Bell was a late scratching for the evening after injuring his back in the warm up, replaced by Andrew Tuala.
The Brumbies hit the ground running at Homebush, with a cross-field kick from Noah Lolesio leading to a try to Tom Cusack in the opening exchanges.
Will Harrison’s radar was on early, taking the lead for the Tahs in the 14th minute with his second penalty, with the young flyhalf making his 17th consecutive conversion during the evening – eventually falling agonisingly short of Peter Hewat’s club record.
Tom Horton found the line on his starting debut, linking up cleverly with Mitch Short at the back of a rolling maul. Will Harrison and James Ramm showed some great vision for the Tahs second, catching the Brumbies napping with a quick tap and a pin-point cross-field kick.
The Brumbies struck back with two tries of their own, with Fainga’a and Valetini finding the line to claw their way back into the contest.
Points would be at a premium in the second half, with a Harrison penalty the only scoring play until Fines crossed over the take the lead at the death as the Brumbies returned to Canberra with the Dan Vickerman Cup.
Match Centre: click here
NSW Waratahs: (1-15) Tom Robertson, Tom Horton, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Ned Hanigan, Rob Simmons, Lachlan Swinton, Michael Hooper, Jack Dempsey, Mitch Short, Will Harrison, Alex Newsome (vc), Karmichael Hunt, Joey Walton, James Ramm, Jack Maddocks
Reserves: (16-23) Robbie Abel, Tetera Faulkner, Andrew Tuala, Tom Staniforth, Will Harris, Michael McDonald, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Ben Donaldson
Tries: Horton 24’, Ramm 29’
Conversions: Harrison 10’ (p), 15’ (p), 20’, 30’, 50’ (p)
Brumbies: (1-15) James Slipper, Folau Fainga’a, Allan Alaalatoa, Darcy Swain, Murray Douglas, Rob Valetini, Thomas Cusack, Pete Samu, Joe Powell, Noah Lolesio, Tom Wright, Irae Simone, Tevita Kurindrani, Andy Muirhead, Tom Banks
Reserves: (16-23) Connal McInerney, Scott Sio, Thomas Ross, Lachlan McCaffrey, Will Miller, Issak Fines, Bayley Kuenzle, Mackenzie Hansen
Tries: Cusack 5’, Fainga’a 34’, Valetini 37’, Fines 77’
Conversions: Kuenzle 38’, 79’
Yellow Cards: Muirhead 20’
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant 1: Amy Perrett
Assistant 2: Rueben Keane
TMO: James Leckie
5’ | TRY Brumbies | A cross-field from Lolesio is spilled in the in-goal by Harrison, as Tom Cusack cleans up the scraps and opens the scoring (0-5)
9’ | PENALTY Tahs | Harrison’s radar is on again tonight! He gets us on the scoreboard off the tee (3-5)
14’ | PENALTY Tahs | Harrison edges us in front with another pin-point kick (6-5)
20’ | YELLOW CARD Brumbies | Muirhead sees yellow after repeated infringements from the visitors in their own half (6-5)
23’ | TRY Tahs | Horton goes over on his starting debut! A lovely bit of work from Short to open up space as Horton rolled off the back of the maul to sneak over (13-5)
29’ | TRY Tahs | WHAT A TRY! A quick tap from Harrison, a perfect cross-field kick and some great vision from Ramm sees the winger slide over for our second! (20-5)
33’ | TRY Brumbies | Fainga’a finds the line off the back of a rolling maul (20-10)
36’ | TRY Brumbies | The visitors go back-to-back through Valetini (20-17)
49’ | PENALTY Tahs | Harrison knocks one over to extend our lead (23-17)
77’ | TRY Brumbies | Fines darts through from close range to score under the posts as the Brumbies take the lead (23-24)
From the press conference:
"We just need to find a way.”
"There’s a lot of pats on the back for a loss there and it annoys me a bit. There has to be some resilience there to show up again next week. It’s not going to be easy. We showed we’re a growing team. We’re on that trajectory but we’ve got to win. We can’t just keep saying, 'oh that was good'. We lost a game.” Rob Simmons, NSW Captain
"You were against an experienced side and they weren't going to lay down.”
"Our boys could easily have had their confidence dented [before half-time] but came out fighting and scrapping in the second half.
“There's some bitterly disappointed boys in the change room." Rob Penney, NSW Coach