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Super Rugby: ACT Brumbies defeat Hurricanes in bonus-point win

Hurricanes 21 Brumbies 29

Jesse Mogg of the Brumbies evades the defence of Alapati Leiua of the Hurricanes during the round four Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Brumbies at Westpac Stadium on March 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Click for more photos

Brumbies too strong for the Hurricanes

The Brumbies take on the Hurricanes in Wellington in round four of the 2014 Super Rugby season. Photo: Hagen Hopkins

The ACT Brumbies used injured superstar David Pocock as the inspiration for their bonus-point win over the Wellington Hurricanes in New Zealand on Friday night.

But it was injury-plagued fighter Pat McCabe who produced his best game in two years to drive the Brumbies to a crucial 29-21 victory.

Hurricanes versus Brumbies
View Match Statistics
Players Perenara (31min), Thomson (78min) Tries 2 Tries 4 Players Mogg (35min), Coleman (39min), Kuridrani (43min), McCaffrey (71min)
Players Barrett 1/2 (50%) Conversions 1 Conversions 3 Players White 3/4 (75%)
Players Barrett 3/3 (100%) Penalty goals 3 Penalty goals 1 Players White 1/1 (100%)
Players Drop goals 0 Drop goals 0 Players

Inside-centre McCabe was outstanding, playing just six days after being taken to hospital in a neck brace and fearing his Super Rugby career was over.

McCabe has broken his neck twice since November 2012 and suffered another knock on the same spot last weekend.

So as Pocock sat in a Brisbane hospital contemplating another year out of the game following a knee reconstruction, it was fitting that McCabe, one of the most courageous players in Super Rugby, delivered his best performance since breaking his neck.

McCabe said his neck pain last week gave him confidence to get back to his robust playing style.

The hard-nosed centre was instrumental, dominant and tough in his efforts, handing off the last pass for the Brumbies to secure a vital bonus-point try and their second win of the season.

''Everyone knows how much Poey is hurting right now; it's hard to know what to say,'' McCabe said.

''It's shattering for the whole team; we saw all the work he did. He's a heartbeat of the organisation; it meant a lot to get a win tonight for him.

''I'm starting to feel comfortable and it's nice to string a few games for a change.''

McCabe had more than a dozen runs for more than 200 metres and broke more than 10 tackles.

The Brumbies went on a destructive three-try burst in the 15 minutes before and after half-time. Jesse Mogg, Robbie Coleman and Tevita Kuridrani lifted the Brumbies to the lead with tries before Lachlan McCaffrey scored the clincher - and secured a four-try bonus point - with less than 10 minutes left in the game.

It was a crucial win going into next weekend's derby clash against the high-flying NSW Waratahs at Canberra Stadium.

The only concern was flyhalf Matt Toomua who, playing his 50th Super Rugby game, left the field with a shoulder problem, but is expected to take on the Waratahs.

''We lost a bit of control in the first half; we had five opportunities to score that we didn't take,'' said coach Stephen Larkham.

''A little bit was through impatience, but the pleasing thing was that we put in a good performance in the second half.''

The Hurricanes scored the first try through halfback T.J. Perenara. But it was the result of a controversial decision by the touch judge.

Hurricanes winger Cory Jane appeared to be out when he passed the ball back inside.

Referee Craig Joubert was unsighted and asked for confirmation.

Instead of sending the decision to the television match official, the touch judge said he was certain Jane was in the field of play.

Replays showed Jane had his left foot on the line, but the decision stood. It could have derailed the Brumbies, but they hit back with two tries in the last five minutes of half.

Fullback Mogg bounced back to his best form, producing silky skills at the end of the first half to score the Brumbies' first try and then going on a swerving run, chipping, regathering and spinning in the lead-up to Coleman's try.

Brumbies captain Ben Mowen said the team was determined to win to ease Pocock's post-surgery pain.

''He's our best mate who's hurting, the only thing we could do was put in a performance like that,'' Mowen said.

ACT BRUMBIES 29 (Jesse Mogg, Robbie Coleman, Tevita Kuridrani, Lachlan McCaffrey tries; Nic White 3 cons, pen) bt WELLINGTON HURRICANES 21 (TJ Perenara, Blade Thompson tries; Beauden Barrett 3 pens, con) at Westpac Stadium on Friday night. Referee: Craig Joubert. Crowd: 8396.

14 comments so far

  • fantastic crowd. 8396. show's how super this rugby comp is.

    not so super
    Date and time
    March 07, 2014, 9:25PM
    • No it shows how woeful this Hurricanes team is. I thought about going then thought why waste time & money on watching these soulless, bumblers?

      Mark Hammett was brought into harness the Cane's attack & provide some direction & structure to balance the wizardry. All he's done is stifle a once great attack & alienate fans without any semblance of improvement to the defence or structure of the team. The players don't look to be enjoying the game & the franchise is a pale shadow of its former self. They may not have been a championship team before Hammett arrived but they were at least worth the price of admission for entertainment value.

      Has to be the worst coach in the NZ conference closely followed by the plodder at the helm of the Crusaders!

      Date and time
      March 08, 2014, 9:00AM
    • Camoatic,

      I'm not one to call for coaches blood, but time for Blackadder to get the chop. He's got the piggies to win the 4N comp, let alone S15. But the backline would be lucky to run through a ticker-tape parade. Not one ounce of spark there. Makes the Japies backlines look like the Welsh of the 70s

      Date and time
      March 08, 2014, 2:43PM
    • And its a sad thing to say for a Crusaders supporter, but Pat McCabe would add some spark and creativity to Crusaders backline! Now thats somewhat of an insult to Crusaders.

      Gone are the days of the creative likes of Mauger, Gear, MacDonald. It would be easier to take if the forward pack was poor. Its going to be a long season. Sigh

      Date and time
      March 08, 2014, 2:47PM
  • Dear me, why would you bother? Exactly what about this sport frightens you so, that you would read an article and leave a silly comment about it, when you clearly dislike the game so much?
    They do say that it is because light travels faster than sound, that some people appear half smart before they open their mouths... however, in your case, I'm willing to venture that there isn't any requirement for a re-appraisal.

    Date and time
    March 07, 2014, 10:25PM
    • Fantastic comment, shows how super you are.

      Great game! Go Brumbies!

      Date and time
      March 08, 2014, 1:42AM
      • @Not so Super. How about 27,000 + turning out for the Reds!!! Dream on Leaguie....Rugby is a far more global game than League ever will be.

        Date and time
        March 08, 2014, 3:50AM
        • So Kiwis are fickle too :) ? But well played Brumbies. Good game.

          Date and time
          March 08, 2014, 5:03AM
          • Mmmm wouldn't go so far to say fickle its more that the franchise management has alienated the fan base.

            They've brought in an unproven outsider who sacked 2 proven All Blacks (1 of whom was a hometown favorite) & lost a 3rd because of it, all on the promise of better things to come.

            The axing's annoyed a huge section of the fan base before he's abysmal performance is even taken into account.... they're playing the worst football I ever seen from them.

            Who wants to pay good money to watch a losing team, coached by an amateur, play appallingly bad rugby? Especially when the NZ festival is on in Wellington & is in competition for your time & money.

            Date and time
            March 08, 2014, 4:49PM
        • It was nice to see Pat McCabe used as a wide running back for a change, instead of the usual battering ram role he has to play.
          I think he clearly showed that he is quite capable of filling any position from 11 - 15 on his day and last night he really had a day out and terrorised the Hurricanes defence every time he touched the ball,

          Date and time
          March 08, 2014, 9:24AM

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