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Brumbies dent Lions pride as six-try victory raises 'F' word


Chris Dutton

Joe Tomane of the Brumbies drives over for a try.

Joe Tomane of the Brumbies drives over for a try. Photo: Gallo Images

THE ACT Brumbies left Canberra as a young squad but will return with a slice of history and the growing belief they can be a genuine Super Rugby contender this year.

The Brumbies ended their two-week stint in South Africa in the best possible way when they thrashed the Johannesburg Lions 34-20 at Ellis Park yesterday morning.

The win made Jake White's new generation team just the third in Brumbies history to secure seven competition points or more on a two-game tour of South Africa.

Suddenly an unexpected seven-season drought-breaking finals appearance is within reach, with the Brumbies leading the Australian conference by six points.

But while they have already eclipsed their win tally from last season - beating the Lions was their fifth victory - the Brumbies are refusing to mention the ''f'' word and are adamant they remain grounded despite their amazing turnaround.

''Still don't want to think about [finals],'' White said. ''We can't get ahead of ourselves, now we just worry about the [NSW] Waratahs this week.

''If teams are sitting up and people are saying the Brumbies can now win [games], it's a great accolade to this group because everyone thought we were going to come last.

''The bottom line is there are a massive amount of positives out of that.''

The 14-point win marked a remarkable turnaround from a year ago when a loss to the Lions was one of the lowest point in the club's history.

Now the new era is gaining respect for their brilliant play and their never-say-die attitude.

They lost to the Pretoria Bulls last week, but secured two bonus points for losing by less than seven points and scoring five tries.

The winning margin against the Lions could have been far bigger had Jesse Mogg and Christian Lealiifano been on target, the duo only nailing two of eight penalty and conversion attempts.

But they left Johannesburg last night beaming with satisfaction.

Just two other Brumbies teams in Super Rugby history have left South Africa with a better record.

In 2000 and 2002 they returned to Canberra with two wins from two matches. Those teams boasted greats such as George Gregan, Stirling Mortlock, Stephen Larkham, Joe Roff and George Smith.

But stand-in skipper Stephen Moore said the little-known Brumbies were forging their own successful path despite lacking established star power.

''I felt [there was something special] from the moment I came back into pre-season,'' Moore said.

''We still haven't achieved anything and we're still learning, but everyone is working hard and it's a positive environment.

''I don't think I've ever come to South Africa and gone home with seven points … I'm over the moon and it's great for the group.''

Winger Henry Speight scored a double, props Ruaidhri Murphy and Ben Alexander got across the line and Andrew Smith scored his second try in two weeks. But the play that impressed White the most was when Lions winger Deon van Rensburg intercepted and four Brumbies ran him down over 70 metres to prevent him scoring.

The Brumbies' focus is now on NSW and their clash at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.

''It's phenomenal that this young group has been able to do what it has done here,'' White said. ''We stuck to the things we practiced and the things we've been working on for a long time are coming to fruition. Things are slowly coming together for us as a group.''

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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