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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 0vs ROM 0 02:45Leicester City Stadium
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 3 0 3 0 -49 0
Uruguay 2 0 2 0 -107 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 3 2 1 0 56 11
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 2 0 2 0 -32 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Tonga 3 1 2 0 -22 6
Georgia 3 1 2 0 -71 4
Namibia 2 0 2 0 -58 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Canada 3 0 3 0 -71 1
Romania 2 0 2 0 -61 0
View all

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