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

Date

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 -1vs FJI -1 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
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 22:00KPS
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
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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