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Brumbies keep positive despite heartbreaker

Date

Chris Dutton

Brumbies lock Scott Fardy wins a lineout. Click for more photos

ACT Brumbies v Queensland Reds

All the action from the round 14 Super Rugby clash between the Queensland Reds and ACT Brumbies at Canberra Stadium. Photo: Colleen Petch

IT WAS heartbreaking and frustrating, but the ACT Brumbies are adamant their nail-biting loss to the Queensland Reds will not ruin their Super Rugby dreams as coach Jake White declared: ''We've got a belief we can win the competition.''

The Brumbies fell painfully short of toppling the defending champions at Canberra Stadium last night with the Reds holding on for a 13-12 win.

In an intense battle, the weight of expectation landed on rookie flyhalf Zack Holmes in the dying seconds when the Brumbies won a penalty which could have clinched a remarkable come-from-behind win.

But despite his superb kicking record in his limited experience, Holmes's shot from 38 metres out sailed less than a metre wide of the left post and the Reds left Canberra with their finals hopes still alive.

The Brumbies had built up the top-of-the-Australian-conference clash as a Super Rugby final.

Had they won they could have almost guaranteed themselves a spot in the finals for the first time in seven seasons.

But with four regular-season rounds remaining, the Reds and Brumbies are now neck-and-neck fighting for the one guaranteed spot for an Australian team.

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie turned the blowtorch on the Brumbies by saying: ''How do they come back from that?''

However, White insisted the one-point loss had not dented his young team's confidence.

Instead, White said it had given his team more self-belief as they chase a playoffs berth.

''If you put things in perspective, they've [the Reds] probably got more Test caps than we have Super Rugby caps, it's not all doom and gloom,'' White said.

''It was an opportunity to beat the champions … to get that close to a championship team means there are a lot of positives there.

''We're still top of [the ladder], we still have a chance to win our conference and we still have our destiny in our own hands.

''What a wonderful position to be in … there's a lot of rugby left, we've got a belief we can win the competition and now I think the belief is even bigger.''

The Brumbies and Reds were locked in a brutal contest for 70 minutes.

Reds fullback Luke Morahan was the only try-scorer in the match when he put on a burst of individual brilliance to gather a kick, chip and chase and win the race to the ball to open the scoring.

From there Mike Harris and Holmes traded penalty goals with both defences refusing to budge.

It was the first time in five seasons the Brumbies had failed to score a try in a match at home.

The Brumbies were superb under pressure. For almost 10 minutes the Reds peppered their try line to try to deliver the killer blow.

But just when the contest seemed over, Saia Faingaa gave away a penalty at the breakdown and Holmes courageously stepped up to take what could have been a match-winning shot.

Holmes had been suffering cramp for 15 minutes in just his second starting XV appearance.

And despite having just 200 minutes of Super Rugby experience, he almost slotted a shot which could have catapulted the Brumbies clear in the Australian conference.

Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen praised the 21-year-old after the match and his teammates surrounded him to offer their support.

''He's a tough little bugger, he cramped quite chronically and we got that penalty and he demanded to be the one taking the shot,'' Mowen said. ''That's what you want, guys stepping up in those hard times.

''He knows he's either the guy who won the game … he's just a fighter and one of the guys who has huge character.''

Mowen said the Brumbies would benefit from the experience of pushing last year's champion side.

''The way we fought off our line, the discipline we had … I take heaps of positives out of the change in temperament this team has,'' he said.

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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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