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What we learned: Wellington Hurricanes v ACT Brumbies

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

SCOREBOARD

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.

THE OPENING TRY

The Brumbies were dudded in the 30th minute when the referees refused to send a decision to the television match official. The Hurricanes sent the ball wide and winger Cory Jane appeared to have his foot on the touch line before passing the ball back inside, ending with TJ Perenara scoring the first try of the game. It gave the Hurricanes a 13-3 lead. The touch judge was adamant Perenara was fine. Referee Craig Joubert asked for confirmation. The touch judge confirmed and the try was awarded. It was a major blow just 10 minutes before half-time after the Hurricanes failed to capitalise on their early opportunities. Video reviews cop a bad reputation for being used too often. But why didn’t the referees check a try which was so close to the line?

MOGG GETS HIS MOJO BACK

A round-one horror mistake threatened to haunt Jesse Mogg’s third Super Rugby season. But he has hit back in the best possible way with some brilliant performances. Mogg dropped a kick and failed to clean up his fumble against the Queensland Reds in the opening game, allowing the Reds to clinch victory. But he has shown it hasn’t affected his confidence. Mogg scored the opener for the Brumbies with superb speed to slip through a gap and score untouched. Just minutes later, he set up the Brumbies’ second try with a slicing midfield run. Mogg cleaned up a loose ball, ran through broken field, chipped, regathered and spun out of tackles. It led to Robbie Coleman scoring just before half-time.

WHAT NECK BRACE?

Pat McCabe has been plagued by injuries over the past two years, breaking his neck twice since November 2012. There were fears for his career when he was taken to hospital in a neck brace less than a week ago. McCabe was devastated and his teammates were heartbroken. He had a head knock in the pre-season trials and needed stitches in his head after round one. But you wouldn’t know it after McCabe’s outstanding game on Friday night. He had 12 runs in the first 45 minutes for 176 metres and broke 10 tackles. Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says the constant knocks have actually given McCabe more confidence in his neck. It’s showing in his on-field performances.

DO IT FOR POCOCK

Injured superstar David Pocock sent messages of support to the Brumbies before kick-off against the Hurricanes. Pocock had a knee reconstruction on Wednesday for the second time in 12 months. The Brumbies used his message to inspire them to a hard-fought victory. Pocock is one of the world’s best flankers. There were fears the Brumbies would suffer at the breakdown with Pocock out of action and George Smith saying he won’t be making a comeback to fill the role. But Wellington-born Brumby Jarrad Butler did a stellar job in his absence and the Brumbies were fierce at the breakdown. It was evident in the dying minutes when Scott Fardy made a super steal with the Hurricanes just five metres from the tryline and the game in the balance.

WARATAHS BLOCKBUSTER

The Brumbies now turn their attention to the high-flying NSW Waratahs and Israel Folau. The Waratahs have won their opening two games and have been by far the best team this season. Folau has scored five tries in two games. The Brumbies have gained momentum with two wins from three games, setting up a massive rivalry contest. The Brumbies were the NSW rejects when Super Rugby started in 1996. But Waratahs coach Michael Cheika makes no secret about his team’s desire for revenge after being embarrassed in Canberra last season. Brumbies playmaker Matt Toomua, playing his 50th game against the Hurricanes, was taken off after half-time with a shoulder injury. But the Brumbies are confident he will be fit to play NSW.

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Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
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Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
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