Speight's try ends Brumbies hoodoo

 

melbourne

The ACT Brumbies snapped a 10-year losing streak in Sydney yesterday when they beat the New South Wales Waratahs 19-15, boosting their hopes of a place in Super Rugby's post-season play-offs.

The Waratahs led by six points heading into the final quarter, but a 61st-minute try from the Brumbies winger Henry Speight and a Jesse Mogg penalty eased the pressure. The visitors' defence kept the home side scoreless until the final whistle.

The result saw the Brumbies retain their five-point lead over the Queensland Reds, the Super Rugby champions, in the Australian conference. The Canberra-based team should seal the title in the final round next week, when they return home to face the lowly Blues from Auckland.

Berrick Barnes was one of the few bright spots of a disappointing night for the Waratahs. The Wallaby playmaker set up his team's first try, scored by the barnstorming hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, with a quick tap from a penalty in the 31st minute. However, the hosts were made to pay for indiscipline, and allowed three penalty goals that saw the Brumbies go in at half-time with a 9-5 lead.

Barnes spun out of two tackles and collided with one of the uprights before slamming the ball over the line in the 57th minute, to put the Waratahs 13‑9 in front.

The Brumbies responded four minutes later with the fly-half Zack Holmes hurling a long ball wide to Speight, who danced around a tackler on the right touchline and cantered over near the right corner. In the 64th minute Mogg, from 35 metres out on a tight angle, curled his penalty kick back just enough to give the hosts a four-point lead that was then defiantly defended.

"It wasn't exactly the victory we were after... but there's quality across that [Waratahs] pack," said the Brumbies captain Ben Mowen. "I'm really proud of these guys, we keep breaking these hoodoos... I thought our defence was much improved from the week before. It's good now, because we can say one game [to go] and then finals."

The winners of the Australia, New Zealand and South Africa conferences automatically qualify for the play-offs of the southern-hemisphere provincial competition, while the next best three teams in the overall standings also go through.

In South Africa yesterday, Elton Jantjies held his nerve to land a late conversion and a penalty as the Lions overcame a fierce second-half fightback from the Melbourne Rebels to win 37-32.

Neither side had anything to play for regarding the play-offs and only a handful of fans turned up at Ellis Park in Johannesburg to watch the Lions' final home game of a desperately disappointing season. However, the Currie Cup champions rewarded the sparse crowd with a rare victory, giving them a chance of avoiding last place.

James Hilgendorf's contentious try had given the Rebels a slender lead going into the final 15 minutes of the match, but Jaco Kriel dived over for the Lions with a little more than five minutes left before Jantjies made sure of the win with a penalty.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower