The Brumbies have overcome their injury blues to shake off a dusty start and claim a gutsy 29-21 bonus point Super Rugby win over the Hurricanes in Wellington.
The ACT franchise delivered on captain Ben Mowen’s promise that they would put in an extra special performance for star Wallabies flanker David Pocock, who will miss the rest of the season after he underwent his second knee reconstruction in as many years earlier this week.
Wallabies centre Pat McCabe, who was a late addition to the starting line-up after a strain to his troubled neck last week, was superb with several line breaks and some hardy tackle busts.
So too was elusive fullback Jesse Mogg, who sparked the Brumbies comeback with some individual brilliance just before the break.
The home side raced into a 13-3 lead in dubious circumstances when, his side already 6-3 up, winger Cory Jane looked to have put a foot into touch before throwing a final pass to TJ Perenara.
The match officials opted against checking with the TMO and Beauden Barrett converted Perenara’s try for the 10-point advantage.
The Brumbies declined a penalty shot for the second time in the 35th minute, and the gamble paid dividends, Mogg gliding through a gaping gap from a centre field scrum.
Mogg sliced through again from the restart in blistering fashion, chipped ahead, regathered, pirouetted the fullback and then was brought down from behind in good field position.
Winger Robbie Coleman finished off the play in the corner to give the Brumbies a 15-13 lead at the break.
With things finally clicking for the Brumbies, it took just 90 seconds for Scott Fardy to be held up over the line after half time, and then another 90 seconds for outstanding centre Tevita Kuridrani to spin over the line at close range (22-13).
A 56th-minute Hurricanes penalty goal narrowed the gap to within a converted try, but the Brumbies held their nerve, McCabe chiming in several times in attack before replacement Lachlan McCaffrey scored the bonus-point try.
Hurricanes No.8 Blade Thomson scored a late five-pointer, but Barrett missed the conversion to let the bonus point slip.
Brumbies halfback Nic White had a stellar night with the boot with four goals from five attempts, while his halfback partner Matt Toomua went off in the second half – but it’s not believed to be a serious injury.