ACT Brumbies end Hurricanes’ unbeaten run in Super Rugby Pacific

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Wellington-based Hurricanes’ unbeaten start in Super Rugby Pacific ended Saturday when they lost 27-19 to the ACT Brumbies in round 10.

A week after losing 46-7 to the second-place Blues, the Brumbies pulled off one of the upsets of the season in beating the first-place Hurricanes.

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The Brumbies have dominated the Hurricanes in Canberra, with the New Zealand side having lost its last six matches in the Australian capital. The Hurricanes last won in Canberra in 2017.

Two tries in the middle of the first half allowed the Brumbies to build a 21-5 lead after 19 minutes which became 24-5 after a penalty to flyhalf Noah Lolesio.

The Hurricanes cut the lead to 24-12 at halftime and and outscored the Brumbies 7-3 in a tight second half but never held the lead.

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The Brumbies were physical and were able to bring their strong ball runners into the game Saturday, which they weren’t able to do against the Blues. Center and player of the match Tamati Tua was especially effective, scoring a try and making several line breaks.

The Brumbies took the lead in the fifth minute with a try to Lolesio after a lineout drive. Ryan Lonergan whipped to the flyhalf on the left flank and he was able to beat the defense in the corner.

Prop Xavier Numia scored the first of his two tries in the 12th minute to reduce the Brumbies’ lead. But tries to Tua and winger Ollie Sapsford gave the Brumbies a comfortable lead which the Hurricanes couldn’t bridge.

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Numia scored his second try before halftime and center Jordie Barrett scored in the second half but the Brumbies held on for a win which will keep them inside the top four for another week.

Earlier Saturday, winger Taniela Rakuro scored two tries as the Fijian Drua held on to beat Moana Pasifika 24-17 in Lautoka, Fiji after leading 17-0 at halftime.

The win solidifies the Drua’s place in the top-eight playoff zone while Moana Pasifika is hanging on to eighth place. The Drua also remain unbeaten in Lautoka this season.

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The home team bookended the first half with tries to Rakuro after two minutes and Selestino Ravutaumada in the 36th minute.

Moana Pasifika got on the board with a try to Henry Taefu but Rakuro’s second try in the 69th minute extended the Drua’s lead. They were able to hang on, though Moana Pasifika finished strongly with tries to Sione Havili-Talituli and Sama Malolo.

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AP rugby: https://apnews.com/hub/rugby





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