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ACT Brumbies Vs. The Hurricanes
2016 Super Rugby Tournament, 27 February, 2016
|ACT Brumbies 52 defeated The Hurricanes 10|
|ACT Brumbies||The Hurricanes|
|Referee: A Lees|
|Touch judges: R Hoffman & M Hogan|
The Brumbies gave the Hurricanes a smashing in the Super Rugby opener, recording a 42-point win over last year’s runners-up.
Seven tries, all off them successfully converted, proved simply too much for the the Hurricanes to handle, the Brumbies gaining a bonus point for their trouble.
The Australian conference in the revamped Super Rugby kicks off with a replay of one of last year’s semi-finals when the Brumbies host the Hurricanes. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:45pm (AEDT).
Historically the Brumbies are very hard to topple at home. The Brumbies have made Canberra a fortress by winning 13 of their last 16 fixtures in the city. The Brumbies also carry the edge in the head-to-head battle with 12 wins to the Hurricanes nine.
However, the Hurricanes won the 2015 semi-final 29-9 and despite losing the redoubtable midfield paring of Ma Nonu and Conrad Smith still boast a threatening side. No less than seven All Blacks have been named.
The Hurricanes new midfield combination of Ngani Laumape and Vince Aso will be under intense scrutiny. Both are unproven at this level, but the young and potentially dynamic pair could cause carnage.
Laumape played for the New Zealand Schools’ in 2011 and then appeared in 30 NRL games for the New Zealand Warriors scoring 11 tries. Aso represented the New Zealand under-20s and was a regular for Auckland in the ITM Cup.
Elsewhere the Hurricanes have a settled look with nine starters still standing from last year’s final. Young hooker Leni Apisai will have his work cut out replacing injured captain Dane Coles and marking Stephen Moore in his 150th Super rugby game.
The Brumbies roster hints they will be one of the stronger teams in the Australian conference. Argentinian halfback Tomás Cubelli is a great addition to a side that includes 10 Wallabies.
The loose forward battle will be a mighty scrap. Scott Fardy, David Pocock and Ita Vaea line up against Brad Shields, Ardie Savea and Victor Vito. The Brumbies might have two out of three Wallabies in these spots but the Hurricanes trio are all of international class.
The established Hurricanes tighthead Jeff Toomaga-Allen will look to pressure Australian under-20s loosehead Allan Alaalatoa while Wallabies Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani could find holes in the midfield.
Rory Arnold is the tallest lock in Super Rugby and an obvious pain in the lineouts. The Hurricanes lineout was sometimes shaky last year and is missing veteran Jeremy Thrush.
The Brumbies had the best defence of all teams last year, conceding just 261 points and 21 tries.
The Hurricanes have a better record than many in Canberra, having won four times there in 10 raids. These wins were in 1998 (32-29), 2002 (20-13), 2008 (33-15) and 2010 (23-13). Against Australian sides, the Hurricanes have won 43 and lost 30.
The Brumbies won their most recent clash at Canberra in 2013, 30-23, with Christian Lealiifano kicking a record six penalties.
Brumbies by five.