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Brumbies turn to heavy artillery to see off Moana Pasifika threat

Super Rugby strugglers pushed Brumbies most of the way in Canberra but couldn't find an answer to home side's fearsome set piece. The Brumbies turned to heavy artillery to see off Moana Pasifika in an entertaining, back-and-forth affair in Canberra, winning 62-36 thanks to four tries off the back of their set piece. Luke Reimer grabbed two of them as they lent on their precision, before they opened up late when Ryan Lonergan changed the game off the bench. Coach Stephen Larkham admitted there will be plenty to polish up from the performance, but said they had embraced the battle to ensure their backs could thrive late in the piece. Former Brumby Christian Leali'ifano impressed on his first trip to Canberra as an away player, steering Moana around the park well and slotting 11 points from the kicking tee.

Brumbies turn to heavy artillery to see off Moana Pasifika threat

Published : 7 days ago by in

A heavy dose of lineout power has carried the Brumbies to a fourth straight Super Rugby Pacific win, seeing off Moana Pasifika in an entertaining, back-and-forth affair in Canberra.

They were down 14-3 inside 10 minutes and couldn't shake off Moana until deep in the second half, winning 62-36 thanks to four tries off the back of their set piece.

Flanker Luke Reimer grabbed two of them as they lent on their precision, before they opened up late when reserve halfback Ryan Lonergan changed the game off the bench.

To their credit, Moana simply wouldn't give up in a match where the lead changed five times but the Brumbies put the hammer down with four late tries.

The Brumbies' backs enjoyed the open space provided by the tiring Moana bodies with Corey Toole, Andy Muirhead and Ben O'Donnell among the scorers.

It leaves the Brumbies 4-0 heading to their first New Zealand trip of the season, set to tackle the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday night.

Coach Stephen Larkham admitted there will be plenty to polish up from the performance, but said they had embraced the battle to ensure their backs could thrive late in the piece.

"You grind away for 60 minutes and then you eventually break the opposition and get a couple of tries, that is entertaining for the crowd," he said.

"When we had a bit of ball-in-space ... that's an element of our game we certainly want to improve, we don't want to be a team that plays tight games every week.

"We want to have the ability to score tries from range ... there's certainly a couple of passages there that we can take a lot of positives out of.

"We've got to be happy with 62 (points) for sure … (but) we know on Monday there's a bit of work to do."

Lonergan made another argument for Wallabies selection, steering his side to victory in his second-half stint with some key passes creating scoring opportunities.

But they will need to give their game a serious tune-up if they're to test the New Zealand sides, looking porous defensively in conceding five tries and giving the Pasifika team a huge sniff of their first win on Australian soil.

They had spotted Moana the early buffer courtesy of a loose Noah Lolesio pass that flanker Miracle Faiilagi returned 70m for a try, before Alamanda Motuga powered from a set piece to leave the rattled Brumbies 11 points in the hole.

Former Brumby Christian Leali'ifano impressed on his first trip to Canberra as an away player, steering Moana around the park well and slotting 11 points from the kicking tee.

"Really proud of our boys, for 60 minutes we were right in the contest. It highlighted some of the gaps we've still got in our game, but you couldn't fault the effort," Moana coach Aaron Mauger said.

"We didn't quite nail a couple of lineout defensive mauls there, we were probably a little bit too soft for them.

"We couldn't really slow their ball up and put them under pressure, we expected that though and we were able to really impose our game as well.

"We're aware of those gaps and we'll keep plugging away."

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