Brumbies end British and Irish Lions unbeaten run

The Brumbies ended the British and Irish Lions unbeaten run on their 2013 tour of Australia with a 14-12 victory in Canberra on Tuesday.

Super Rugby’s leaders played a territorial game and their forwards got the better of the Lions forwards who struggled in the line outs and scrum.

The Lions did not have ideal preparations as three players in the starting line up only joined the tour in the last week due to their backline injuries but the tourists should still have been able to pull off the victory.

In earlier tour matches the Lions have not struggled to score tries but in Canberra they were kept tryless as the only five pointer of the match was scored by the home side.

Just four days out from the opening Test with the Wallabies, the injury-hit
Lions were uncharacteristically nervous and hesitant in the face of the Brumbies
determination.

It was the first win by a provincial side against the Lions since Queensland
beat the tourists in 1971 and they were also only the sixth Australian side
to keep the Lions try-less.

The Brumbies, who have already qualified for the Super Rugby playoffs, were
without six Wallabies in camp but they still had enough to embarrass the Lions
before 21,655 fans in chilly Canberra.

They scored the only try of the match in the fifth minute through Tevita Kuridrani,
while fullback Jesse Mogg converted three penalties.

The Lions points came from two penalties each from Stuart Hogg and his second
half replacement Owen Farrell.

“We got physically beaten at the breakdown and set pieces and the Brumbies
were hungrier than us,” Lions skipper Rory Best said.

“We were a little nervy out there and we misfired at times.”

The Lions encountered stiff resistance from the Brumbies from the kickoff and
were rocked by some committed defence.

The Brumbies struck first when Fijian centre Kuridrani exposed some weak defence
to score the opening try in the fifth minute.

Mogg initiated the chance with a long pass to Andrew Smith who linked with
Kuridrani on the left-hand touchline.

Kuridrani easily beat the tackles from tour debutant Christian Wade and fullback
Rob Kearney to score wide out.

The tourists resorted to high kicks from Hogg and Ben Youngs but they made
little impression on the Brumbies, who looked the better side in the opening
half.

The Brumbies missed three kicks at goal before Mogg landed a penalty for an
8-0 lead one minute from halftime.

The Lions faced going in scoreless at halftime for the first time since the
1980 tour of South Africa against Orange Free State before Hogg kicked a penalty
on the siren.

It was an uncertain opening for the Lions with several fumbles and two lineouts
given away on poor throws from hooker Best.

Welsh wing Shane Williams, who was summoned to Australia to help the injury
depleted squad, almost scored with his first touch before he was bundled into
touch and on another occasion he was in the clear but was called back for putting
his foot in touch.

Mogg stretched the Brumbies’ lead to 11-3 with a 45th-minute penalty as the
Lions looked clueless in attack.

Scottish prop Ryan Grant conceded a penalty for twisting the head of Scott
Sio and Mogg made them pay with his third penalty and a 11-point lead.

Hogg pulled three points back with his 57th-minute penalty, but he hit the
upright with his next attempt to howls of delight from the home crowd.

Coach Warren Gatland brough on replacements — Geoff Parling, Richard Hibbard,
Alex Corbisiero, Dan Cole, and Dan Lydiate — to stir up the tourists and the
introduction of fly-half Farrell got some much needed attacking rhythm.

Farrell kicked a penalty for the tourists to trail 14-9 with 16 minutes remaining,

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