It wasn’t the start to their Australasian tour the team from Johannesburg would have hoped for, and they now have to regroup for their remaining two tour matches in New Zealand against the Chiefs and the Crusaders.
While the Emirates Lions created enough scoring opportunities, their high error-rate would have been a big concern for the Highvelders’ coaching team, especially as they leaked 42 points against the Cell C Sharks at home last weekend.
Springbok speedster Aphiwe Dyantyi, restored to his usual spot on the wing after his cameo in the midfield last week, scored an early try for the visitors after Tom Wright was yellow carded for a tip-tackle on Malcolm Marx. The Brumbies speedily hit back with three tries of their own to take a 19-8 lead at the break.
Brumbies No 8 Lachlan McCaffrey burst over the line for their first try and he was followed by Toni Pulu and Tevita Kuridrani over the whitewash.
Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies scored a converted try 10 minutes into the second half, but just as it looked like the Emirates Lions were playing themselves back into the match, Tom Banks and Wright scored two quick tries as the hosts pulled away to stretch their lead to a comfortable 31-15 margin. Sylvian Mahuza scored a consolation try for the Highvelders.
Brumbies 31 (19) – Tries: Lachlan McCaffrey, Toni Pulu, Tevita Kuridrani, Tom Banks, Tom Wright. Conversions: Christian Lealiifano (3).
Emirates Lions 20 (8) – Tries: Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Sylvian Mahuza. Conversion: Jantjies. Penalty goal: Jantjies.