Brumbies grind past Sharks
Jake White made a losing return to Canberra on Saturday as his Sharks were beaten 16-9 by his former team, the Brumbies, in very wet conditions.
Brumbies lock Sam Carter scored the only try of a dreadful game that is likely to go down as the least entertaining of the Super Rugby season.
With the opposing teams playing to a similar blueprint for success via territorial occupation, a dour first half characterised by endless kicking finished with the Brumbies leading 6-3.
The soggy conditions were hardly ideal for running rugby and neither side was willing to play at all in their own half. The result was a painfully boring 40 minutes of kick tennis.
The second half wasn't much better.
The Brumbies were rewarded for a rare bit of enterprise with Carter's try on the hour mark but the Sharks refused to open up as they chased the game, relying instead on their big pack and Frans Steyn's boot to squeeze out penalties.
The result nevertheless sees the Sharks retain top spot in the overall standings as a losing bonus point moves them one clear of the Chiefs and two ahead of the Brumbies.
Steyn and Christian Lealiifano had exchanged penalties to leave the Bumbies 9-6 up into the final quarter.
The Brumbies landed the killer blow however when Carter ran onto a pass from Nic White inside the Sharks' 22 and bolted through a big hole in the visitors' defence to score untouched.
The Sharks pushed hard for a reply but, faced with a well-organised Brumbies defence, had to settle for three pointer from Steyn to save the losing bonus point.
Pens: Leali'ifano 3
Pens: Steyn 3
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Fotu Auelua, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Ruaidhri Murphy, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Tom McVerry, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Pat McCabe.
Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S'bura Sithole, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 SP Marais.
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)