The Brumbies have won a Super 14 rugby thriller at Canberra Stadium, scoring a try with less than three minutes remaining to beat the Bulls 32-31 in a must-win clash for the hosts.
No 10 Christian Lealiifano crossed the line in the dying moments and Stirling Mortlock added the extras for the narrowest of victories.
The AAP reports that in claiming victory, the Brumbies earned a much-needed bonus point, keeping their 2009 finals hopes alive.
Mortlock, who shifted to the wing in a re-worked Brumbies backline, was crucial to the win, kicking three conversions and two penalties.
With their season on the line, the Brumbies looked to spread the ball early and it paid dividends with the home side crossing the line in the fourth minute through a try to blindside flanker Mitchell Chapman.
The Bulls hit back almost immediately when Lealiifano attempted to spread the ball wide, only for it to land in the clutches of winger Bryan Habana, who raced 60 metres to score under the post.
The Brumbies were in again five minutes later after outside centre Tyrone Smith, kicking from deep in his own half, found the touch line just five metres out from the Bulls line.
Lock Peter Kimlin then crossed for a try when the home side managed to win a lineout against the throw.
Mortlock, on fire with the boot, again added the extras, taking the score to 17-7.
But the Bulls weren’t done, replying just over 10 minutes later after exposing the Brumbies’ defence out wide, giving fullback Zane Kirchner the space to cross the line for the visitors’ second try.
Brumbies captain Stephen Hoiles scored in the corner on the stroke of halftime to help the home side take a 22-17 lead following a pulsating first half and the action continued right until the final whistle.
The Bulls took the lead for the first time in the match 20 minutes from fulltime when No.12 Wynand Olivier crossed and Morne Steyn kicked the extras to take the score to 24-22.
The visitors scored their fourth try with just over 10 minutes to go and looked like they would hold on for the win.
Mortlock kicked a penalty in the 72nd minute to chop the Bulls’ lead back to six, ensuring a thrilling finish to the match, before kicking the winning points following the Lealiifano try.
BRUMBIES 32 (Mitchell Chapman, Stephen Hoiles, Peter Kimlin, Christian Lealiifano tries, Stirling Mortlock 3 cons 2 pens)
BULLS 31 (Bryan Habana, Zane Kirchner, Wynand Olivier, Pierre Spies tries, Morne Steyn 4 cons pen)Tweet