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Brumbies net emotional win over Stormers

REPLACEMENT scrumhalf Patrick Phibbs scored a try to cap an emotional Super 14 victory for the ACT Brumbies against South Africa's Stormers in atrocious weather conditions in Canberra yesterday.

Phibbs scored in the 60th minute and the home team held on for a 17-10 win to conclude a week in which lock Shawn Mackay died in a South African hospital.

The 27-year-old Phibbs went to high school with Mackay, who died on Monday in Durban after contracting a blood infection following surgery for injuries sustained when he was hit by a car.

Several players in the team huddle and on the replacements's bench wiped away tears after the crowd at Canberra Stadium produced a minute's applause before kickoff. Flags were at half mast.

The Brumbies wore black armbands, as they will for the remainder of the season, while Mackay's name, player No. (118) and years of his life (1982-2009) were embroidered on each of the Brumbies' jerseys.

In other Super 14 games yesterday, it was: Bulls 20, New South Wales Waratahs 6; and Otago Highlanders 24, Queensland Reds 19.

In Canberra, the match was played in chilly conditions and driving rain and the only points in the first half came from Brumbies fullback Mark Gerrard, who slotted three penalties to give his side a 9-0 lead at halftime.

Stormers captain Jean de Villiers produced a brilliant jinking run to get his side on the scoreboard in the 44th. Peter Grant converted the try before Gerrard scored his fourth penalty six minutes later.

Phibbs then slid over the line after a defensive error from the Stormers gave the Brumbies possession inside the visitors' 22-meter area with 20 minutes remaining.

The scrumhalf was immediately mobbed by his teammates before he broke away and stared skywards for a few seconds.

"I'm really proud of the boys, it wasn't pretty but it was a gutsy effort," Brumbies coach Andy Friend said in a televised interview. "We all lost a very good friend and great mate through the week so that one was for Macca and to his family."


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