ACT Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher praised outgoing players George Gregan, Stephen Larkham, and Jeremy Paul after the trio helped the side to a hard-fought home victory over the Crusaders on Saturday.
The Brumbies neutralised the potent Crusaders attack with hard-hitting tackles up front and scrambling defence on the cover to grind out a 15-6 win over the Super 14 leaders.
Fisher also commended the effort of his side in a try-less contest, attributing it to the desire to give Gregan, Larkham, and Paul the ideal send-off in their farewell game in Canberra.
"I think the desperation and just really wanting to win to send those three marvellous players off with a win at Canberra Stadium just gave us a little bit of an edge on the night," Fisher said.
"With some of the scramble and the amazing effort to keep them off our line, and to force turnovers, I really think some of the guys dug deeper than they thought they could, so it’s a tremendous result for us."
The trio were honoured in a ceremony after the match, and then performed a lap of honour that lasted over an hour as they mingled with the crowd and signed autographs.
Fisher also left all three players on the field for the full 80 minutes, instead of taking them off as he had done in previous rounds to give his younger charges experience.
"I think that’s the least they deserve after the years of dedication they’ve given here, so we certainly wanted to give them their final minutes in a win here at Canberra Stadium," Fisher said.
"They’ve certainly been magnificent for the Brumbies for many years, and it’s not just the qualities they bring on the park, but I think their contribution to the culture and to the ongoing culture of the Brumbies is magnificent."