The Brumbies climbed to the top of the Super Rugby AU table after claiming a 24-0 victory over the Western Force in Sydney on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
The win – the Brumbies’ eighth successive victory over the Force – had the Canberra-based team leapfrog the Reds into first place in the standings by three points.
It was a rather one-sided match where the Brumbies raced into a 12-0 lead in the opening six minutes and never looked like losing control of the contest.
Unfortunately, the attacking verve that the Force had shown up until this point was missing, while they still had issues with their defensive structures.
It was a flying start for the visitors as wing Tom Wright finished off an attacking move that started with a scrum inside their own 22 in the opening 90 seconds of the match.
Minutes later, the try was almost replicated as the Brumbies won a turnover near their own line and released Wright out wide, who this time passed on his inside to see Irae Simone score.
Unfortunately, the game then deteriorated from there, with both sides getting opportunities, but neither showing the composure to get the ball over the tryline. Wright came close to getting a brace just before the break, but knocked the ball on near the tryline, with the Brumbies taking their 12-0 lead into half time.
It was another fast start from the Brumbies in the second half as they worked their way into the Force 22, before Will Miller did well to shrug off a tackle and reach over to score in the corner before being tackled out.
The Brumbies continued to dominate the second half and scored their fourth try when replacement hooker Connal McInerney scored from the back of a massive driving maul.
Brumbies – Tries: Tom Wright, Irae Simone, Will Miller, Connal McInerney. Conversions: Bayley Kuenzle (2).
Western Force – 15 Jack McGregor, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Brad Lacey, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Tevin Ferris, 6 Henry Stowers, 5 Fergus Lee Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush (c), 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Angus Wagner.
Subs: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tom Sheminant, 19 Ollie Atkins 20 Ollie Callan, 21 Jacob Abel, 22 Richard Kahui, 23 Kyle Godwin.
Brumbies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Solomone Kata, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Bayley Kuenzle, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Will Miller, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Nick Frost, 4 Murray Douglas, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (c), 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Subs: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Harry Lloyd, 18 James Slipper, 19 Ben Hyne, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Issak Fines, 22 Mack Hansen, 23 Andy Muirhead.
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