The Brumbies remained on top of the Australasian Super Rugby Group by beating the Waratahs 32-15 in Canberra.
The result ends a four match losing streak for the Brumbies against the Waratahs which stretches back to June 2014.
Kurtley Beale’s second half conversion of Nick Phipps’ try made him the 9th Australian to reach 500 career Super Rugby points.
The loss for the Waratahs may have come at a cost though as Bryce Hegarty has a possible ACL injury, Tatafu Polota-Nau went off with what looked like an arm fracture and Rob Horne suffered a knee injury.
The Brumbies pulled clear in the second half after an 8-all stalemate at halftime on the back of their dominant scrum and at the breakdown.
The home side scored four tries to two with a penalty try among them as the Waratahs’ pack were back-pedalled over their try-line by the surging Brumbies’ pack.
But it was a much-improved performance by the Waratahs on their 30-10 win over the Queensland Reds the previous week in Sydney and they more than matched the Brumbies in the opening half despite having two players sin-binned and conceding a flurry of penalties.
“We had a lot of chances in the first half and we couldn’t get over the line so we said at half-time we just needed to play our own game and style,” Brumbies skipper Stephen Moore said.
“We did that and we finished well at the end so we’re very happy to get a win against a quality side.”
The Waratahs rattled the Brumbies in the opening exchanges and despite losing forwards Will Skelton and Dean Mumm to the sin bin, they held the Brumbies to 8-8 at half-time.
Leali’ifano scored a ninth-minute try stepping through three tackles to add to his penalty goal, while Wallabies’ fullback Israel Folau beat Joe Tomane to score out wide midway through the half.
Kurtley Beale levelled the scores with a penalty, but livewire Argentina Pumas scrum-half Tom Cubelli lost the ball over the try-line in Dave Dennis’s tackle.
The Brumbies stepped up the pressure after the resumption with winger Joe Tomane palming off Beale to score, only for scrum-half Nick Phipps to back up a Folau break and score a quick reply for the Waratahs.
The Brumbies earned a penalty try off their dominant scrum in the 69th minute and sealed victory when replacement Nigel Ah Wong finished off smart retrieval work by Tomane to post the home side’s fourth try.
Next week the Waratahs have a bye while the Brumbies travel to Perth to play the Western Force.
Final Score Brumbies 32 (8) Waratahs 15 (8)
Tries – C.Lealiifano, J.Tomane, Penalty try, N. Ah Wong
Pen – C.Lealiifano 2
Con – C.Lealiifano 2, M.Toomua
Tries – I.Folau, N.Phipps
Pen – K.Beale
Con – K.Beale
Cards – W.Skelton (4th min yellow), D.Mumm (29th min yellow)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1:Quinton Immelman
Assistant Ref 2:William Houston
TMO : Ian Smith
Scott Sio , Stephen Moore (c) , Ben Alexander , Blake Enever , Sam Carter , Scott Fardy , David Pocock , Ita Vaea , Tomás Cubelli , Christian Lealiifano (c) , Joe Tomane , Matt Toomua , Tevita Kuridrani , Henry Speight , Aidan Toua
Replacements : Josh Mann-Rea , Allan Alaalatoa , Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin , Jordan Smiler , Jarrad Butler , Michael Dowsett , Andrew Smith , Nigel Ah Wong
1. Paddy Ryan , 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau , 3. Angus Ta’avao , 4. Dean Mumm , 5. Will Skelton, 6. David Dennis (VC), 7. Michael Hooper (C), 8. Jed Holloway , 9. Nick Phipps, 10. Kurtley Beale , 11. Zac Guildford , 12. David Horwitz , 13. Rob Horne, 14. Matt Carraro , 15. Israel Folau
Replacements : 16. Tolu Latu , 17. Matt Sandell (potential NSW/Super Rugby debut) 18. Jeremy Tilse , 19. Sam Lousi, 20. Wycliff Palu , 21. Jack Dempsey, 22. Matt Lucas , 23. Bryce Hegarty,