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Brumbies grind out Western Force victory

David Pocock tackles Ben McCalman

The Brumbies will remain on top of the Australian Super Rugby Conference after beating the Western Force 14-31 in Perth.

The Brumbies victory is their third this year from three matches and their fifth consecutive victory over the Western Australian side.

The first 30 minutes of the match were controlled by the Brumbies, who ran in two early tries to take a stranglehold on the contest and made it three wins in succession to start the season.

After Christian Lealiifano got the Brumbies rolling with an early penalty, the visitors quickly threatened the try line only to be foiled by a knock-on.

The sustained pressure of the Brumbies was always going to pay off eventually and they got their chance when the Force’s Pek Cowan was sin-binned in the 14th minute as the home side paid the price for a spate of penalties.

Within moments of the resumption the visitors drove over with a rolling maul for the opening try to Brumbies skipper Stephen Moore, his second of the season.

Things got worse for the Force in the 22nd minute, with Scott Fardy bursting through their defence and offloading to Matt Toomua for a simple try.

A rout was looming with the Force barely able to get their hands on the ball, but a rare stint in possession turned into points when Jono Lance put Luke Morahan through for the home team’s first try in the 33rd minute against the run of play.

The Brumbies all but sealed the win in the 55th minute, when Joe Tomane burst through the defence to score their third try as they took a commanding 24-7 lead.

The Force got a late consolation try through Ben Tapuai, but the Brumbies answered after the final hooter through Josh Mann-Rea with their fourth try for the evening.

Moore said the game was closer than the scoreboard indicated.

“It was a very physical game,” he said.

“I’ll be sore tomorrow, but happy to get that win to start a three-game tour for us.”

Force captain Matt Hodgson said his side started too slowly against a quality opponent.

“We were in the whole game except for that first 20 minutes,” he said.

“The last 60 minutes we were very good.”

Next week in Round 4 the Force travel to Palmerston North to face a resurgent Hurricanes team while the Brumbies play the Stormers in Cape Town.

Final Score Western Force 14 (7) Brumbies 31 (17)

Scorers

Western Force
Tries – L.Morahan, B. Tapuai
Pen –
Con – J.Lance, P.Grant
Drop –
Cards – P.Cowan (14th min yellow), S.Masirewa (56th min yellow)

Brumbies
Tries – S.Moore, M.Toomua, J.Tomane,J. Mann-Rea
Pen – C. Lealiifano
Con – C. Lealiifano 4
Drop –
Cards – T.Cubelli (27th minute yellow)

Attendance : 10914

Match Officials
Referee: Andrew Lees
Assistant Ref 1:Damien Mitchelmore
Assistant Ref 2:Michael Hogan
TMO :Ian Smith

Teams

Western Force

1. Pekahou Cowan, 2. Heath Tessmann, 3. Jermaine Ainsley, 4. Ross Haylett-Petty, 5. Adam Coleman, 6. Brynard Stander, 7. Matt Hodgson, 8. Ben McCalman, 9. Ian Prior, 10. Jono Lance, 11. Semisi Masirewa, 12. Solomoni (Junior Rasolea), 13. Ben Tapuai, 14. Luke Morahan, 15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements : 16. Nathan Charles, 17. Chris Heiberg, 18. Guy Millar, 19. Sitiveni (Stevie) Mafi, 20. Angus Cottrell, 21. Alby Mathewson, 22. Peter Grant, 23. Marcel Brache,

Brumbies

Scott Sio, Stephen Moore (c), Ben Alexander, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, David Pocock, Jarrad Butler, 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, Tom Staniforth, Jordan Smiler, Michael Dowsett, Andrew Smith, Nigel Ah Wong.