Super Rugby

Brumbies batter woeful Western Force

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The Brumbies battered the Western Force 42-14 in a bruising one-sided Super Rugby AU Round Six clash at GIO Stadium, Canberra.

The Brumbies continue their dominance over the Force with their 11th consecutive victory over the Western Australian franchise and extend their lead at the top of the Super Rugby AU table.

Dan McKellar’s side chalked up six tries to two in as one-sided a match as you will see. This was a capital beating for the Perth men in the nation’s capital. Defeat means the Force’s eight-year wait for a Super Rugby win over the Brumbies continues.

Len Ikitau and Andy Muirhead both bagged braces. Cadeyrn Neville and Lachlan Lonergan joined the backs on the board as the Brumbies served up another forty-burger.


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Ikitau scored twice as the defending champions raced to a 28-0 halftime lead, with the Western Force lucky to nave nil. Neville and Muirhead also crossed, late in the half.

The teams traded tries in the third quarter. Henry Taefu got his team on the board 14 minutes after halftime. Lonergan crashed over four minutes later before Ian Prior dotted down.

There was still time for Muirhead to grab another five-pointer with 10 minutes to play. Noah Lolesio kicked all five of his conversions, while Ryan Lonergan converted his brother’s score.

The Brumbies cemented their title credentials with another beatdown going top of the Super Rugby AU standings, two points ahead of the Queensland Reds having played a game more.

The Force sits in fourth, five points ahead of the NSW Waratahs, but five behind the Melbourne Rebels.

Brumbies dominate all facets of the game in a brutal first stanza

McKellar’s charges dominated proceedings but should have been at least 50 points up at the break. However, some poor finishing by Pete Samu, excellent maul-defence by the opposition’s forwards, who repelled eight driving mauls on their line.

The Brumbies spent more than eight minutes inside the Force’s 22 in the first stanza, while the visitors had a grand total of nine seconds.

The hosts had 84% possession and 67% territory and did not concede a first-half penalty. On the other hand, the visitors gave away nine penalties as the Brumbies camped on their goal line.

Had the home team’s forwards got their rolling maul even 50% efficacy, the half-century would have come up. Credit to the visitor’s pack for stopping eight driving mauls from five metres out.

On another day, Folau Fainga’a would have scored four, but time after time, the Force (legally and illegally) stopped the best maul in Australia.

Fainga’a went close twice. In the 18th-minute, he looked to have scored, but the officials deemed the TV review to not be conclusive enough for a try to be awarded.

The Brumbies kept coming, eventually scoring after their fifth driving maul in as many minutes, although the try came from a separate attacking phase.

Super Rugby AU Round 6 Video Highlights: Brumbies vs Western Force at GIO Stadium, Canberra

Once the hosts decided to go wide, the points began to mount.

Tevita Kuridrani’s 20th-minute yellow card opened the floodgates, with Ikitau scoring twice in six minutes to break the backs of the Perth men.

Ikitau’s double put the hosts two converted tries ahead inside half-an-hour before Neville and Muirhead also crossed to make it 28-0 at halftime.

Samu should have scored but allowed Jack McGregor to get across and tackle the big number eight into touch.

Samu, smiling before he thought he’d scored, had a chance to play Tom Banks on his inside for a try under the posts, but he wanted the glory.

Samu’s arrogance went unpunished because the Brumbies scored three more times before the interval.

Western Force fight back in vain but share the second half spoils after Brumbies drop their intensity

The Force came out with intent after the break. They flipped the possession (55%) and territory (56%) stats, forced the Brumbies to make more tackles, and infringe eight times.

The first penalty given away by the home team came four minutes after the restart. The visitors overturned the pen-count from 0-9 to 8-14 by the end of the game.

More possession meant more scoring opportunities. It took nearly 45 minutes for the Force’s first attack inside the opposition’s 22. Kuridrani went close but he was held up over the line, on 50 minutes.

After a series of attacks inside the Brumbies’ 22, Kuridrani combined with Taefu to get Tim Sampson’s men on the scoreboard.

Lonergan barged over minutes later as the Brumbies regained their four-goal advantage going into the last quarter. Harry Lloyd received a 64th-minute yellow card that led to the Force’s second try.

More pressure by the visitors from the resulting penalty saw Prior score an unusual try from close range to cut the gap to 21 with 14 to play.

Muirhead had time to net his second to close out another comfortable win for the Canberra men. The long wait for the Perth franchise continues.

Final Score: Brumbies 42 (28) Western Force 14 (0)

Scorers

Brumbies
Tries – Ikitau (2), Neville, Muirhead (2), L. Lonergan
Pen –
Con – Lolesio (5), R. Lonergan
Drop –
Cards – Lloyd (Yellow, 64′)

Western Force
Tries – Taefu, Prior
Pen –
Con – Prior (2)
Drop –
Cards – Kuridrani (Yellow, 20′)

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Amy Perrett
Assistant Ref 2: Reuben Keane
TMO: Brett Cronan

Teams

Brumbies

15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Mack Hansen, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White (captain), 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 James Slipper, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Harry Lloyd

Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Fred Kaihea, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 James Tucker, 20 Rory Scott, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Reesjan Pasitoa, 23 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa

Western Force

15 Jack McGregor, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Marcel Brache, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Brynard Stander (captain), 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Tom Robertson

Replacements
: 16 Jack Winchester, 17 Angus Wagner, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19. Ryan McCauley, 20. Tim Anstee, 21. Ian Prior, 22. Jono Lance, 23. Jordan Olowofela

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