Super Rugby

Brumbies beat Western Force: Muirhead scores hat-trick




Brumbies edge Western Force 38-39 in a high-scoring Super Rugby Pacific Australian derby at HBF Park, Perth.

The teams shared 11 tries in a free-flowing Super Rugby contest, including an Andy Muirhead hat-trick for the Brumbies and Manasa Mataele’s brace for Western Force.

Muirhead also assisted a score for the Brumbies in another sublime display from the wing.

The capital team outscored their hosts six tries to five in an end-to-end Aussie derby.

Ryan Lonergan scored and assisted the visitors while kicking a penalty and three conversions for 14 points.

Tom Banks and Nick Frost also dotted down as Dan McKellar’s men overcame a tough 20-minute spell with 14 men.

Banks’ red card cost 28 points as the Force rallied from a three-score deficit.

Mataele bagged a brace for Western Force, and Ian Prior kicked a goal and four conversions (11 pts) to keep the hosts in the hunt.

Kyle Godwin and Jake Strachan also scored after the penalty try and sending off.

Despite the impressive performance from Tim Sampson’s side, the defeat is the 14th in a row in Super Rugby versus the Brumbies.

The Brumbies took a slender 27-24 lead into the sheds after an end-to-end first-half in Western Australia

The 51 points are the most by two Australian teams in a half in Super Rugby history.

Ryan Lonergan, Muirhead (twice), and Banks all dotted down before Banks’ 29th-minute red card let the hosts back into the contest.

Sefo Kautai won a turnover after a stray pass by Kane Koteka. The Brumbies recycled through the hands to Ryan Lonergan to open the scoring in the second minute.

Prior knocked over a penalty, but mistakes from restarts, and poor tackling, sees the Brumbies score two more times in quick succession.

The Brumbies went 11-phases from the lineout, after a restart mistake by Brynard Stander, before Western Force run out of defenders for Muirhead to score.

Lonergan knocked over a penalty to make it a two-score game before a wonder try from the visitor’s try line.

The Brumbies went coast-to-coast thanks to Len Ikitau’s wonderful bamboozling of Godwin and Jeremy Thrush.

Ikitau raced from his line to the opposition’s 10m before sending Banks away untouched in the corner.

The tries put the visitors into a commanding position before the hosts fought back.

The Brumbies led by 17 when Banks’ high tackle on Toni Pulu was deemed to be dangerous and therefore a red.

Referee Angus Gardner consulted with the TMO before awarding a penalty try and a red card to the 27-year-old fullback.

Banks’ red card cost four converted tries as the Force used their extra man to perfection

Godwin and Strachan pounced either side of Muirhead’s second try to make it a three-point game going into the second stanza.

Mataele slipped two tackles on the sideline before putting Godwin away for his 16th Super Rugby try.

Jake McIntyre combined with Ikitau, whose chicken-wing pass flummoxed three defenders to allow the Muirhead another score.

Strachan, on the stroke of halftime, charged down Ryan Lonergan’s clearance, collected the bouncing ball, and fended off Lachlan Lonergan to score under the posts.

The second half began with Mataele intercepting Ikitau’s pass to put the home team ahead, four minutes after the restart.

But Frost, however, powered over minutes later to continue the try-fest before Muirhead completed his treble on 54 minutes.

Mataele bounced Irae Simone to notch a double on the hour mark. Prior added the extras to make 38-39 going into the last quarter.

Somehow, there were no more points as both sides struggled to cut out handling errors. Game management was also a problem.

The Force entered the Brumbies’ 22 on multiple occasions but could not force a penalty or cross the whitewash.

McKellar’s men defended stoutly to hang on for a deserved win.

Final Score: Western Force 38 (24) Brumbies 39 (27)


Western Force
Tries – Penalty try, Godwin, Strachan, Mataele (2)
Pen – Prior
Con – Prior (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – R. Lonergan, Muirhead (3), Banks, Frost
Pen – R. Lonergan
Con – R. Lonergan (3)
Drop –
Cards – Banks (Red, 29′)

Match Officials
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Kaminski
TMO: Kyle Burnett


Western Force: 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Bayley Kuenzle, 11 Manasa Mataele, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u (captain), 1 Harrison Lloyd

Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Bo Abra, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Tim Anstee, 20 Ollie Callan, 21 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 22 Reesjan Pasitoa, 23 Byron Ralston

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Rod Iona, 9 Ryan Lonergan (captain), 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Nick Frost, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Sefo Kautai, 2 Lachlan Lonergan, 1 Scott Sio

16 Billy Pollard, 17 Fred Kaihea, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Tom Hooper, 20 Rory Scott, 21 Lachie Albert, 22 Hudson Creighton, 23 Jesse Mogg

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  1. Pingback: Brumbies beat Western Force: Muirhead scores hat-trick - Super Rugby Pacific - Daily Post Central

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