Brumbies go top after beating Force

Date published: March 6 2015

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The Brumbies provisionally moved to the top of the table after claiming a 27-15 victory over the Western Force in Canberra on Friday.

The men from Australia's capital secured a try-scoring bonus point which also consolidates their standing at the top of the Australian Conference and they now have a nine-point lead over their nearest rivals, the Rebels who have a bye this weekend although the Waratahs or Reds will narrow the gap after their clash on Saturday.

The Brumbies laid the groundwork for this result during the first half which proved handy in the end as the Force were more competitive after the interval.

The home side did all the attacking during the early stages and opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Rory Arnold barged over from close quarters from a line-out drive close the Force's try-line.

Christian Lealiifano added the extras but the visitors got their first points three minutes later when Nick Cummins rounded off in the right-hand corner despite the attentions of three defenders.

Zack Holmes' shot at goal was off target but, like the Force, the Brumbies also struck back quickly when Joe Tomane ran on to a pass from Lealiifano just outside the visitors' 22 and shrugged off a tackle from Luke Morahan before scoring his side's second try.

The Brumbies' dominance continued when Ben Alexander crossed over for their third try in the 24th minute. This after Henry Speight set up the five-pointer with a fine attacking run before his progress was halted by Kyle Godwin deep inside the Force's 22.

The home side's forwards then kept their composure in the red zone and recycled patiently before Alexander burst through two tackles before crossing the whitewash.

Lealiifano slotted the conversion before Zack Holmes punished a Brumbies indiscretion at a ruck with a well struck penalty on the stroke of half-time.

The second half was a more subdued affair and although the Force's performance improved considerably during this period they could not prevent the home side from crossing over for the all-important fourth try.

This after Nick White sold the defence a dummy, at a ruck close to the Force's try-line, before dotting down. With the bonus-point secured, the Brumbies took their foot off the pedal and a 61st minute penalty from Lealiifano was their only points for the rest of the match.

The Force were still chasing the game, however, and their endeavour was rewarded five minutes before Lealiifano's three-pointer when Steve Mafi made a sniping break around the fringe of a ruck to score the visitors' second try.

The final quarter saw the visitors upping the ante and although they came close to scoring on a couple of occasions they couldn't breach the Brumbies' defence.

The final quarter saw the visitors upping the ante and although they came close to scoring on a couple of occasions they couldn't breach the Brumbies' defence.

The result is a momentous one for the Brumbies as it means they have now earned a four-try bonus point for the fifth straight game at home for first time in 10 years.

The scorers:

For Brumbies:

Tries: Arnold, Tomane, Alexander, White
Cons: Lealiifano 2
Pen: Lealiifano

For Western Force:

Tries: Cummins, Mafi
Con: Holmes
Pen: Holmes

Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Leali'ifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 Jarred Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Blake Enever, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Jesse Mogg.

Force: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Solomoni Jnr Rasolea, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Steve Mafi, 4 Sam Wykes (c), 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Sias Ebersohn, 23 Luke Burton.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)

By David Skippers

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