Pocock treble sinks the Force

Date published: June 5 2015

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David Pocock scored his second hat-trick of the season as the Brumbies overpowered the Force with a 33-20 victory.

Friday's win in Perth moves the Brumbies back to the top of the Australian Conference and into second place with the Stormers and Waratahs still to play this weekend.

The power and control offered from their set-piece was just too much for the Force to handle, even without the injured Sam Carter in the second row, with two late tries from the home side skewing the scoreline somewhat.

Pocock racked up his fifth, sixth and seventh tries of the season as the Brumbies rolling maul was completely dominant and after going ahead 21-6 they never looked like being reeled in by the Force.

Following last year's dramatic finish to the season when the men from Perth just missed out on the play-offs, 2015 has been a major disappointment. Outclassed upfront and then unable to find a cutting edge when putting the Brumbies under pressure, this was another bitterly frustrating outing.

The Force will remain rooted to the bottom of the table and will finish there after next weekend's final round of matches, after being outscored here by five tries to two.

Knowing that a try bonus point could play a major role next weekend the Brumbies showed real intent early on. Force skipper Matt Hodgson was penalised for not releasing and from the catch and drive Pocock couldn't be stopped at the tail as he crashed over the line.

Christian Lealiifano added the conversion but two quick penalties for Zach Holmes as the Brumbies twice infringed at the breakdown narrowed the scoreline to 7-6.

The Brumbies then proved they weren't all about the rolling maul when Stephen Moore released Lealiifano down the touchline and the fly-half showed some sharp footwork to go past the cover defence and score try number two, adding a fine curled conversion to his five-pointer.

The Force kept conceding penalties in their half to allow Nic White to kick for the corner and give that dangerous rolling maul another platform, with Pocock striking once again when he split off the maul and powered over for his second score and the Brumbies' third after half an hour.

Sustained pressure for the Force after Henry Speight kicked the ball dead behind his posts didn't yield any points, much to the home crowd's frustration, as the Brumbies clung on to lead 21-6 at half-time.

Neither side were able to add any points during the third quarter but when the Brumbies did get a chance for territory, chasing that fourth try, they again went to the corner and while the maul was stopped short replacement prop Allan Alaalatoa crashed over under the posts off the next phase.

Still the Force continued to cough up penalties at the breakdown as Pocock wrapped up his hat-trick with another close-range burst, putting another five points on the board.

Desperate to give their home fans something to cheer in their last game on home turf this season, the Force battered away at the Brumbies try line and they got their wish, Tetera Faulkner scoring his second try of the year from close-range after confirmation from the TMO.

There was an even bigger cheer as Luke Morahan ran a nice inside line off Holmes before straightening up to dive over and close the gap to 33-20 after the conversion from Holmes.

The fightback was too little too late however to change the outcome of the result or secure the Force a losing bonus point, as the Brumbies look ahead to next week's huge battle with the Crusaders and watch how their rivals fare over the weekend.

The scorers:

For Force:
Tries: Faulkner, Morahan
Cons: Holmes 2
Pens: Holmes 2

Yellow Card:  Mafi

For Brumbies:

Tries: Pocock 3, Lealiifano, Alaalatoa

Cons: Lealiifano 4

Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Patrick Dellit
 
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Nigel Ah Wong, 23 James Dargaville.

Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Referees: Damien Mitchelmore, Graham Cooper
TMO: Peter Marshall

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