Winning start for new-look Brumbies

Date published: February 24 2012

The Brumbies bagged a morale-boosting 19-17 victory over the Western Force in their Super Rugby opener on Friday.

The Brumbies bagged a morale-boosting 19-17 victory over the Western Force in their Super Rugby opener on Friday.

With six Brumbies making their Super Rugby debuts, the home side still managed to squeeze past the Force – who boasted six Wallabies in their starting line-up – after outscoring the visitors two tries to one.

It was also a first win for new Brumbies coach Jake White in his first match in charge.

Brumbies rookie winger Jesse Mogg and full-back Robbie Coleman crossed for the hosts' tries, with the rest of the points coming from the boot of scrum-half Nic White.

Force fly-half James Stannard – a former Brumby – collected all of his side's points thanks to a try and four penalties. But it wasn't enough as the men from Perth once again failed to win an opening fixture.

It was hardly a classic encounter with both sides guilty of kicking too much possession away, particularly in the first half.

Unsurprisingly the only points in the opening period came via the boot with Stannard landing four penalties to Nic White's three to give the Force a 12-9 advantage.

Such was the frustration of the fans that they began to boo every time the ball was kicked out of hand. The opening 15 minutes of the second half were a different matter, though, with a flurry of tries.

Mogg gave the Canberra crowd something to cheer about when he went over just two minutes into the second half, after taking a pass from White following a scrum five metres out.

Coleman was on hand to increase the Brumbies' lead even further when he touched down in the corner thanks to an initial break from Christian Lealiifano.

The Force cut the deficit to two points when Stannard finally found his way through some stubborn Brumbies defence. But despite piling on the pressure and dominating territory, the visitors couldn't add to their tally as the Brumbies were able to hold on.

The scorers:
For Brumbies:
Tries: Mogg, Coleman
Pens: White 3

For Western Force:
Tries: Stannard
Pens: Stannard 4

Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Jesse Mogg, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Ita Vaea, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Leon Power, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: Anthony Hegerty, Ruaidhri Murphy, Scott Fardy, Michael Hooper, Ian Prior, Zack Holmes, Joe Tomane.

Western Force: 15 Alfie Mafi, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 James Stannard, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock (c), 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'au, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: Elvis Taione, Kieran Longbottom, Phoenix Battye, Angus Cottrell, Justin Turner, Ben Seymour, Sam Wara.