The impressive ACT Brumbies moved back to the top of the Super Rugby table following a 41-7 victory over fellow Aussies Western Force in Canberra yesterday.
Henry Speight scored twice for the home side as they notched a bonus-point by scoring four tries before halftime and jumped to the top of the table on 40 points.
Their victory ensured they also lead the Australian conference ahead of the Queensland Reds.
Speight scored both of his tries in the first half as the Brumbies produced patient, clinical rugby when attacking and ruthless aggression when defending.
The pack secured possession, ball runners like Ben Mowen and Fotu Auelua punched over the advantage line or through the defense and then, once the Force players had been committed in close, they spun it wide.
Jesse Mogg and Tevita Kuridrani also scored first half tries for the home side, while Christian Lealiifano slotted three conversions and a penalty to give them a 29-0 lead at the break.
Brumbies’ winger Joe Tomane scored his side’s fifth try and replacement hooker Siliva Siliva scored his first Super Rugby try before Matt Hodgson grabbed a consolation try for the Force.
CHIEFS V SHARKS
The Waikato Chiefs jumped out to a 24-0 lead inside the first quarter then withstood a ferocious counter-attack from the Sharks to record a 37-29 victory in their Super Rugby match yesterday in Hamilton, New Zealand.
The Chiefs bonus-point victory moved last year’s champions to 35 points and back in charge of the New Zealand conference ahead of the Auckland Blues (32).
The Chiefs raced to a 24-0 lead inside 20 minutes, with tries to Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Bundee Aki and Tim-Nanai Williams. Gareth Anscombe, who had slotted an early penalty, converted all three to give the home side a big lead.
The Sharks used their massive pack to great effect and set up a well-drilled rolling maul to allow Derick Minnie to crash over before Lubabalo Mtembu scored following an attacking scrum.
Minnie added his second just before halftime to reduce the deficit at the break to 24-19.
The Chiefs pulled ahead again early in the second half with Nanai-Williams scoring his second try after the Sharks defense failed to control a grubber kick.
Anscombe converted and added a penalty to give the Chiefs a 34-19 lead before the visitors hit back as Keegan Daniel crossed.
Sharks flyhalf Patrick Lambie, who had kicked three conversions, added his first penalty with two minutes remaining, but the visitors conceded a penalty just as the hooter sounded and Aaron Cruden slotted the kick.