The Plus500 Brumbies have stormed home to an empathic 42-14 victory against the Western Force thanks to a six-try display at GIO Stadium.
Try doubles for the in-form duo of Len Ikitau and Andy Muirhead helped seal a crucial bonus point victory for the Brumbies, a number of impressive outings from squad players and Canberra locals plus three debuts putting extra gloss on the win.
A cagey opening from the Brumbies was followed by a thirty minute flourish of tries which set the tone for the night.
With Force outside centre Tevita Kuridrani in the bin after a number of team penalties, Ikitau and the Brumbies backline exploited the visitor's defence brilliantly, and the outside centre bagged a brace of tries from close range to give the home side an early cushion.
Ikitau’s double was followed by a clean finish from Cadeyrn Neville, the towering lock crashing over on the left wing.
The first half barrage was completed with the pick of the first period five pointers, Andy Muirhead crossing after some beautiful hands from Mack Hansen.
Noah Lolesio converted from out wide, the flyhalf kicking five from five conversions in the game including a couple touchline efforts.
28-0 a fair reflection of the Brumbies dominance, four tries and four conversions giving the home side a handsome half time lead.
The second stanza was much more of a contest, and it would be the Force who got the first try after the break, Henry Taefu muscling over for their first of two tries.
That score gave the Force a glimmer of hope, but the Brumbies soon sealed the contest.
A beautiful line from finishing hooker Lachlan Lonergan saw the local crash over for his hometown side and with Lolesio’s extras, the Brumbies put one hand on their victory.
A late consolation from former Brumby Ian Prior threatened the Brumbies bonus-point, but a final flourish and some more slick passing put Muirhead over for his second of the night, sealing the win.
Lonergan’s conversion made it 42-14 and that is how it would finish, three brand-new Brumbies in Rory Scott, Fred Kaihea and Sefo Kautai enjoying a winning start to their Brumbies careers.
Plus500 Brumbies 42 (T: Ikitau 2, Muirhead 2, Neville, L Lonergan; C: Lolesio 5, R Lonergan 1) def Western Force 14 (T: Taefu, Prior; C: Prior 2)
The Plus500 Brumbies play the NSW Waratahs in Round Seven of Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney on Friday April 2 at 7:45pm AEDT. LIVE and AD FREE on the new Home of Rugby, Stan Sport.