Brumbies hold on in Force trial encounter

Sat, Feb 10, 2024, 11:27 AM

The Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies have come away with a narrow 22-20 win over the Western Force at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday evening.

The Brumbies were off to a brisk start, making quick yardage down field from the kick off. After much controlled possession in the opening Stanza, outside centre Len Ikitau got his side on the board inside 4 minutes. The Canberra-based outfit taking advantage of an overlap down the left edge to lead 5-0.

Western Force flyhalf Ben Donaldson opted for the posts at the 8th minute mark. The playmaker slowing down the Brumbies momentum to slot the penalty goal and decrease the deficit to 5-3.

After both sides traded attacking sets, it would be the Force's No.8 Will Harris who would break free from halfway. Linking up with Donaldson in support who would crash over the line. The flyhalf converting his try and stealing the lead 5-10 after 22 minutes.

With a few minutes remaining in the half, the Brumbies pack started to hit the advantage line consistently in the opposition's half. Lachlan Lonergan tearing down the right edge and popping the ball back on his inside to Luke Reimer who would go within inches of squaring up the match.

The Brumbies dominant end to the half was rewarded when the captain Ryan Lonergan chanced his arm and took the blindside off the scrum. Corey Toole diving in the left corner with the visitors going to the main break at 10-all.

It took 22 minutes into the second half for either team to break the deadlock. Billy Pollard crashing over from the back of a Brumbies' maul to steal the lead 15-10.

However the lead was short lived, the Force replying almost immediately with left winger Ronan Leahy taking a cutout ball to streak down the left edge to dot down. The scores levelled at 15-15 after the missed conversion.

The Brumbies started the last quarter of the match in good field possession with the clock winding down. Toole popping up when needed most to put in a kick behind the Force defence for Andy Muirhead to regain the lead for the Brumbies. Declan Meredith stepping up to convert, creating a healthy 22-15 lead with little time on the clock.

With the hooter sounding in the background, the Force had other ideas with ball in hand. Former Brumby Reesjan Pasitoa cutting through the Brumbies defence. With the Brumbies retreating, Leahy attacked the opposite edge to set Henry O’Donnell free to setup a potential draw. Max Burey unable to convert allowing the Brumbies to hold on to a nail biting 22-20 win at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday evening.

Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies 22 (Tries: Andy Muirhead, Billy Pollard, Corey Toole, Len Ikitau; Goals: Declan Meredith) def. Western Force 20 (Tries: Ben Donaldson, Henry O'Donnell, Ronan Leahy; Goals: Ben Donaldson; Penalty: Ben Donaldson)