The Brumbies have done nothing to assuage their Aussie favouritism, with a comprehensive 52-10 win over 2015 runner-up Hurricanes.
Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham asked for attacking flair from his team in the off-season and they showed that with four unanswered tries in the opening half, before three more in the second.
It was the Brumbies’ familiarity that shone through against a new-look Hurricanes outfit, with combinations that have been built over the better part of four years gelling immediately despite just one game in the off-season.
The Hurricanes had the run of play early, with 61 per cent of possession in the opening 10 minutes but it was Tevita Kuridrani who found the line first, scoring in the 16th minute.
The outside centre burrowed his way through traffic to give the Brumbies a 10-3 lead.
Argentinian scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli finished off a strong Brumbies scrum to score in the 28th minute and stretch the lead to 15-3.
It didn’t take long for David Pocock to find his first try of the season, crafted from a short Stephen Moore lineout throw.
Allan Alaalatoa collected Moore’s pass, returned it to his co-captain, who sent Pocock over in the 37th minute, before his backrow mate Scott Fardy found the line in an unconventional roll over the line eight minutes later.
Just five minutes into the second half, the Hurricanes had their first tries through Ngani Laumape in the 47th minute.
Stephen Moore finished off a trademark Brumbies rolling maul to cap off his 150th Super Rugby match and take the margin to 26 points.
Moore had a standout game in his milestone match with three linebreaks and making 50 metres in five runs.
A Matt Toomua yellow card didn’t slow down the Brumbies’ second-half momentum, with Josh Mann-Rea finishing off another rolling maul for his first career try before setting up a Sam Carter try just two minutes later.
Pocock was handed the Brumbies’ second yellow in the 77th minute, though the game was iced by then.
It wasn’t all good news for the Brumbies, with Rory Arnold exiting the game early with a knee injury.
In his final season with the Brumbies, co-captain Moore said he was hungry to make a mark in 2016.
“I think the fact that I’m moving on hasn’t really entered my thinking, there’s a few guys in that boat,” he said.
“I’m hungry to do well in this team that’s been together awhile but never quite cracked it and got to the top.
“We know how hard it is having been close the last few years and I’m looking forward to this season and taking every opportunity we’ve got."
Moore said he was happy to see a more diverse attacking display from the side, executing their preseason focus.
The Brumbies host the Waratahs at GIO Stadium next Friday night at 7:40pm AEDT.