The Brumbies have shown once again why they’re the team to beat in 2016 after a 31-14 victory over the Western Force.
The Canberra side have now won eight of their last nine matches against the Force, including their last five, and sit comfortably on top of the Super Rugby ladder.
It was a fiery battle at nib Stadium with competition favourites the Brumbies jumping out to an impressive lead.
The away side controlled 84% of possession in the opening 20 minutes while the Force conceded eight penalties inside the same timeframe.
Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano was first on the board inside the opening three minutes after the first of a string of penalties by the Western Force.
Pek Cowan was sin binned after numerous infringements at the breakdown, eventually leading to the Brumbies opening try of the night with Stephen Moore using the rolling maul to great effect.
The Canberrans struck agains just six minutes later after an impressive offload from Scott Fardy to Matt Toomua to extend their lead to 17-0.
The Force flicked the switch soon after and showed off some of the attacking flair they’ve been working on in the off season.
It took 27 minutes for the Force to finally have possession inside their attacking 22, and persistence was key for the Sea of Blue.
Brumbies scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli was sin binned for ill-displicine while Stephen Moore and Matt Hodgson had fiery captain exchange, but after 13 phases it was Jono Lance who set up Luke Morahan under the posts.
The Brumbies continued to make the most of their chances in the second half, with their attack continually on show.
Joe Tomane sent another message to Wallabies coach Michael Cheika after crossing for his second try of the season. The man with the fro was limited at times but is hard to stop with the ball in hand.
It was the never say die attitude from the Force that will please coach Michael Foley.
His side were always going to be up against it, but for the first time in 2016 the Force executed their new game plan and continued to throw the ball around. This was exemplified by Peter Grant's grubber behind that led to a Ben Tapuai try in the 67th minute.