The Brumbies have snatched back the Australian conference lead after a 23-6 win over the Bulls, setting up a mouth-watering clash with the Rebels next weekend .
Their win puts them two points in front of the Rebels, who have a bye this weekend and four points ahead of the Waratahs, who could usurp everyone with a bonus point win over the Cheetahs.
The Brumbies face the Rebels next Friday night, in a clash that could at the very least eliminate one from the race.
Tries to Tomas Cubelli and Nigel Ah Wong proved the difference in what was a kick-a-thon early on, with the Brumbies’ lead coming courtesy of Christian Lealiifano’s accuracy.
Cubelli had one of his best games of the season against the Bulls, continuing to look more settled in his new club each week.
While Lealiifano struck his shots sweetly, missing just one of his six chances of the night, Brumbies fullback Aidan Toua had a tough night with the boot, after two critical field kicks were off target in the opening half.
The Brumbies were hurt at scrum time early in the piece, with Scott Sio penalised for angling in and giving the Bulls a set piece advantage.
This turned dramatically late in the game, with the replacement front row of Allan Alaalatoa, Josh Mann-Rea and Ruan Smith managed two tightheads against the Bulls.
That scrum pressure came as the Brumbies defence was forced to stand up, under immense pressure from a fast-finishing Bulls side.
Three Lealiifano penalty goals put the Brumbies in front at half-time, before Ah Wong slipped through the Bulls defence to claim the first try of the night in the 45th minute.
Cubelli added to the ledger in the 57th minute, forcing his way over in a pack, capping off his strong night.
Brumbies co-captain Stephen Moore said it was good to get the “winning feeling back”, after three losses in their past six games.
“I thought our breakdown was good, we good line speed pressure on the breakdown,” he told FOX SPORTS post-match.
“I thought our maul defence as well - the ball was mauled pretty much every lineout so it was good to shut that part of the game down, which we talked about before the game.
“We had a lot of ball in that first half and we probably could’ve done a lot more with it
“We knew that pressure would tell and it did. We’re happy to get that winning feeling back in the shed.”
(Tries:Ah Wong, Cubelli Cons: Lealiifano 2 Pens: Lealiifano 3)
(T Pens: Brummer 2)