The Brumbies scrape a victory over the Force in a physical trial match on Tuesday evening.
If you wish to watch the game in full, please visit Brumbies Rugby Facebook or Brumbies.com.au.
What are we talking about after the 29-28 victory?
1. Brumbies continue their winning ways.
The Force showed their improvement across defence and attack at Viking Park but the Brumbies know how to win, and iced the game when it mattered.
Experience told for the Brumbies side with their high standards for set piece proving to be clinical against a much-improved Force.
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2. Unforced errors
Despite the phenomenal defence from both teams, the teams struggled to hold onto the ball.
The Force looked dominant throughout the first ten minutes of the game and showed signs of defeating the defending champions.
A set piece play from the scrum at the five-minute mark proved to be ineffective as Kuridrani spilled the ball on the line.
Countless penalties were awarded to the Force during this period yet they couldn’t capitalise.
Winger, Mack Hanson almost put the Brumbies in front with a chip and chase but knocked the ball over the line.
Nic White’s pass went astray to Rob Valetini on the try line and a knocked on forward pass from Rod Iona suggests that it would have been a different game if ball remained in hand.
The intensity in the first quarter provided a lot of opportunities for each team but they could not capitalise.
The duration of the game saw the first half nerves go away and ball security was somewhat better.
Passes to the chest and holding onto the ball close to the try line will need to be a priority before they face off again next Friday.
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3. Force to be serious competition this year
The Western Force’s performance against the Brumbies pushed the defending champions all the way on their home turf.
Despite not winning a game last year, it did not take them long to show their talent.
The physicality on defence as well as their consistent attacking the ball at the breakdown deserves to be praised and commended.
Richard Kahui’s double helped the Force heap the pressure on the Brumbies.
The set piece maul from the Brumbies was the game changer for the Force, with three tries coming from this.
The Force’s big challenge now is to maintain this level of intensity and carry it through to next Friday night.
4. Mack Hanson to replace Tom Wright?
Mack Hanson could be a name rugby fans hear more often after an exciting performance.
The 22-year-old showcased innovation and invention with a chip and chase that nearly put five points on the board.
Similarly, the outside step and acrobatic dive with an outstretched right arm almost was awarded a try.
His next challenge is to keep it up and ultimately convert these opportunities into points.
With Tom Wright out for at least 10 weeks, will Hanson be the man Dan McKellar relies on next week?
5. Scrambling defence
As we are all aware, defence wins games.
Both teams displayed physicality from a defensive point of view.
The game showed a lot of back-and-forth opportunities to score, yet the scrambling defence and composure on the line resulted in the ball being turned over.
The outstanding defence will need to continue from both teams as we commence the physical Super Rugby AU competition.
The Force take on the Brumbies at HBF Park on Friday February 19, kicking off at 19:45 AEDT, LIVE on Stan Sport.
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