The Brumbies were too strong against a much-improved Western Force side at HBF Park in Perth.
Here are the five things we learned..
1. New year same old Brumbies
The Force threw everything and the kitchen sink at the Brumbies, and the men from Canberra absorbed it all, and fired right back. As expected, the set piece was strong from the defending champs but some enterprising play from the outside backs was pleasing on the eye - and damaging on the scoreboard.
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2. Force levelling up
It obviously wasn’t the result they were after but this Western Force side is a different beast in 2021. They pushed the defending champions all the way in Perth, and their Test stars showed their impact straight away. Tomas Cubelli grabbed a five-pointer late in the piece to show the renewed heart in this Force side.
3. Ikitau hype is real
Len Ikitau was invited to Wallabies camp last year by Dave Rennie and he showed why against the Force. The big outside centre was unstoppable with ball in hand, and was a handful for his former teammate, and now opposite number, Tevita Kuridrani.
Ikitau already has a scary combination with Wallaby Irae Simone, and if the 22-year old continues to play like this, a Wallabies cap isn’t far away for him either.
4. Noah better with age
Speaking of Wallabies, Noah Lolesio is just getting better and better with age. The diminutive flyhallf was controlling the play and running the hardlines in attack, earning himself a five pointer along the way.
His ability to step past the first defender makes him a difficult proposition for the opposition but his kicking game must continue to evolve.
5. Super Rugby back in Perth
Over a thousand days but it was worth the wait for the Perth faithful. A COVID-capacity crowd at HBF Park and it was a delight to see. They were kept entertained throughout and their will be wins for the home fans in the very near future. Watch this space..
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