CA Brumbies Forced out at Subiaco

 The CA Brumbies have taken two bonus points from their 29-22 loss to the Western Force in their final Investec Super 14 match of 2008 at Subiaco Oval tonight.

The visitors lay on a stellar first half, racing to their four-try bonus point and a 22-0 lead after just 26 minutes. However, the Force clawed their way back into the match, scoring 29 unanswered points before running out seven-point victors in the four-tries-apiece result.
In his final game as Head Coach of the CA Brumbies, Laurie Fisher said he did not expect sentimentality to be a motivating factor for his side in the match.
“That certainly wasn’t the focus of the day,” he said. “The focus of the day was to win a game of football and finish the season on a positive win-loss ratio and play for each other.
“The guys certainly put in but they got worn down by a side that played for the full 80 [minutes]. It’s a good lesson for our team.
“The first 20 to 25 minutes was great – we executed well, our set piece was great and we played with some good width. The thing about the Force is, irrespective of how the game’s going, they compete and compete and they eventually wore us down. We appeared to run out of juice and they continued to play.”
Having conceded early points in recent weeks, the CA Brumbies turned the tables by registering the first five-pointer after just two minutes when flyhalf Christian Lealiifano put a deft chip kick over the defensive line for winger Francis Fainifo, who collected the ball on the bounce to race the 15 metres for his first Investec Super 14 try.
The lead was extended to 12-0 three minutes later when fullback Mark Gerrard crossed in the right corner on the back of two cut-out passes from Lealiifano and flanker George Smith.
After resisting several attacking raids by the home side, the CA Brumbies capitalised on their weight of early possession and continued their point-a-minute scoring ratio when Fainifo crossed again at the 17 minute mark. Having worked their way up field, captain Stirling Mortlock committed two defenders on a short blindside before slipping a tight pass to his left winger to cross in the corner for his second try of the night.
The bonus point was sealed in the 26th minute when another Smith cut-out pass allowed right winger Adam Ashley-Cooper to cross in the left corner.
The Force got off the mark with eight minutes remaining in the first term through a try to teenage centre James O’Connor and a Matt Giteau conversion to bring the half-time score 22-7.
Giteau, who took man-of-the-match honours, helped craft his side’s second half comeback by initially throwing the penultimate pass in Josh Tatupu’s 45th-minute try, before scoring one of his own following a trademark jinking run four minutes later.
Still trailing 22-19, Force scrumhalf Chris O’Young gave his side the first taste of the lead with a converted try in the 59th minute. A Giteau penalty goal four minutes later sealed the 29-22 result.
The loss leaves the CA Brumbies in ninth place at the end of the 2008 Investec Super 14 season.
Force 29 (James O’Connor, Josh Tatupu, Matt Giteau, Chris O’Young tries; Matt Giteau 3/4 conversions, 1/1 penalty goal) defeated CA Brumbies 22 (Francis Fainifo 2; Mark Gerrard, Adam Ashley-Cooper tries; Stirling Mortlock 1/4 conversions) at Subiaco Oval, Perth.
Referee: Nathan Pearce (Aus)
Half time: CA Brumbies 22-7
Crowd: 21,350
CA Brumbies
1. Nic Henderson
2. John Ulugia
3. Guy Shepherdson
4. Alister Campbell
5. Mark Chisholm
6. Mitchell Chapman
7. George Smith
8. Stephen Hoiles
9. Patrick Phibbs
10. Christian Lealiifano
11. Francis Fainifo
12. Tyrone Smith
13. Stirling Mortlock (c)
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper
15. Mark Gerrard
16. Saia Faingaa
17. Salesi Ma’afu
18. Peter Kimlin 
19. Julian Salvi
20. Joshua Holmes 
21. Matt Toomua
22. Afusipa Taumoepeau 
16. Saia Faingaa replaced 2. John Ulugia (49th minute)
19. Julian Salvi replaced 6. Mitchell Chapman (54th minute)
18. Peter Kimlin replaced 4. Alister Campbell (59th minute)
17. Salesi Ma’afu replaced 3. Guy Shepherdson (62nd minute)
20. Patrick Phibbs replaced 9. Joshua Holmes (63rd minute)
22. Afusipa Taumoepeau replaced 11. Francis Fainifo (68th minute)
21. Matt Toomua replaced 12. Tyrone Smith (75th minute)
Western Force
1. Pek Cowan
2. Tai McIsaac
3. Troy Takiari
4. David Pusey
5. Nathan Sharpe (c)
6. Matt Hodgson
7. David Pocock
8. Richard Brown
9. Chris O’Young
10. Matt Giteau
11. Haig Sare
12. James O’Connor
13. Josh Tatupu
14. Dane Haylett-Petty
15. Cameron Shepherd
16. Luke Holmes
17. Kieran Longbottom
18. Sitaleki Timani
19. Sam Wykes
20. James Stannard
21. Scott Daruda
22. Junior Pelesasa