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A come from behind win by the Western Force has dealt the CA Technologies Brumbies another disappointing loss at Canberra Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
In the first afternoon match played at Canberra Stadium since 2004, the local team was unable to put the Force away with the lead changing hands on six occasions.
The CA Technologies Brumbies had put in a solid first half but failed to build their momentum losing the match in the final minutes with David Smith scoring his second try.
The Force line out was the difference for the West Australians as they managed to pinch four CA Technologies Brumbies throws.
The CA Technologies Brumbies best were Captain Matt Giteau and Christian Lealiifano who tried hard to gain momentum throughout the match.
Salesi Ma’afu, Anthony Hegarty and Elvis Levi also had memorable evenings, with Ma’afu celebrating his 50th Cap, Hegarty his starting debut and Levi his Super Rugby debut.
Giteau’s first touches were all class, with a clever flick ball around the corner to Andrew Smith who put Ita Vaea into space.
Minutes later Giteau was putting the CA Technologies Brumbies in front with a successful penalty before finding himself on the end of a Christian Lealiifano line break and over the line for his third try of the 2011 season.
The Force bounced back almost immediately against the run of play as James O’Connor swooped on some loose ball after Rory Sidey had toed it through from the CA Technologies Brumbies own 22.
Willie Ripia converted and the Force headed into the break down 10-7.
The Force struck again just after half time, when Mark Chisholm made a powerful break down the left side of the pitch but his pass went to the West Australians, with David Smith finding himself on the end of a flowing backline to grab his first five pointer for the Force.
Both teams then went tit-for-tat penalties, with the lead exchanging hands six times in the second half.
The Force went one point ahead with just 10 minutes left, and extended that lead to eight with Smith’s final try just one minute out from fulltime.
The CA Technologies Brumbies have a bye this Easter weekend, before heading to South Africa for a two week tour.
WESTERN FORCE 27 (David Smith 2, James O’Connor tries; O’Connor 2 pens; 2 cons; William Ripia 1 con) bt CA TECHNOLOGIES BRUMBIES 19 (Matt Giteau try; con; 4 pens) at Canberra Stadium. Referee: Keith Brown.
CA Technologies Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Anthony Hegarty (Replaced by Elvis Levi)
3. Dan Palmer (Replaced by Salesi Ma’afu)
4. Ben Hand
5. Mark Chisholm
6. Peter Kimlin
7. Michael Hooper
8. Ita Vaea (Replaced by Colby Faingaa)
9. Josh Valentine (Replaced by Pat Phibbs)
10. Matt Giteau
11. Francis Fainifo
12. Christian Lealiifano
13. Andrew Smith
14. Pat McCabe
15. Matt Toomua (Replaced by Adam Ashley-Cooper)
16. Elvis Levis
17. Salesi Ma’afu
18. Colby Faingaa
19. Julian Salvi
20. Pat Phibbs
21. Tyrone Smith
22. Adam Ashley-Cooper