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A spirited Western Force had ended its season on a high defeating the University of Canberra Brumbies on Saturday 21-15.
Heavy rain and greasy Perth conditions did not help the University of Canberra Brumbies but in the end it was their own errors which cost them the match. If anything the score-line flattered the Brumbies who made 17 handling errors throughout the match.
Kicks sailed out on the full, passes didn’t stick and the Brumbies paid the price.
Despite the loss the Brumbies still managed to claim the Australian Conference title for the first time, finishing the competition with 60 points, two ahead of the Reds back on 58 with all competition games played.
Head Coach Jake White said if you have to lose this was the week to do it with no second chances from here on in.
“We’re probably guilty of thinking about next week, we’re just lucky that this loss came this week when we are still in with a shot,” White said.
“It was never going to be a situation where we just showed up and took the points and that perhaps is how we approached this game. We know we’ve played a lot of good rugby this year, we can’t be worried about this denting our confidence.
“We’re at home in front of our home crowd and we have no reason to drop our heads. There are only six teams that can win the competition now and we’re one of them.”
The game started with the Brumbies on the back foot as the kickoff sailed into touch on the full. From there things went from bad to worse as the Force crossed for two tried before halftime.
Heading to the sheds 14-3 down at halftime, the Brumbies needed to rally early in the second half. But a third try to former Brumbies Academy member Junior Rasolea pushed the score-line out of the visitor’s reach.
Tevita Kuridrani and Scott Fardy got the Brumbies back in with a sniff at 15-21, but the Force regained control of the match and were unlucky not to capitalise on more scoring opportunities late in the match.
Force 21 (Matt Hodgson, Junior Rasolea, Ben McCalman tries; Jayden Hayward 3 cons) bt University of Canberra Brumbies 15 (Tevita Kuridrani, Scott Fardy tries; Christian Lealiifano 1 con; 1 pen) at nib Stadium, Perth. Referee:
University of Canberra Brumbies
1. Scott Sio
2. Stephen Moore
3. Ben Alexander
4. Scott Fardy
5. Sam Carter
6. Peter Kimlin
7. Colby Faingaa
8. Ben Mowen (c)
9. Ian Prior
10. Matt Toomua
11. Joe Tomane
12. Christian Lealiifano
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Henry Speight
15. Jesse Mogg
16. Siliva Siliva
17. Ruan Smith
18. Fotu Auelua
19. George Smith
20. Robbie Coleman
21. Andrew Smith
22. Mark Swanepoel