The undefeated Brumbies have returned to the top of the Super Rugby AU ladder with a 24-0 bonus-point win over the Western Force in Sydney. After opening with two long-range tries in the opening five minutes, the Brumbies never looked back as they completed a clean sweep of victories over their four Australian rivals in 2020.

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Unbeaten in the new domestic competition, the Brumbies leapfrogged Queensland on the ladder after the Reds had a round four bye. As they were in gallant defeats to the Reds and NSW Waratahs, the Force were plucky in the Leichhardt Oval on a wet night.

But the Brumbies were simply too slick in the backs and too powerful in the forwards, with dynamic No8 Pete Samu, half-back Joe Powell and inside centre Irae Simone the stand-outs.

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The ACT outfit made a lightning start, with winger Tom Wright finishing off a dazzling 75-metre try after just 80 seconds. The Brumbies’ second five-pointer, an 88-metre effort completed by Simone, was even better.

Up 12-0 after six minutes, it looked like being a one-sided contest. But, despite being kept scoreless for the first time in Super Rugby since 2007, the spirited Force kept the Brumbies at bay until flanker Will Miller crossed out wide three minutes after half-time to all but seal the victory.

It would not be a Brumbies game without a driving maul try from the ACT side so, fittingly, replacement hooker Connal McInerney bagged one in the 66th minute.

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Australia’s Super Rugby conference winners the past two years, the Brumbies have not lost a derby since March last year and now face the Reds back in Canberra next Saturday night. The Reds had a bye weekend, the Rebels defeating the Waratahs in the round’s other match on Friday.

BRUMBIES 24 (McInerney, Miller, Simone, Wright tries; Kuenzle 2 cons)

FORCE 0

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