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Brumbies secure Super W finals berth with big win over Force

By AAP
(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Western Force’s Super W finals hopes have been extinguished after producing a horror first half in a 45-27 loss to the Brumbies in Perth.

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The stakes couldn’t have been higher for Saturday’s last round match at HBF Park, with the winner to secure a finals berth.

But the match was effectively over within 33 minutes after the Brumbies scored five converted tries to open up a 35-0 lead.

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The Force fought back well in the second half, with star captain Trilleen Pomare scoring a try and setting up another, and Martha Mataele finishing with a double.

But it proved too little too late, with the Brumbies holding firm in the key moments to secure the six-tries-to-five victory.

“We had a good crack in the second half, but the first 40 let us down,” Pomare told Stan after the match.

“The Brumbies put points on us early and it hurt us.

“The first 40 wasn’t us at all, that’s not the footy we want to play.

“It’s back to the drawing board I guess and we go again next year.

“I think we’ve got some good momentum moving forward.”

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The Force didn’t even enter their attacking 22m for the first time until the 28th minute.

By that stage, the Brumbies had already built a 28-0 lead on the back of four converted tries.

Brumbies hooker Tania Naden started the onslaught with two tries in the space of five minutes, with Alyce Solaese adding a third at the 14-minute mark.

The Force struggled to contain the numerous line breaks by the Brumbies, and the home side were also let down by a series of basic handling errors.

It seemed even the rugby gods were on the Brumbies’ side.

Brumbies flyhalf Faitala Moleka scored her team’s fourth try when her pass just metres from the line was blocked by a Force player – only for the ball to bounce fortuitously and allow her to run onto it and touch down.

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The scoreline read 35-0 when an attempted clearing kick from the Force brushed a teammate, with Brumbies scrumhalf Jay Huriwai picking up the scraps and squeezing between two defenders to score.

The Force finally got their first points of the match when Angel Schwencke barged over in the 36th minute, and the home side’s hopes were further buoyed when Brumbies prop Iris Verebalavu was yellow carded for a high tackle.

The Force pushed hard in the second half and the margin was reduced to 20 points in the 63rd minute, but the home side could only manage one more try.

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