Brumbies hold strong for win over Force
March 1, 2014
Henry Speight made easy work of the Force defence throughout the match
© Getty Images
Wallabies duo Hugh McMeniman and Pat McCabe suffered suspected neck injuries as the Brumbies eased to a 27-14 win over the Western Force in Saturday night's Super Rugby clash in Perth. McCabe was sent to hospital for scans after damaging his neck in a first-half incident.
The 25-year-old centre was in just his second game back since breaking his neck while playing against the British and Irish Lions last year.
The Brumbies were dealt another blow when David Pocock injured his reconstructed left knee in the 71st minute. Pocock was assessed on the ground before walking to the bench with only a slight limp.
McMeniman, who missed the second half of last season after undergoing a shoulder reconstruction, was stretchered off in the 36th minute after hurting his neck while making an attempted drive to the tryline.
The Brumbies ran in three first-half tries to notch their first victory of the season, but they couldn't land the bonus-point fourth try.
The Force, who conceded six tries against the Waratahs last weekend, were held scoreless until Jayden Hayward scored a consolation try in the 77th minute. Force No.8 Ben McCalman scored another try after the final siren to add some respectability to the scorecard.
The Brumbies entered the match desperate for a win following a 27-17 loss to the Reds and they had three tries on the board inside 23 minutes. Scott Fardy, Jesse Mogg and Robbie Coleman all capitalised on the Brumbies' slick work in attack, finding gaps in an overwhelmed Force defence.
Fullback Mogg was sent to the sin bin in the 29th minute after lifting an opponent in the ruck. But his 10-minute absence didn't faze the Brumbies, who held firm before adding a penalty on the half-time siren to enter the break with a 24-0 lead.
Force coach Michael Foley injected flyhalf Sias Ebersohn and fullback Jayden Hayward into the game after half-time. Ebersohn's introduction paid particular dividends, with the South African playmaker adding some much-needed flair.
The Brumbies took quick control of the match with three early tries