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While you wouldn’t think of this game as being particularly important in the context of a Super Rugby AU season, the Brumbies still haven’t locked up the top spot. While they lead the Reds by two points with a game in hand, if they don’t win today against the Force they risk losing the no.1 seed when they face off against the Queenslanders on Saturday next week. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 7:05 pm (AEST).
The Western Force are still chasing their first win of the season, but only an optimist would rate them a chance of getting it tonight against the favourites.
The Brumbies aren’t unbeatable to be fair, only three weeks ago Dan McKellar’s men allowed themselves to be torched by an on-fire Rebels side. Since then, they’ve had a bye before bouncing back with venom against the Waratahs last weekend in a game where they showed their clinical side.
Three tries early in the second half left the Waratahs firmly in their shadow – further cementing the ACT side as favourites. For the Force, they’ve not been all bad – although going winless this season would be far from ideal for them. They’d be wanting to secure that elusive win ASAP.
In team news, Dan McKellar has made just one change to the starting XV. Joe Powell comes back in for Ryan Lonergan, with try-scoring machine Folau Fainga’a slots back onto the bench.
The Force benefit from having Jono Lance back at 10, Henry Taefu slots in for Richard Kahui and star winger Marcel Brache crops up on the right wing.
Henry Stowers takes over at 8 for Brynard Stander.
Brumbies will win it. Short of a miracle, the Force’s upset won’t come this weekend.
That being said, they could push the ACT team all the way, but you’d be stupid to tip the guests.
Brumbies by 17.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 7:05 pm (AEST).
Venue: GIO Stadium
Time: 7:05pm (AEST)
Odds: Brumbies $1.07, Force $9.50
TV: Fox Sports
1. James Slipper, 2. Connal McInerney, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Murray Douglas, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Lachlan McCaffrey, 7. Will Miller, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Bayley Kuenzle, 11. Tom Wright, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Solomone Kata, 14. Andy Muirhead, 15. Tom Banks
Bench: 16. Folau Fainga’a, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Darcy Swain, 20. Rob Valetini, 21. Nic White, 22. Reesjan Pasitoa, 23. Len Ikitau
1. Pek Cowan, 2. Andrew Ready, 3. Kieran Longbottom, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 5. Ollie Atkins, 6. Fergus Lee-Warner, 7. Kane Koteka, 8. Henry Stowers, 9. Ian Prior (c), 10. Jono Lance, 11. Brad Lacey, 12. Henry Taefu, 13. Kyle Godwin, 14. Marcel Brache, 15. Jack McGregor
Bench: 16. Feleti Kaitu’u, 17. Chris Heiberg, 18. Tom Sheminant, 19. Tevin Ferris, 20. Brynard Stander, 21. Nick Frisby, 22. Richard Kahui, 23. Jake Strachan