The Brumbies have made it three straight wins to start the Super Rugby Pacific season, seeing off a dogged NSW Waratahs outfit for a 27-20 win.

The hosts came out breathing fire at Canberra Stadium and led 10-0 before they'd laid a single tackle, and steadied well when the Waratahs finally brought the challenge.

Having led 24-6, the Brumbies appeared to be cruising but the dynamic visitors just wouldn't quit, although they couldn't find a way over the line late when it mattered most.

The Brumbies, now 3-0 for the season, were on the board within five minutes as their forward pack took control and allowed Rob Valetini to dive over and score.

The hosts kept their foot on the pedal and extended their leads when Noah Lolesio slotted a penalty on 13 minutes.

Finally looking to get a foothold in the match, Waratah No.10 Ben Donaldson pulled a mid-range penalty kick wide, although he popped one over from slightly closer on 22 minutes.

NSW flanker Charlie Gamble then looked on to score with a scintillating run from his own half, with only a desperate try-saving tackle from fullback Tom Banks preventing him.


The Waratahs reduced the deficit further with another penalty but the Brumbies struck back immediately through Nick Frost to go ahead 17-6, able to burst through the line after a brutal run from Valetini.

Irae Simone gave the Brumbies some breathing room with a highlight reel try, stepping around half the Waratahs team and scoring under the posts.

Donaldson broke through the line and found a surging Angus Bell to pull it back to 24-13 just before the hour.

Lolesio slotted a penalty but the Waratahs wouldn't go away, with a slashing run from Donaldson finding Will Harris in the corner, before the sideline conversion set up a tense final rive minutes.

James Slipper was outstanding either side of a trip off the field for a HIA, while Valetini produced a string of heavy carries that drove the Brumbies forward at will.

For the Waratahs, Bell put in a shift up forward and Donaldson continued his rise as the chief playmaker, while Gamble made things happen with numerous dashing runs.


Brumbies 27 (Tries: Valetini, Frost, Simone, Con: Lolesio 3, Pens: Lolesio 2) Waratahs 20 (Tries: Bell, Harris, Cons: Donaldson 2, Pens: Donaldson 2)

BRUMBIES (1-15): James Slipper, Folau Fainga'a, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Darcy Swain, Nick Frost, Rob Valetini, Jahrome Brown, Pete Samu, Nic White, Noah Lolesio, Andy Muirhead, Irae Simone, Len Ikitau, Tom Wright, Tom Banks

RESERVES: Billy Pollard, Scott Sio, Tom Ross, Ed Kennedy, Luke Reimer, Ryan Lonergan, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Jesse Mogg

WARATAHS (1-15): Angus Bell, Dave Porecki, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Jed Holloway, Max Douglas, Hugh Sinclair, Charlie Gamble, Will Harris, Jake Gordon (c), Ben Donaldson, James Turner, Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Dylan Pietsch, Alex Newsome

RESERVES: Tom Horton, Tetetra Faulkner, Ruan Smith, Langi Gleeson, Carlo Tizzano, Jack Grant, Will Harrison, Tevita Funa

Referee: Nic Berry

Assistant Referees: Reuben Keane, Matt Kellahan