ACT Brumbies have spoiled a Perth homecoming of the Western Force after sitting out much of the past four years of the game on the sideline.
The reigning champions never relented over the opening 80 minutes of its Super Rugby AU campaign to convincingly win 27-11 on Friday night.
The West Australian side had been dumped at the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season and only returned to the fold last year for the new Australian competition, but were still unable to play home games after a state border lockdown amid coronavirus restrictions.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said that his charges were aware of what it was running into against more than 7,514 starved but vocal Force fans.
“We knew it was going to be tough, the first hitout – we knew, the first half an hour, would be in particular,” McKellar said.
“It was an emotional night for the Force. It was great to see them back in the competition and really great to be back here playing. We’re really pleased for the rugby community, which is a genuine rugby community here in Perth.
“If you had said before the game, 27-11, ‘Dan, would you had take that?’, we would have said ‘yep’.”
The Brumbies will begin to prepare for a Saturday night return to Canberra Stadium against NSW Waratahs, who are coming off a shock 41-7 loss to Queensland Reds in Brisbane.
Captain Allan Alaalatoa said the players have to treat the clash as a danger game.
“It is always a tough match against the Tahs, even at our home,” Alaalatoa said.
“I think they definitely have a point to prove…but I am sure everyone is riding them off so they will come up.”