Former Test winger Clyde Rathbone showed he has lost none of his skill, turning in a solid performance in his return from retirement as the Brumbies beat Western Force 20-18 in a Super Rugby trial on Friday night.
Rathbone, who retired in 2009 due to injuries and suffered depression while away from the game, showed power to score the Brumbies’ second try of the night at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
The 31-year-old Rathbone, a former Wallabies winger, showed no signs of the persistent injuries that prematurely put his career on hold.
As lightning crackled overhead on a warm Darwin night the Brumbies dominated the first half, with Matt Toomua also scoring a try to help build a 17-3 halftime lead.
At the start of the second half Brumbies coach Jake White gave some of his less-experienced players a run, taking off Rathbone and former Force captain David Pocock.
Pocock had been strong early in defence against his former teammates but never shone.
Against the new faces and as the monsoon rains began to fall in the second half, the Force powered back.
Brumbies loosehead prop Ruaidhri Murphy was sin-binned early in the second half after a professional foul.
Force reserve Junior Rasolea scored a try with 10 minutes left in the game, but the conversion that would have levelled the scores was missed.
The Force then pushed two penalty goal attempts wide.