The ACT Brumbies continue to firm as genuine finals contenders after ending a successful South African tour with a 34-20 win over the Johannesburg Lions at Ellis Park this morning.
The Brumbies will return to Canberra tomorrow having collected seven points from their two games despite losing to the Pretoria Bulls last weekend.
They ran in six tries to two against the struggling Lions and Jake White's young side continues to grow in confidence.
The 14-point win extends their lead at the top of the Australian conference and they will have a nice buffer if the NSW Waratahs fail to beat the Canterbury Crusaders tomorrow.
Despite a lapse late in the second half, the Brumbies were rarely troubled by the Lions who have won just one game this season.
And the scoreline could have been much worse for the Lions had the Brumbies nailed all of their penalty and conversion attempts.
After a sloppy start, the Brumbies finally put the Lions' defence under pressure and scored with their first attacking chance.
Winger Henry Speight made a bust down the sideline, prop Ruaidhri Murphy barged over from close range to score the first try of the match.
Speight then score a try of his own after Christian Lealiifano slipped through a gap in the defence.
Lealiifano got through another hole but dropped the ball when trying to ground it.
His mistake didn't matter with Andrew Smith scoring two minutes later to give the Brumbies a 17-6 lead after Joseph Tomane made a strong bust.
The Brumbies then put the game beyond the Lions' reach at the start of the second half when they scored two tries in two minutes.
First Tomane benefitted from a blunder by Lions fullback Andries Coetzee and then prop Ben Alexander scored in the corner after Michael Hooper made a 60m break.
The Brumbies now play the Waratahs at Canberra Stadium next Saturday night.
BRUMBIES 34 (Henry Speight 2, Stephen Moore, Ruaidhri Murphy, Andrew Smith, Joseph Tomane tries Christian Lealiifano, Jesse Mogg cons) bt LIONS 20 (Caylib Oosthuizen, Jaco Taute tries Elton Jantjies 2 cons 2 pens) at Ellis Park. Referee: Keith Brown.