Treble for Pocock in Brumbies win
Australia openside David Pocock scored a first-half hat-trick as the Brumbies overpowered the Highlanders 31-18 in their Super Rugby showdown in Canberra.
Each of Pocock's tries came from line-out drives with the 27-year-old openside simply falling over the line following muscular work from his forwards.
It was the first time he has crossed in his three seasons with the Brumbies after the last two years were spent recovering from knee reconstructions.
The Brumbies led 31-6 at half time after Wallabies wing Henry Speight also touched down with the outstanding Pocock inevitably involved in the build up to a fine score.
The try-scoring bonus-point had been wrapped up by the interval, but they failed to breach the whitewash again as the Highlanders staged a comeback.
Tries by centre Shaun Treeby and Dan Pryor made inroads into the deficit, but the Highlanders - who rested All Blacks Malakai Fekitoa, Aaron Smith and Ben Smith - had left themselves with too much to do.
After successive defeats to the Blues and Rebels, it was an impressive victory by the Brumbies founded on their forward power and cements their place in the top three of the Super Rugby table.