The Brumbies thrashed the Reds 43-10 at GIO Stadium in Canberra to earn an Australian derby victory after a five-try second-half blitz.
Speaking afterwards, Queensland skipper Stephen Moore had some choice words for his team, describing the defeat as “embarrassing” in his post-match interview.
The teams went into the break all square at 10-all after James Tuttle’s penalty after the hooter but that was as good as it got for the visitors, who have now lost 12 games on the road since 2016.
The Brumbies started the second period like a team possessed, scoring two tries inside the first five minutes of the restart from Robbie Abel and Aidan Toua.
Jarrad Butler, in his 50th game, crossed soon after to extend the Brumbies’ lead to 21 points before James Dargaville and Chris Alcock crashed over to complete the bonus-point rout.
The first half was tight, each team scoring a converted try – by the Kuridrani cousins – and a penalty.
The visitors struck first from a lineout maul, George Smith offloaded to Scott Higginbotham, the Reds took another two phases before Chris Kuridrani’s angled run onto the ball from Tuttle and bashed through Abel, scored under the poles. Tuttle added the extras.
Wharenui Hawera kicked a penalty soon after to reduce the score to 3-7. The hosts had two great opportunities to score but poor handling let them down.
On 27 minutes they finally managed to finish off a move when Tevita Kuridrani put the home team in front.
The Brumbies took two crash ball options on a line. First, Allan Alaalatoa went close, then the skipper Scott Fardy was stopped short. On the third occasion, the big man crossed the whitewash. Hawera’s conversion was good.
Tuttle missed two penalty attempts from in front of the poles before a shot at goal on the siren tied the sides going into the break.
Whatever Stephen Larkham told his team in the shed worked as first Abel, then Toua scored in quick succession.
The hooker’s try came from a lineout and driving maul. Blake Enever collected the throw and set up the maul.
Some cynical play by the Reds, could not stop the powerful drive. Had the try not been scored, referee Nick Briant would have
Had the try not been scored, referee Nick Briant would have awarded a penalty try and a yellow card; it did not matter.
Three minutes later Toua was in on the act. It began after the restart. Alaalatoa made a break in midfield and offloaded a loose pass which, initially, bounced around until the fullback scooped the ball up and ran through the open field to score under the posts. Hawera’s third conversion gave the home side a 14 point lead.
Butler was next to cross the whitewash. On for his 50th cap, the No 8 will not get many easier tries than this.
From a penalty, the Brumbies opted for a scrum instead of kicking a simple three points. The home team then proceeded to beast the Reds forwards from about 10 metres out.
Butler collected the loose ball from the base of the scrum and dived over under the posts – Game over.
The Reds were all at sea and under constant pressure from the Canberra side, who were sensing that the visitors were running out of steam.
Hawera nearly scored in the corner after some phases on the Queensland goal line. Eventually, De Wet Roos’ darted to his right and gave a wonderful inside ball to Dargaville, running an angle, to score with seven minutes remaining.
Alcock completed the mauling with a try on the hooter and the Brumbies’ sixth of the evening.
The flanker gathered a pass from Toua, sold a dummy to his left, cut back on his right foot and ran the inside shoulder of Duncan Paia’aua.
Hawera finally missed but it did not matter as the hosts had racked up 33 unanswered second half points to keep pile the misery on the Reds.
Final score: Brumbies 43 (10) Reds 10 (10)
Tries – T. Kuridrani, Abel, Toua, Butler, Dargaville, Alcock
Pen – Hawera
Con – Hawera (5)
Tries – C. Kuridrani
Pen – Tuttle
Con – Tuttle
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 1: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 2: James Leckie
TMO: Ian Smith
15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Tom Banks, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy (captain), 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 James Dargaville.
15 Lachlan Maranta, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 James Tuttle, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Adam Korczyk, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Sef Fa’agase.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Kirwan Sanday, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Izaia Perese.