The Brumbies overcame an 18-point deficit to beat the Reds 45-21 in a brutal Australian derby at GIO Stadium, Canberra.
This was the Brumbies’ first derby win in five games, halting a two-game losing streak against the Reds.
Isi Naisarani scored his first career double, helping the Brumbies overcome a slow start against the Brisbane side.
The opening half-hour was all Queensland as they dominated territory, possession and time in opposition’s half.
The Reds raced to a 0-18 lead before crumbling after the interval.
Folau Fainga’a’s 27th-minute try sparked a 45-points to three scoring spree for the home side, in this brutal Aussie clash.
Matt Lucas was knocked out, Lachlan Mccaffrey left the field on the cart with the dreaded ‘green whistle’ in his mouth after a dislocated elbow.
James Slipper was pulled after taking a vicious head-knock, but only after playing on, making several runs and tackles.
Scott Higginbotham conducted a sombre post-match television interview on crutches after the seven tries to two trouncing.
Reds race into the lead.
The game started with the visitors dominating the opening exchanges.
The Reds had 78 percent possession and 84 percent time in the opposition’s half.
They made it count, scoring twice through Taniela Tupou and Chris Feauai-Sautia inside 22 minutes.
Tupou powered over after Feauai-Sautia took a sledgehammer to the Brumbies’ defence.
Feauai-Sautia was causing havoc in the Brumbies’ midfield, barging over for the Reds’ second score.
That great intangible: momentum.
The home team were all at sea, but Fainga’a’s try from a powerful driving maul turned the game.
As is often the case in sports, momentum changes games. And it did, at GIO Stadium.
Jono Lance’s second penalty extended the Reds’ lead to 7-18 but after 13 phases, Naisarani crossed for his first to reduce the deficit before the break.
Feauai-Sautia was yellow carded before half-time and the Brumbies made the extra man count.
Chance Peni’s fancy footwork did for the cover defenders, and two minutes’ later, Rory Arnold burst through some weak tackling to give the Brumbies the lead.
It was a lead they would not surrender.
James Tuttle kicked a penalty to keep his team in touching distance, making it a three-point game going into the final quarter.
Brumbies increase the heat.
Sam Carter was not held in the tackle and showing great awareness, the lock, who was not held, got up and reached for the whitewash to extend the lead to two scores.
The Reds were wilting under their opponent’s pressure and duly collapsed.
Naisarani barged in for his second to end the game as a contest with seven minutes remaining.
That was not the end.
There was still time for the omnipresent David Pocock, who was a pillar of strength in the mauls and a thief in the night at the breakdown, had time to add a dagger to the heart of the Reds.
Final score: Brumbies 45 (12) Reds 21 (18)
Tries – Fainga’a, Naisarani (2), Peni, Arnold, Carter, Pocock
Con – Hawera, Lealiifano (4)
Tries – Tupou, Feauai-Sautia
Pen – Lance (2), Tuttle
Con – Lance
Cards – Feauai-Sautia (Yellow, 39′)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 2: James Leckie
TMO: George Ayoub
15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 11 Chance Peni, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Matt Lucas, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 David Pocock, 6 Lachlan Mccaffrey, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Sam Carter, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Kyle Godwin, 23 James Verity-Amm.
15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Jayden Ngamanu, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Adam Korczyk, 6 Caleb Timu, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Jean-Pierre Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Liam Wright, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Jordan Petaia.