Super Rugby

Petaia stuns Brumbies as Reds gain Grand Final revenge

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The Queensland Reds edged the Brumbies 38-40 in a thrilling Round Four of Super Rugby AU at GIO Stadium, Canberra.

Jordan Petaia’s last-minute try saw the Reds avenge their 2020 Super Rugby AU Grand Final defeat to the Brumbies. James O’Connor, who kicked eight from nine, slotted the winning conversion with seconds remaining.

Queensland handed the Brumbies their first loss of the season after a nine-try thriller in the Australian Capital Territory,  however, the ACT side remains on top of Super Rugby AU. 

The Reds fought back from 17-0 down — as well as a 15-point and two different eight-point deficits in the second half — to mount an unlikely come back against the defending champions.


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Brad Thorn’s charges’ victory ends the Brumbies’ run of 18 wins from 19 home games, while also ending a run of four Queensland losses in the previous five Super Rugby clashes between the teams.

Pete Samu and Folau Fainga’a both scored braces as the Super Rugby AU defending champions looked to run away with the game.

Super Rugby AU Round 4 Video Highlights: Brumbies vs Queensland Reds at GIO Stadium, Canberra

Issak Fines-Leleiwasa thought he had clinched the game for Dan McKellar’s men with a late second-half try, but Petaia put paid to that, scoring his teams fourth five-pointer to level.

Suliasi Vunivalu, Taniela Tupou and Harry Wilson also crossed for the Brisbane side to keep the Reds in the hunt. It was, however, Pataia who had the last word.

Brumbies race out of the blocks but O’Connor’s boot keeps his side in touching distance

Samu and Fainga’a’s first tries saw the Brumbies race into a point-a-minute 17-0 lead. Lolesio opened the scoring with an early penalty before the No. 8 struck.

Samu collected Andy Muirhead’s stunning offload, danced on the touchline to waltz over and score, four minutes later. It was not long before the hosts increased their advantage.

On 13 minutes, try machine Fainga’a did what he always does — score from a rolling maul. Lolesio converted both scores.

James O’Connor chipped away with three penalties and converted Vunivalu debut Super Rugby try to make it 17-13 on the half-hour.

After several kick-chases, the Reds ran the ball from deep inside their half. They set up a ruck in midfield, Tate McDermott sent the ball to O’Connor, who set his team away.

The 30-year-old standoff drew the defenders, passed to Wilson, who puy Vunivalu away. The conversion made it a four-point ball-game.

The Brumbies, however, struck soon afterwards when Samu crossed for his second score five minutes before halftime. Lolesio’s third conversion gave his side an 11-point lead at the interval.

Scrumhalf Nic White’s delayed show-and-go pop-pass above Samu’s head was gathered by the number eight to score in the  corner.

Seven minutes after the restart, Fainga’a crashed over for his second try after another powerful rolling maul. Lolesio added both extras.

O’Connor hit the post in the 52nd-minute when he should have kicked to the corner, but the Reds had already started to gain some ascendency after Scott Sio left the field in a sling.

Tupou takes over after Sio leaves the field

Tupou took over, and the momentum shifted in favour of the visitors. The Brumbies’ pack began to disintegrate under the pressure of their opponent’s newfound vigour.

Tupou feasted on his opposite number, winning several scrum-penalties, and the big man barged over from close range on 62 minutes to give his team a sniff.

Wilson scored soon afterwards following another bulldozing scrum by the Queensland forwards. O’Connor kicked both conversions to make it a one-point game.

But four minutes later, Fines-Leleiwasa danced down the sideline to extend the lead. Ryan Lonergan added the extras, making it 38-30.

On 75 minutes, O’Connor cut the gap to five with his fourth penalty of the night.

There was just enough time left for Thorn’s side to finish the stunning comeback win when Petaia latched onto Hunter Paisaimi’s deft grubber and dot down behind the posts and level the scores.

The skipper kicked the winning points, and the Reds held out for a famous victory in the capital.

Final Score: Brumbies 38 (24) Reds 40 (16)

Scorers

Brumbies
Tries – Samu (2), Fainga’a (2), Fines-Leleiwasa
Pen – Lolesio
Con – Lolesio (4), R. Lonergan
Drop –
Cards –

Reds
Tries – Vunivalu, Tupou, Wilson, Petaia
Pen – O’Connor (4)
Con – O’Connor (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Jordan Way
Assistant Ref 2: Amy Perrett
TMO: James Leckie

Teams

Brumbies

15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Mack Hansen, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Tom Cusack (captain), 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Tom Ross, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio

Replacements:
 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Harry Lloyd, 18 Archer Holz, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Jahrome Brown, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Reesjan Pasitoa, 23 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa

Reds

15 Jock Campbell, 14 Suliasi Vunivalu, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor (captain), 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Dane Zander

Replacements:
 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Seru Uru, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Josh Flook

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