Super Rugby

Resilient Reds edge Brumbies in thriller

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The Queensland Reds edged the Brumbies 24-22 in the top of the table Super Rugby AU clash at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

James O’Connor starred for his side. He kicked a 77th-minute penalty to give his team a well-deserved come-from-behind victory against the defending champion Brumbies.

O’Connor kicked four penalties and a conversion for 14 points and had a hand in both Josh Flook and Jordan Petaia’s tries.

Brad Thorn’s side twice overturned nine-point deficits. The only time the hosts led in the match was in the final three minutes.

The undefeated Reds have all but booked their home final after going seven points ahead of the Brumbies.

They had to withstand two multi-phase attacks at the death, one of 19 phases and the other of nine before Cadeyrn Neville’s knock brought the game to a close.

Dan McKellar’s men have only lost three of their previous 11 Super Rugby AU matches, and all three defeats came against the Reds.

The Reds led 6-15 at the interval after tries by Folau Fainga’a and Tom Banks, and the boot of Noah Lolesio and Nic White, who kicked a monster penalty on the stroke of halftime.

Fainga’a struck in the fifth minute after a series of driving mauls were pulled down. Eventually, the referee warned the Reds, but they could not stop the hooker from scoring in the corner.

Lolesio missed from the touchline, only the third kick he’s missed all season.

It was soon 12-0 when Banks intercepted O’Connor’s loose pass. Banks raced 70 metres untouched to score. This time, Lolesio split the uprights.

O’Connor kicked two penalties to keep his side in the game, but Queensland could not breach the Brumbies’ defence.

Bryce Hegarty had a try chalked off on 32 minutes by the TMO. White added three more to the visitor’s total.

Queensland finds their rhythm and makes the Brumbies pay the price for not putting the game to bed

The home team struck 10 minutes after the break to make it 13-15 when Flook finished a sublime Queensland attack.

Jock Campbell took O’Connor’s pin-point crossfield kick to set up the score.

The Reds got quick-ball, went right before sending the ball left Campbell again. The winger passed inside to Flook, who bounced Andy Muirhead to score.

Super Rugby AU Round 8 Video Highlights: Reds vs Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

The Brumbies, however, hit back immediately when Muirhead put Tom Wright away in the corner. Lolesio’s touchline conversion re-established the visitor’s nine-point advantage.

But Thorn’s men were not finished. Another foray into the opposition’s 22 ended in five.

Petaia out-jumped a flatfooted Banks and latched onto O’Connor’s bomb to reduce the deficit to four points after 65 minutes.

O’Connor landed his third penalty on 70 minutes to make it 21-22 before a big scrum by the Reds’ front row gave the skipper a chance to win the game with four minutes to play.

O’Connor did not let his charges down.

Final Score: Reds 24 (6) Brumbies 22 (15)

Scorers

Reds
Tries – Flook, Petaia
Pen – O’Connor (4)
Con – O’Connor
Drop –
Cards –

Brumbies
Tries – Fainga’a, Banks, Wright
Pen – White
Con – Lolesio (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Way
TMO: Brett Cronan

Teams

Queensland Reds

15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Jock Campbell, 10 James O’Connor (captain), 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Feao Fotuaika

Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Richie Asiata, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Seru Uru, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Kalani Thomas, 22 Josh Flook, 23 Filipo Daugunu

Brumbies

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

Replacements:
 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 Nick Frost, 20 James Tucker, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Bayley Kuenzle, 23 Mack Hansen

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