The Brumbies scored six tries to claim a 43-10 bonus-point win over the Reds in Canberra on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
The hosts' victory was their 10th in a row against local opposition and consolidates their place at the top of the Australian conference.
The first half made for torrid viewing, with both sides racking up the errors and a trigger-happy referee in Nick Briant, but the Brumbies rallied in the second half to secure a convincing win.
The visitors made a positive start to the game as they pinned the Brumbies in their half, but an opportunity to take the lead went begging when scrumhalf James Tuttle skewed a penalty attempt from straight in front. Wing Chris Kuridrani did eventually give the Reds the lead with a well-taken try after they strung together a couple of phases off the back of lineout possession.
The Brumbies did get on the board with a penalty but their frustration was palpable as they started to harass the referee. However, they found an attacking flicker towards the half-hour mark when centre Tevita Kuridrani wriggled his way over for a converted touchdown. But the Reds erased that deficit with a penalty at the stroke of half-time for a 10-10 scoreline.
The second half was a total domination by Brumbies, who added five unanswered tries and blanketed the Reds.
In a superb start after the break, hooker Robbie Abel and fullback Aidan Toua scored within two minutes of each other to open up a 14-point buffer. The Reds had no response for the Brumbies' supremacy, and when Jarrad Butler scored the bonus-point try in the 53rd minute, the contest was over.
There were two more tries for the hosts late in the game, but with maximum log points already secured, those efforts only served to polish the scoreline.
Brumbies – Tries: Tevita Kuridrani, Robbie Abel, Aidan Toua, Jarrad Butler, James Dargaville, Chris Alcock. Conversions: Wharenui Hawera (5). Penalty: Hawera.
Reds – Try: Chris Kuridrani. Conversion: James Tuttle. Penalty: Tuttle.
Brumbies – 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 (c), 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Scott Sio.
Subs: 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.
Reds – 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 (c), 1 Sef Fa'agase.
Subs: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Kirwan Sanday, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Izaia Perese.
Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images