The Reds had to fight all the way for 27-17 win over last year's finalists, the Brumbies, on Saturday.
Jesse Mogg opened the scoring with a penalty in the eighth minute as the Brumbies controlled the early territory, with Henry Speight wowing the crowd with a couple of breaks down each touchline.
The Reds responded through tries from Lachie Turner and Aidan Toua that were set up by some brilliant play from Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper.
Turner's great first half continued with a try-saving tackle on Mogg in the corner, rolling the Wallabies fullback as he went for the line in a top-class bit of defence. Mogg, though, added three points as the Brumbies scored their third penalty of the match.
Mogg had been denied in the first half but the Reds couldn't stop his gliding run from deep in the second, the fullback scampering over the hosts' first try of the season. His conversion was amiss to keep the Reds ahead, but only by three points at 20-17.
For such a disciplined match from both teams, it ended in a comedy of errors. Cooper's kick to touch from a penalty didn't find the touchline but Mogg spilled the ball, offering it up on a plate for Chris Feauai-Sautia who swooped and ran under the posts to secure the win.
Brumbies – Tries: Jesse Mogg. Penalties: Mogg (3), Nic White.
Reds – Tries: Lachlan Turner, Aidan Toua, Chris Feauai-Sautia. Conversions: Quade Cooper (3). Penalties: Cooper (2).
Brumbies – 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Ben Mowen (c), 5 Scott Fardy, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Subs: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Ruaridh Murphy, 19 Leon Power, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Conrad Hoffman, 22 Lionel Cronjé, 23 Tevita Kuridrani.
Reds – 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Lachlan Turner, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Dom Shipperley, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Ed Quirk, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Anthony Fainga'a, 23 Chris Feauai-Sautia.
Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images