Reds win misty arm wrestle
SUPER RUGBY MATCH REPORT: The Reds broke a three-year drought against the Brumbies, when they beat them 16-15 in Brisbane on Friday.
The Reds, playing at home for the last time this season, fought back from 6-15 down for much of the second half for only their fourth win of a miserable season.
The 'sunshine state', Queensland, produced a misty deluge during the game - which turned an already dour Australian derby into a comedy of errors.
The Reds have won just one of their past 12 matches against Australian opposition and have lost five in a row against the Brumbies.
For most part it looked like it was going to be another long losing streak.
However, they hung tough and a Quade Cooper penalty on the stroke of full-time secured the win in a scrappy and our affair.
The Brumbies looked set to again dominate the Reds with a penalty try and a try to centre Kyle Godwin to lead by nine points up until eight minutes from full-time.
But a first Super Rugby try to youngster Hamish Stewart off a final ball from 36-year-old former Wallaby flank George Smith gave the Reds renewed hope into the final minutes.
Karmichael Hunt kicked the Reds deep into the Brumbies' territory and from a scrum win Queensland earned a penalty under the posts for Wallaby flyhalf Cooper to kick the winning points.
Cooper's goal- kicking heroics absolved him after he was culpable for letting the Brumbies skip out in front.
The flyhalf was tackled over his own try-line by Tom Banks but didn't ground the ball, inviting Godwin to pounce on it when it eventually fell loose for an easy try in the 55th minute.
Godwin's try came shortly after George Smith was yellow-carded for collapsing a Brumbies rolling maul - the 14th time a Reds player has been sent to the sin bin this season - which resulted in the Brumbies' penalty try.
The loss was the Brumbies' eighth of the season, yet they still have qualified for the Super Rugby finals as Australian conference champions, irrespective of the remaining results.
"After the season we've had it's just nice to have a win for everyone at the club and for the fans," Reds skipper Stephen Moore said.
"Obviously, it took to the last minute to get the win, but I'm proud of the team. It was tough conditions, but we hung in and believed in each other right till the end."
Brumbies' captain Sam Carter said his team had made mistakes at crucial times.
"It was pretty disappointing. We had a lot of opportunities to close out the game, but we made silly mistakes at crucial times and we've only got ourselves to blame," Carter said.
During the match the Brumbies became only the second Super Rugby side behind New Zealand's Crusaders (9,435 points) to reach the 8000 point milestone in the history of the tournament.
Man of the match: Quade Cooper may gave kicked the match-winning penalty, but overall the most impressive player was veteran Wallaby loose forward George Smith - who showed that despite his advanced years, he still knows the shortcuts and certainly has an amazing workrate. Despite his yellow card for a cynical foul he wins our award.
For the Reds:
Pens: Cooper 3
For the Brumbies:
Tries: Penalty try, Godwin
Con: Penalty try does not require a conversion
Yellow card: George Smith (Reds, 51 - cynical foul, collapsing a maul)
Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Duncan Paia'aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 James Tuttle, 8 Adam Korczyk, 7 George Smith, 6 Rob Simmons, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Sef Fa'agase.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Markus Vanzati, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Caleb Timu, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Chris Kuridrani.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Aidan Toua, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Leslie Leulua'Iali'I-Makin, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Nigel Ah Wong, 23 Andrew Smith.
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nicholas Berry (New Zealand), Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)