Dramatic deadlock in Brisbane
Dramatic deadlock in BrisbaneSHARE
The Reds and the Brumbies threw everything at each other in a thrilling Australian derby which ended locked up at 19-19 in Brisbane on Saturday.
The home team were forced to come from behind and salvage two log points with a late try from Liam Gill after an extended period spent camped on the Brumbies' tryline.
The draw sees the Brumbies keep their place at the top of the standings, with the Reds still just two points behind them in the Australian conference.
The visitors established territorial dominance early on and took advantage with two penalties from Christian Lealiifano to open up a 6-0 lead.
The Reds responded by launching a few driving mauls which eventually resulted in No.8 Jake Schatz crashing over for a try which put them ahead 7-6.
The home crowd thought the Reds had scored again when a slick backline move saw wing Rod Davies dive for the corner, but the TMO confirmed that he had lost the ball forward as he tried to ground it.
The Brumbies were right back on the attack when a break in midfield from fullback Jesse Mogg put them in the Reds 22 and Lealiifano was on hand to ghost over for the try after a patient build-up of 11 phases.
Determined to hit back, the Reds sent it wide and Davies surged into the Brumbies 22, but a knock-on close to the tryline saw them denied again.
The pressure that the Reds had the Brumbies under finally told when Lealiifano was shown a yellow card for repeated infringements from his side, but they could not capitalise as the Brumbies scrambled it clear once more.
The visitors had a chance to extend their lead soon afterwards, but scrumhalf Nic White pushed his penalty attempt wide and they took a 13-7 advantage into the half-time break.
The Reds started the second half with real intent and exposed some space out wide which saw centre Anthony Faingaa come within inches of scoring in the corner, but he was forced into touch by a desperate cover tackle.
The home side kept the pressure on in the Brumbies 22 they made it count when a long pass from Quade Cooper saw Davies get over for the try after the forwards had driven it right up to the tryline.
Cooper missed the conversion that would have given his side the lead, and the Brumbies' advantage was extended to 16-12 when the Reds gave away a penalty from the restart for obstruction.
Lealiifano made it 19-12 soon afterwards when Faingaa played the ball on the ground, leaving the Reds were a converted try behind with 20 minutes remaining.
Captain James Horwill refused a few opportunities to kick at goal as the Reds forwards bashed away in search of a try, and their task was made easier when Brumbies replacement prop Scott Sio was shown a yellow card for repeated infringements from his team.
The siege on the Brumbies' line finally bore fruit when Liam Gill forced the ball between Nic White's legs over the whitewash, and the conversion from Cooper locked things up at 19-19.
There were some nervous moments for both teams in the final stages with the game on the line, but time ran out before either side could strike the killer blow.
Man of the match: Although he spent some time in the sin bin, it is hard to look past Brumbies centre Christian Lealiifano who scored all of his team's points.
For the Reds:
Tries: Schatz, Davies, Gill
Cons: Cooper 2
For the Brumbies:
Pens: Lealiifano 4
Yellow cards: Christian Lealiifano (Repeated infringements, 29 mins) Scott Sio (Repeated infringements, 69 mins)
Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Ed O'Donoghue, 19 Jarrad Butler, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 22 Dom Shipperley.
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Fotu Auelua, 7 George Smith, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Peter Kimlin, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Jordan Smiler, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Pat McCabe, 22 Clyde Rathbone.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)