Brumbies make statement against Reds

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Brumbies have shown an abhorrent Reds side what it takes to be an Australian Conference contender, blowing them away with a dominant 43-10 win at GIO Stadium.

The win puts the Brumbies eight points clear on top of the Australian Conference and establishes them as the team to beat in Australia this season.

After a first-half filled with missed opportunities, the Brumbies were their usual clinical selves when they emerged from the sheds for the second term - scoring three tries in 13 minutes which put the result beyond any doubt.

Rory Arnold and Aidan Toua starred for the home side, threatening the line with every touch.Stephen Moore was on the wrong end of the result in his return to Canberra. Photo: Getty ImagesTheir rolling maul was as powerful as their scrum and their forwards provided consistent clean ball for their backs through hard, straight lines which put Queensland's defensive line on the back foot.

Stephen Larkham's team are undoubtedly the best in Australia at present and given the names they lost at the end of 2016 - Matt Toomua, David Pocock and Joe Tomane - it has been an extraordinary coaching effort.

In contrast, the Reds have now lost six straight and questions will be asked as to what has gone wrong at Ballymore with such a star-studded list on board.

The Reds missed too many first up tackles and lacked any threat in attack - often playing the ball metres before the defensive line - allowing the Brumbies to pick off ball runners with ease.Aidan Toua was superb for the Brumbies tonight. Photo: Getty ImagesThe second half was an absolutely woeful performance by the visitors and questions will now be asked as to what the summer recruitment drive has achieved.

They were passable in the first half - Chris Kuridrani running a smart line for their only try - but in truth the Brumbies should have gone into the break with an extra try or two under their belt rather than the 10-all deadlock.

The tale of the match was told in the five minutes after the half-time break, as the Brumbies scored a pair of clinical tries that put the result beyond doubt.

The Reds were clinging on for dear life defensively in the first 40 minutes and the dam burst two minutes into the second term - a typical Brumbies rolling maul dragging Robbie Abel over for the first of two daggers.

Queensland fans had barely settled in for the second half before Aidan Toua cleaned up a loose ball in the 44th minute, sprinting away to open up a 24-10 gap that the Reds never looked like closing.George Smith is back at GIO Stadium. Photo: Getty ImagesThe flood gates had well and truly opened by that point and Jarrad Butler was the next to cross - diving over the line off the back of a powerful scrum from five metres out to seal the result.

Even as they opened up a 31-10 lead after Butler's try, players were cueing up to have their crack at the Reds shoddy defensive line as though it was a Super Rugby final.

James Dargaville and Chris Alcock crossed late to make the margin embarrassing for Queensland, who have now lost 12 straight games on the road.

RESULT

Brumbies 43

Tries: Kuridrani, Abel, Toua, Butler, Dargaville, Alcock

Cons: Hawera 5

Pens: Hawera

Reds 10

Tries: Kuridrani

Cons: Tuttle

Pens: Tuttle

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