Brumbies vs Reds: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Reds were embarrassed by the Brumbies at GIO Stadium on Saturday night.

Here are five things we learned from the Aussie derby.

1. Brumbies the team to beat in Australia

Stephen Larkham said post match that his team had struggled to build attacking momentum so far this season but they had plenty of that tonight.

The Reds' poor line speed and lack of physicality in first up tackles certainly helped, but the Brumbies were humming in the second half.The Brumbies are airborne after tonight's win. Photo: Getty ImagesThe 33-0 second term was 40 minutes of elite rugby.

The tight forwards ran hard, straight lines to punch over the gain line and allow Joe Powell and Wharenui Hawera to unleash the likes of Tevita Kuridrani, Aidan Toua and Henry Speight.

That trio was unstoppable tonight.

2. Terrific Toua steals the show

What a performance by Aidan Toua.Aidan Toua was terrific tonight. Photo: Getty ImagesThe former Red has been quietly impressive for the Brumbies this season but tonight was a breakout performance.

The 10-run, 147-metre stat line which also featured four tackle busts, a line break and a try assist, was sublime.

The way he jukes his way through the line has a bit of Kurtley Beale about it.

3. Reds not who they think they are

This Reds team is just as bad, if not worse, than the one we saw last season.

At 1-6, they have nothing to show for the endless chatter about restoring pride in the jersey and making their fans proud.

One would expect that to change when Quade Cooper and Karmichael Hunt return next week but given the amount of money spent on big names over the summer, a 1-6 record is simply not good enough.

George Smith was on the wrong side of the result in his return to Canberra. Photo: Getty ImagesIf this match was played on paper the Reds would win by plenty.

But unfortunately for the Reds and their long suffering fans, matches are won on the field, not the front office.

Stephen Moore and George Smith both described the performance as "embarrassing" post match and the effort levels deserved that jab.

Their fitness must be questioned, along with their desire for the contest.

The second-half was the worst 40 minute patch any Australian team has played this season and Nick Stiles must figure out what has gone so horribly wrong quick smart.

4. Defensive woes continue

Queensland missed 34 tackles tonight and there were just as many ineffective ones.

Smith said after the match that his team were missing too many first up tackles and he hit the nail on the head.

There is little to no line speed from Queensland and the Brumbies dominated every physical contest at the breakdown tonight.

The scrum - Queensland's saving grace through the last two years - and maul look similarly shoddy.

5. Rory roaring to national honours

Rory Arnold carved the Reds up in the first 40. Photo: Getty ImagesThe entire Brumbies pack was better than their opposite numbers tonight but Rory Arnold was a clear standout.

If Toua was best on ground Arnold was a close second.

His runs split the game open in the first half and while the Brumbies couldn't capitalise, the floodgates opened off the back of Arnold's work in the second term.

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