Brumbies vs Reds: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Brumbies scorched the Reds in the second half to secure a desperately needed win.

Here's what we learned from ACT's 45-21 win.

1. Pocock still primed

David Pocock starred for the Brumbies. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyDavid Pocock was man-of-the-match for a Brumbies side that would have trailed by more than 15 at the 22 minute mark if it weren't for his presence.

Pocock made 19 tackles and was all over the Reds ball in a vintage display, his impact with ball in hand noticeable, too.

He was at his very best and will slot straight back into the Wallabies starting XV if he keeps this sort of form going.

2. Brumbies at best with backs to wall

The Brumbies produced the goods tonight. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyThe Brumbies produced their best half of football this season with their backs to the wall.

The 33-3 second half was driven by a forward pack which changed the momentum of the game 30 minutes into the match.

Having not fired a shot en route to a 15-0 deficit, Pocock and Isi Naisarani led a forward pack that ran the Reds off their feet.

This is the new watermark for a Brumbies side that has stumbled through the first eight rounds.

3. Reds find solidarity in centres

The brains trust at Ballymore quietly believe the Samu Kerevi-Chris Feauai-Sautia centre pairing is the way forward and they showed why in the first half.

The destructive pair were busting Brumbies tackles with ease and allowing Filipo Daugunu to flourish, too.

That trio had 18 tackle busts between them in a terrific first half.

4. Injury woes will hurt

Scott Higginbotham will be sidelined once again, this time through injury. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyThe night started on a grim note when Ben Lucas copped an accidental knee from James Dargaville flush to the head and there were a few more casualties to come.

Lachlan McCaffrey was sucking on the green whistle for pain relief on a nasty shoulder injury 15 minutes later, with Taniela Tupou's night also cut short due to a shoulder complaint.

To top it off, Scott Higginbotham suffered a calf strain in the second half which will sideline him for the foreseeable future.

5. Australian Conference intrigue grows

Just seven points separate the Rebels (20) and Reds (13) in the Australian Conference, who now sit in first and fourth, respectively.

Melbourne have won just one more game than Queensland but bonus points are going to be critical to finals berths once again.

Conference derby wins are truly worth their weight in gold.