'Hand of God' helps Brumbies to big win

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Brumbies' very own 'Hand of God' moment has stolen the limelight at GIO Stadium, as ACT claimed a much needed 45-21 win over the Reds.

With the match delicately poised in the Brumbies' favour with 20 to play - leading 24-18 - Aidan Toua slipped an offload through a tackle which was knocked down by David Pocock.

The loose ball found the hands Samu Kerevi, who ran 20 metres to score, untouched.

The passage looked a try to all bar referee Ben O'Keeffe, who blew a knock on, and TMO George Ayoub, who watched four replays of Pocock slapping the ball to ground without intervening.

It was akin to Diego Maradona's handball turned goal at the 1986 World Cup and Queensland were forced to settle for a penalty when they should have reclaimed the lead.

From that point forward, it was all ACT, as they scored three late tries to surge clear.

The final 20 minutes was a direct contrast to the opening quarter, where the Brumbies did not fire a shot.Tom Banks and the Brumbies ran over the Reds late. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyThe Reds made them pay, as their forwards ran right through a lacklustre ACT pack.

Taniela Tupou, Izack Rodda and Caleb Timu set a perfect platform from which the Queensland backs thrived - Chris Feauai-Sautia, Kerevi and Filipo Daugunu proving borderline unstoppable when the football found their hands.

That trio amassed 18 tackle busts between them in the first 40 minutes and it was Feauai-Sautia who created the spark for Tupou's deadlock breaking opener in the sixth minute, shedding two tackles from a standing start before popping an offload to Tupou, who wasn't going to be stopped three metres out from the line.

The Reds rinsed and repeated the same formula for Feauai-Sautia's try, 11 phases of hard graft from the pack providing the space for Jono Lance to put the outside centre through another two tackles and over.

Trailing 15-0 with just 22 minutes gone, the Brumbies responded.Scott Sio's running game set up Rory Arnold's try. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyFolau Faingaa fell over the line off the back of an eight metre rolling maul in the 27th minute before Isi Naisarani barged his way over following six brutal phases in the Queensland 22.

Faingaa was denied a spectacular double with the final play of the second half but momentum was on ACT's side as they trotted into the sheds trailing 18-12, Feauai-Sautia sent to the sin bin moments earlier for a dubious deliberate knockdown.

The home side capitalised on that momentum when Chance Peni scored an opportune try in the 47th minute after Naisarani claimed a loose ball but Hawera shanked the conversion, leaving the Reds in front, 18-17.

That lead only lasted one more minute, though, Hawera throwing a brilliant ball to put Scott Sio through a hole, Rory Arnold receiving the final pass and beating a Lance cover tackle to the line to score.

The Hand of God moment followed but a grandstand finish still awaited the crowd at GIO Stadium, the home side leading 24-21 with 20 to play.

But the result was all but sealed when Sam Carter wriggled his way to a 67th minute try, Naisarani completing his double to put the icing on the cake before Pocock scored a well deserved five pointer.


Brumbies 45

Tries: Faingaa, Naisarani 2, Peni, Rory Arnold, Carter, Pocock

Cons: Hawera, Lealiifano 4


Reds 21

Tries: Tupou, Feauai-Sautia

Pens: Lance 2, Tuttle

Cons: Lance