Brumbies crush dismal Reds

Date published: March 14 2015

The Brumbies front row played a starring role in a convincing 29-0 Super Rugby victory over the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.

Prop Ben Alexander touched down twice as the visitors ran five unanswered tries past their Aussie rivals, provisionally moving to the top of the overall standings in the process.

The loss leaves the Reds languishing second-last in the standings ahead of their bye next weekend.

A pretty poor first half, punctuated by kicking and conservative tactics failed to capture the imagination. The Brumbies led 10-0 at the interval thanks to tries from Wallaby front-rowers Stephen Moore and Alexander.

The visitors really should have been further ahead having ruled both the possession and territory stats but a combination of missed chances and below-par kicking from Christian Lealiifano kept the Reds in the hunt.

The Brumbies' domination of the scrum battle provided the platform for three more tries after the break as Alexander grabbed his second before number eight Ita Vaea added his name to the scoresheet and Christian Lealiifano rubbed salted into the wounds.
It took almost 20 minutes for the first points to be scored as Moore charged over from short range following a good build up and half-break from Matt Toomua.

Alexander rumbled over just before the half-hour mark, profiting from some terrible defensive spacing from the Reds to double the lead.

Lealiifano sent both conversion attempts wide, but it mattered little as Reds fly-half Nick Frisby was way off target with long-range penalty attempts on either side of the half-time break.

Alexander bagged his second try as he muscled his way over after catching the Reds napping around the fringes of a ruck. This time Lealiifano landed the conversion to stretch the lead to 17-0.

To make matters worse for the hosts, flanker Liam Gill was shown a yellow card for a WWF-style dangerous tackle on Nic White in the build up to the try.

The Reds were lucky not to cough up a penalty try after a series of scrums 5m from their line, but the Brumbies still got their reward as Vaea bundled over.

Leali'ifano missed the conversion – again – but made amends somewhat as he raced home for an intercept try from 40m out in the dying minutes. He added the easy extras from in front of the sticks.

The Reds came desperately close to snatching a consolation try at the death, but a comedy of errors summed up their dire night.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Yellow card: Gill

For Brumbies:
Tries: Moore, Alexander 2, Vaea, Lealiifano
Cons: Leali'ifano 2

Reds: 15 Ben Tapuai, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 Campbell Magnay, 10 Nick Frisby,9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Marco Kotze, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Saia Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper (c).
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Dave McDuling, 20 Curtis Browning, 21 Scott Gale, 22 Sam Johnson, 23 Tom Banks.

Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio. Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Blake Enever, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Lausii Taliauli, 23James Dargaville.

Venue: Lang Park, Brisbane
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Matt O'Brien (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)