The Reds brought a three-match losing streak to a halt after beating the Brumbies 20-13 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Friday.
The Reds brought a three-match losing streak to a halt after beating the Brumbies 20-13 at Suncorp Stadium.
Two first-half tries by Reds number eight Scott Higginbotham paved the way for a Queensland victory, with the hosts winning back some pride in the process after a poor start to the season.
The Brumbies looked threatening from kick-off and twice came close to scoring, only for some desperate defence from the Reds halting them.
Nerves got the better of Reds rookie Sam Lane who squandered six points after missing two simple penalty attempts, but his confidence grew after sending over a touchline conversion following Higginbotham's first try in the corner.
Too many turnovers proved costly for the visitors, and the Reds struck through a break-out from centre Ben Tapuai who linked up with Rod Davies out wide before the winger offloaded to the supporting Higginbotham for the score.
The TMO was called in, and was left with a tough decision to make first up after it seemed Higginbotham's elbow made contact with the sideline before the ball was placed. However, the Wallaby flank got the benefit of the doubt and the try was awarded.
Four minutes later, Higginbotham was over again.
A superb one-handed turnover by Luke Morahan sparked a Reds counter-attack which led to Lane regathering his chip and chase before unleashing Davies on his outside who flipped a pass behind his back for the incoming Higginbotham.
This time, the Queenslander made Lane's conversion attempt a bit easier by running the ball in under the posts for a 14-0 lead. And that's how the scores stayed at half-time.
The Brumbies came out firing after the break, but their frustration got the better of them when Dan Palmer and Ben Daley stepped in the ring for sparring session. Steve Walsh felt no cards were needed, and the two players retreated back to their respective corners.
Lane stretched the Reds's lead to 17 points with his first successful penalty of the evening, before opposite number Christian Lealiifano made up for an earlier miss by banging over two quick-fire penalties of his own.
Brumbies wing Henry Speight then came inches from scoring in the corner, only for a last-ditch tackle by Morahan saving a certain try.
The visitors couldn't cross the whitewash on the right, but were more lucky on the left after wing Joe Tomane brushed off a half-hearted tackle attempt by Lane for a crucial try in the corner and Lealiifano's brilliant conversion from out wide set up a thrilling finish.
At 17-13 and with 10 minutes left, the Brumbies only required a five-pointer to snatch victory.
But the Reds managed to thwart a Brumbies onslaught and even added another three points at the end for a much-needed win.
Tries: Higginbotham 2
Cons: Lane 2
Pens: Lane 2
Pens: Lealiifano 2
Reds: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Aidan Toua, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Rod Davies, 10 Sam Lane, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Beau Robinson, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Radike Samo, 19 Van Humphries, 20 Ed Quirk, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Dallan Murphy.
Brumbies 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Ita Vaea, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Leon Power, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Hegarty, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Scott Fardy, 19 Michael Hooper, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Zack Holmes, 22 Tevita Kuridrani.
Referee: Steve Walsh