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Reds and Brumbies all square

20th April 2013 12:27

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All the points: Christian Lealiifano

The Reds and Brumbies thrashed out a thrilling 19-19 draw at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday to maintain their positions in the league.

Outstanding defence from the Brumbies in the second-half denied the Reds several scoring opportunities, the Reds persisting to go for the corner rather than kick for posts.

Handling errors compounded the Reds' efforts in the first-half as they went close on multiple occasions, only for the Brumbies to escape and then capitalise with points of their own through the boot of inside centre Christian Lealiifano.

The number of chances that the Reds had will have left James Horwill and his side feeling frustrated, while the strength of the Brumbies' defensive display away from home will have lifted Jake White's side moving forward as they remain top of the Super Rugby table.

Two early penalties from Lealiifano put the Brumbies into a 6-0 lead in the opening ten minutes before the game's first try.

The Reds identified a weakness in the Brumbies defence from the rolling maul and after a succession of penalties and line-out drives found their way over - Jake Schatz the scorer.

Rod Davies' control let him down as he nearly rounded off a well-worked chance for the Reds in the corner minutes later.

Lealiifano however restored the Brumbies' lead with a try of his own, Jesse Mogg's initial break resulting in an overlap for the Brumbies on the right as Lealiifano dummied his way past Digby Ioane.

A frenetic pace to the match saw the Reds squander a chance for their second try, Horwill taking a quick penalty rather than opting for the points as the hosts knocked on under the Brumbies' posts.

The Reds continued to ignore and miss opportunities for points, a reversal at the scrum seeing Genia go quickly and Lealiifano sin-binned for offside before the Brumbies stole the resulting line-out and cleared.

Nic White missed a pair of penalties with Lealiifano in the bin to leave the Brumbies ahead 13-7 at half-time.

Pounding pressure from the Reds at the beginning of the second-half eventually resulted in a try for Davies after a lofted pass from Cooper - the fly-half missed the conversion though to leave Queensland trailing by one.

Two more penalties from Lealiifano opened up a seven-point lead for the Brumbies heading into the final quarter of a breathtaking match.

Continuing their mantra from the first-half, the Reds continued to kick for the corner and sucking the energy out of the excellent Brumbies defence - Ben Daley denied a try when the TMO was unable to rule on a score due to inconclusive footage.

The Reds persistence appeared to cost them but a Brumbies' scrum five metres from their own line was reversed with a penalty to the hosts, igniting another punishing period of pressure on the Brumbies' line before Liam Gill found a breakthrough.

Cooper's conversion tied the scores at 19-19 and so it stayed, neither side able to find the winning points in the final few minutes.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Schatz, Davies, Gill
Cons: Cooper 2

For Brumbies:
Try: Lealiifano
Con: Lealiifano
Pens: Lealiifano 4
Yellow Cards: Lealiifano, Sio

Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Ed O'Donoghue, 19 Jarrad Butler, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 22 Dom Shipperley.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Fotu Auelua, 7 George Smith, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Peter Kimlin, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Jordan Smiler, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Pat McCabe, 22 Clyde Rathbone.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

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Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Sharks831
2Brumbies825
3Chiefs825
4Waratahs824
5Western Force823
6Crusaders822
7Hurricanes821
8Highlanders719
9Bulls919
10Lions916
11Blues816
12Reds816
13Melbourne Rebels816
14Stormers810
15Cheetahs99