Brumbies REDemption against Queensland - Green and Gold Rugby
ACT Brumbies

Brumbies REDemption against Queensland

Brumbies REDemption against Queensland

The Brumbies 2018 season has received a lifeline as they snapped a three match losing streak to the Queensland Reds with a 45-21 bonus point win.

The final result didn’t look likely as the Reds dominated the first 25 minutes and lead 15-0 and one stage before the Brumbies took the game and outscored the Reds 33-3 in the second half as their forwards scored six of their seven tries with number 8 Isi Naisarani bagging a double.

The Match

It took the Reds only five minutes to get the scoring started. On the back of two penalties they had easy field position and Chris Feauai-Sautia showed good leg drive against the Brumbies defence and offloaded to Taniela Tupou who scored from close range.

The Brumbies barely had their hands on the ball in the opening ten minutes due to the pressure from the Reds and when they finally did, Christian Lealiifano kicked the ball touch in goal from a penalty.

The highly anticipated Lucas brothers clash only lasted a few minutes after Ben copped an accidental knock from James Dargaville’s knee to his head and played no further part in the game.

The Reds went further ahead to a Jono Lance penalty and that was followed up five minutes later to a try to Feauai-Sautia with the Brumbies first up tackles lacking and allowing the Reds cheap metres far too easily as the Reds took a 15-0 lead.

The Brumbies had injury concerns of their own, as Lachlan McCaffrey was straight onto the green whistle for an elbow injury and looked in real discomfort.

It took almost 30 minutes for the Brumbies to launch some sort of attack and it was their trusty weapon rolling maul with Folau Fainga’a coming up with the five pointer to kick start their game.

Another penalty to Lance was replied to almost immediately by the Brumbies with Isi Naisarani scoring after 13 scrappy phases deep in the Reds 22.

With the half nearly over, there was a bit more action with Feauai-Sautia given a ten minute rest for a deliberate knock down and from the resulting scrum, Fainga’a thought he had his second try of the match but it was ruled out by the TMO despite the spectacular dive.

Embed from Getty Images

The Reds found themselves under pressure right off the restart after Aidan Toua had his kick charged down but Samu Kerevi saved his blushes with a huge defensive play under his own sticks.

But the momentum then started to swing towards the Brumbies with two tries in as many minutes with Chance Peni getting the nod from the TMO after a few looks for the first and then Rory Arnold found himself in space and backed himself and won the race to the line. After Lealiifano’s conversion, the Brumbies were in front for the first time at 24-18.

With the game entering the last 20 minutes, the Reds settled for a penalty goal to James Tuttle to reduce the margin to three with their first real chance down the Brumbies end.

The Brumbies got some breathing space with 15 minutes to go as Sam Carter had the Brumbies fifth try of the night as he reached out as tacklers fell off him close to the line.

The game was all but sealed with ten to go as Naisarani wriggled his way over for his second of the game and Lealiifano’s conversion made it 38-21 and then David Pocock added his name to the try scorers list to round at the much needed win, 45-21.

The Game Changer

The first ten minutes the second half where the Brumbies scored two tries to gain the lead that they never gave up.


Was likely to be a Red player before the Brumbies took control so Isi Naisarani gets the nod. Two tries and starting to live up to his potential after some mixed performances so far in 2018.

Wallaby Watch

The Reds forward pack was looking good as they dominated the scrums early. Chris Feauai-Sautia looked good with a try and an assist until his yellow card. David Pocock has only been back for two games and looked to be doing everything on his own before his team mates joined in for the second half.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Tries: Naisarani 2, Fainga’a, Peni, Arnold, Carter, Pocock
Conversions: Hawera, Lealiifano 4
Tries: Tupou, Feauai-Sautia
Conversions: Lance
Penalties: Lance 2, Tuttle


39 – Feauai-Sautia (Reds) – Yellow

  • Bobas

    David Pocock could have played another game afterwards. He looks at rucks like most people look at single digit multiplication. Class player and the biggest difference between the two teams.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Still, he won’t start at 7 for the Wallabies…

      I think the biggest difference between the two teams, especially in the second half (apart from Pocock) was that the Brumbies has a proper kicking game with Powell, Lealiifano and Godwin, and the Reds’ back three couldn’t deal with them. They were constantly out of position, making poor decisions and dropping high balls.

      Dargaville huge upgrade on Speight, and put in some bone crunching tackles. Not 100% sold on Peni. He is awesome in attack but that error on the sideline in the first few mins was atrocious, and resulted in Reds try. Also dropped some high balls.

      Still 11. Peni, 14. Dargaville, 15. Banks, 23. Verity-Amn seems like the best outside backs for the team at present.

      • Slim 293

        Peni looks good when he has the ball, but defensively is a real issue. Having said that, I don’t think he’s any better with the ball in hand than the other wingers the Brumbies have in the squad.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think he’s probably the best with ball in hand. He’s able to find space when I think it isn’t there in a way that the others aren’t.

          Defensive liability? Maybe. Do you think he’s as much of a defensive liability as Speight?

        • Pedro

          Speight has made some errors lately, but overall I think he’s a good defender. His ability to get over the ball is another asset in that respect.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t know, maybe I’m too harsh but I’ve never rated his defence – always looks lost and out of position, and bumped off too often. I also don’t think he is nearly the attacking threat he once was.

        • Pedro

          I think you’re correct form wise. Perhaps he’s relied too much on his pace to bail him out of “poor reads” and he’s lost some of that. Historically he’s always looked very strong for his size too, so bump offs were rare our at least mutual.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          On a side note, how good is Daugunu? In an inferior team to the Rebels he has definitely outplayed Koroibete and Naivalu for the out and out winger spot.

          Naiyaravoro is the only guy who could legitimately challenge him for the Wallaby left wing spot if selected on form, and Naiyaravoro is going overseas and is still awkward defensively.

        • Ed

          The problem for Speight when he plays for the Wallabies is he is regularly in a spot where he doesn’t play for the Brums due to the shuffle.
          Agree with Pedro he is a good back over the ball.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But that doesn’t explain his poor defence for the Brumbies?

      • David Creagh

        The words “Godwin” and “Kicking game” should not be used in a sentence unless separated by “has not got a”. Honestly, last week I was calling for the coach to cut his feet off last week and it looked no better this week. When exiting the 22 kick for touch or kick for space, don’t kick it to you opponent on the full, his clearance kicks were terrible. Looked so much better when running the football.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Whether you think his kicks were good or not, they did lead to multiple good outcomes for the team. I can remember who it was, but someone knocked on one of his up and unders (when under no pressure) that led to a good Brumbies attack.

          Whether luck or skill, it had a good outcome.

          Godwin isn’t a great ball runner at all, in my opinion. Problem is that Hawera ain’t great either.

        • David Creagh

          I agree with you on running the footy, it just reinforces just how poor I think his kicking abilities are. When he came on he also had the touch kicking responsibilities which surprised me. At that level you can’t rely on someone making the unforced error to obtain turnover pill.

          On another note, I really rate Dargaville, I wish we would see more of him.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          We definite need another good 10/12 to compliment Lealiifano. Dargaville can play 12, but I don’t think he’s enough of a distributor so to really work with TK and Lealiifano. Hansen is surely a few years off, which means we’re stuck with Godwin or Hawera unless Verity-Amm has some distributing abilities.

        • David Creagh

          Godwin is goneski, Munster I think. Would like Hawerea to move on. Would be nice to get Toomua back but that’s not going to happen.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Quade Cooper is beckoning…

    • John Miller

      Yep, Pocock: 2 games back from surgery and long rehab, twice best on field. An absolute rock in the heart of the defence, omnipotent at the breakdown, monster at the maul, strength to power through multiple defenders for his try, driving apex of the Brumbies rolling maul, linked well to the backline, outstanding cover defending, cleaned rucks with blunt force and singlehandedly ensured lightening fast, front foot, well presented offensive ruck ball numerous times, looked like he could have done 100 push ups at the end of 80 without blowing out a candle.

      Reds desperately needed George Smith. Poor Korczyk was beaten all ends up. Not the first opponent this season, and won’t be the last.

      So much for the scary new ruck laws blunting Pocock’s monumental influence. Biggest beat up since Y2K. Not even Fairfax’s resident rugby cyclops Paul Cully could omit Pocock from the Australian team of the week this round…or could he? The public retort on Rugbyheaven would be obvious and instant. Oh hang on, “this article is not open comments”. Perhaps he’ll just select Poey at 8 to accommodate some other openside. That’ll solve all the issues.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Don’t worry, Cully will put Bernard Foley at 7 and at 10.

        He will then go on to say that Barrett just outplayed Jack Debrezceni. Such is his way.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Never lets us down ‘Bernard Foley is in the groove. The Waratahs No.10 was a picture of composure and class in against the Sunwolves Tokyo’.

        Apparently Gordon is also better than Genia…

        He did manage to put Pocock at 7, although he managed to have a colossal number of Waratahs despite them conceding so many points… to the Sunwolves.

        • Hoss

          I am a Tahs fan and even i reckon this guys writing with one hand and indulgently self ball-tampering with the other. WIll Miller in the team of the week……….did he watch the actual game or just picks random Tah’s names to insert ? Miller tried hard but missed two tackles cold that let the Sunwolves score and be in the game for longer than they should have.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I can’t work him out. He sometimes provides very good analysis, but all too often he just gushes rubbish.

          I’m not sure if he is biased towards the Tahs or he just has no idea about back rows and 9s/10s. And I am getting sick of him rubbishing Beauden Barrett, is he just trying to be a contrarian?

          Read this: ‘Bernard Foley is just behind Beauden Barrett, although that call is also close, probably closer than Kiwis would like to admit. Foley, at the top of his game, is a wonderful player and probably the better distributor.’

          He wrote another article other week saying McKenzie was a better 10 than Barrett because McKenzie had just played better… against the Sunwolves.

          I think we will all admit that Barrett wasn’t in his 2016 form last year, and he struggles in game management. He is no Dan Carter or even Wilkinson or Larkham. However, he is a wonderful player and probably the best 10 in the world.

        • Ed

          As you say Paul writes some great analysis but his love affair with Foley is a worry. And he notes who is most likely to be Foley’s backup – Beale. Kurtley is not a 10 – he needs space as otherwise he will crab across the field.

          I believe he does write for his audience a wee bit too. He is not as biased as towards Cheika sides – Wallas and Tahs – as much as Robinson and Decent.

        • Brumby Runner

          Agree Hoss, best No 6 outing to me was Caleb Timu. A couple of handling errors but he had a huge impact on the game.

          Similarly, Rodda had a much stronger game than Ned Hanigan, who was back to his best at having no impact at all with ball in hand. Rodda takes the ball at full speed and doesn’t shirk any of the hard work. He is also a top notch lineout operator. I will be disappointed if he isn’t one of the first three locks chosen for the Wallabies, the others being Coleman when he returns to form and Rory Arnold.

          One more comment. Beale gave a good impression of a turnstyle against the Sunwolves. He certainly didn’t have a good all round game yesterday.

  • Fatflanker

    The game changer was the very harsh send-off IMO. Ref had a poor game.

    • formerflanker

      Yep. “Deliberate” knock on was it? Nope, he went for a legitimate catch and slipped backwards. Accidental knock on for sure.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Come on, no he didn’t. It was 100% deliberate.

        Still a stupid rule. Just play a knock on and have a scrum. If we’re so shit at passing that we let the defender get in a position to disrupt our attack, then he shouldn’t be yellow carded or even penaltied for doing so.

        • Nicholas

          Agreed call me an optimist but I rarely think that the defender is being cynical and the attacking team should be able to pass it more accurately.

      • Pedro

        I would say it’s somewhere in between. Penalty, but no card. He went into it feeling like he could take the intercept but when it was too far (from slipping) he kept trying. It was certainly not cynical, but in the end he had no chance of regathering it.

    • Slim 293

      It was harsh, but that’s been a clear yellow card for a while now and in line with previous decisions. It certainly wasn’t a game changer as the Brumbies didn’t click for a little while after that.

    • Mica

      I thought it was a pretty obvious one to be honest.
      Unfortunately he slipped and once this happened had no chance of catching the pill and it looked a lot worse.
      Fair call and had to be a yellow for mine (even through my red coloured glasses)

  • Gottsy

    For me the game changer was the disallowed Kerevi try. If that had have been (rightly) allowed, we could have seen a totally different match.
    Hats off to the brumbies, they were incredible, and made us pay for our constant sloppy play

    • I agree – as a neutral observer I was stunned that the ref on the field got it wrong, and that the Reds didn’t act to ask for a review. If nothing else he should have reversed the scrum decision. It was outrageously bad refereeing and was the moment the momentum shifted to the Brumbies.

      • Pedro

        I don’t like to bag the ref, but I feel like there were a few questionable calls throughout, for both teams.

    • Pedro

      Once they blew for the knock on it couldn’t be allowed. It was unlucky though.

    • Who?

      That, and Carter’s try following it, which was scored crawling. If you’re off your feet, you’re out of the game. He should’ve resumed his feet or placed the ball. He doesn’t even have to fully regain his feet – he could’ve done a ‘crouch run’, the sort you do off the blocks in a foot race.
      So, you’re talking about a change from 24-23 to the Brumbies with a kick behind the sticks, to 29-18. It’s a big turnaround. Think the Brums still would’ve gotten home, but…

  • onlinesideline

    Ive only seen the highlights and its a bit of a cliche but it seems that at this point in the season the young teams / teams of youngins have a way to go. And thats what you’d want really but its exciting to see these teams evolve. If the Brumbies and Tahs fell off this season that would be a real worry. Real tests coming soon against kiwis – TBH – I personally think we are still going to struggle, alot. Im sad to say. Anyway just crapping on … carry on all.

    @Hoss – you picked it mate, well done.

    • Hoss

      Cheers mate, although i m reminded of an old Chinese proverb – even an ugly dog can lick its own balls occaisionally

  • Gipetto

    Toua is NRC standard while former Toulon fullback Quade captains Souths to a win over Easts. The turning point was Slipper’s head-butt of Tupou.

  • Hoss

    A morning spent in the garden to clear the head and invigorate the senses and gain perspective.

    Heres a different slant – Hoss’s Wallaby 23 based on Super XV form to date – reputations be damned.

    1. SIo
    2 Ulese
    3. Thor
    4. Roddha
    5 Simmons
    7 Pocock
    8 Timu
    9 Genia
    10 Lance
    11. Nayavoro
    12 KErevi
    13 Feauai-Sautia
    14 Folau
    15 Beale

    16 Kepu
    17 TBA
    18 6A’s
    19 Douglas
    20 Hanigan
    21 Hooper
    22 Gordon
    22. Foley

    Tough call on 10 – for mine, if Beale is 12 than Foley is 10 for the combinations. But Kerevi is just a machine and Sautia is white hot and i love how Lnce squares the attack, defends at 10 and kicks better than Foley (to be fair the local day care attendess all meet that kicking criteria)

    Based on 2018 form i just cant pick Coleman yet – i dont doubt his ability / potential, but his form has been woeful and he doesnt do enough grunt work for mine in carries.

    The Brumbies front row got them home last night, their caarries, link work, support and general work rate was outstanding and not too shabby at set piece either.

    Welcome some lively feedback …………..

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think it’s pretty good, except I don’t see how Hanigan can be in your bench, as he has been pretty useless.

      Otherwise, it is probably close to correct. Simmons vs Coleman is a toss up for me as both have had good games and shockers.

      Daugunu vs Naiyaravoro is another good battle where you can argue either way.

      I don’t think anyone is standing up at outside centre. TK played well yesterday but you can’t rock up to work switched on once every two months.

      I’d see 11. Daugnu/Naiyaravoro, 14. Maddocks/Folau, 15. Maddocks/Folau are our best performing outside backs. Neither Folau nor Maddocks has played a pure wing or pure fullback role.

      I’d personally go for Powell over Gordon as Gordon is great on attack but I don’t like his defence or kicking. I don’t know WTF McKellar was thinking in having Lucas start over one of our few performing players, and Powell massively outplayed him when coming on, I reckon Ruru has been very good in his limited minutes also.

      • Hoss

        All good points mate. SImmo has been a bit of a quiet achiever this year. The Tah’s lineout is strong in both offence and defence, I think he also makes an average front row (Kepu excluded) look better than it is with his grunt coming from behind – i have heard many an Aussie prop sing his praises loudly as a scrummaging lock. I can live with Powell on the pine as i reckon he was a victim of getting fractured fruit from his piggies before Poey returned – i reckon he will be vastly improved with Poey on and Powell starting. I like his pass, his speed to the ruck and his cover D goes unnoticed but is up there with Phipps for cover defence from a fairy. Maddock – i reckon a non-playing northern tourist this year with a view to 2023 and the little fijian on the wing, he’s ok, but he doesnt leap frog Koribete & Sefa for mine – both of whom are victims of poor Rebels piggies, a poor rebel 10 and starved of the pill.

        In a wider squad & with those returning from injuries –

        Valentini (after injury & qualification) – has long term 8 written all over him

        Some nice selection problems to have

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, Simmons is a much better player than people realise. Nick Bishop sings his praises on the other site. We can be sure that Matt and Hugh will both bag him regardless of how he performs.

          However, he has had some silly brain snaps too, but he is a quality player and has been very good overall. Coleman was very good vs Sharks though.

          He, Rodda and Coleman are three good locks for the Wallabies.

          The advantage of Maddocks is that he can kick off of both feet, is strong under the high ball and is a playmaking fullback, which means that Folau can be pushed to the wing if we want, and he can interchange with Folau if Maddocks is on the wing.

          Folau has a poor kicking game, it is not exaggeration Koroibete has one of the worst kicking games I have ever seen, in the match vs the Brumbies last year he kicked twice and both led to tries for the Brumbies, and I haven’t seen him kick since, and I haven’t seen Sefa or Daugunu kick. I also don’t think any of those Fijians are good under the high ball. I think in the modern game you need at last one of your wingers to be strong under the high ball and a good kicker. At the moment we don’t have any kickers there unless Hodge plays.

        • Brumby Runner

          Koriobete will need to address his defensive failings if he wants to retain a Wallabies spot. Not only does he miss tackles, but his positioning is often way out, leaving large spaces down the wing.

          Daugunu is starting to look like he will put pressure on the incumbents on the wing, though Folau has one spot sewn up if fit.

          Valetini is already eligible. Really don’t think there has ever been an issue but perhaps a Rebels’ fan who followed his early career can clarify.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Another interesting one, best back-row in the Aussie conference regardless of eligibility?

      6. Naisarani (differentiation between 6 and 8 has largely disappeared, with them performing the same role but with the 8 at the back of the scrum)

      7. Pocock

      8. Mafi.

      Makes for some ugly reading. Although Mafi and Retallick have been the best players in the entire competition…

      • onlinesideline

        are 6 and 8 eligable ?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Neither are eligible :( . Naisarani will be next year. Mafi is capped by Japan.

    • onlinesideline

      where has form of Sefa, Koreibete and Coleman gone and why ? – these guys were shoeins last year.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Debreczeni isn’t great and neither Hodge nor Meakes are excellent distributors.

        Coleman hasn’t been as bad as people have been saying, and I think that both Sefa and Koroibete have been okay, they haven’t both played a whole heap of full matches though. And, more to the point, Naiyaravoro and Daugunu are just playing exceptionally well. You’re right that neither of them are playing as well as they did last year, however, they didn’t play brilliantly for the Rebels last year either. I think they (and Coleman) are guys like AAC who lifted whenever they put on the gold jersey.

      • joy

        Koroibete was starved of the ball for the entire Hurricane`s game. There seems to be no plan or effort to get the ball to hime. There is no excuse for this.

    • onlinesideline

      agree on Lance

    • onlinesideline

      I would put Hodge at 15 (always in my starting side), Beale at 12 as I am not a fan of Kerevi. Yes he is obviously a very strong guy but I just dont think he has the speed we need to beat the ABs. I think he is a good Super rugby player ( I know alot of people will disagree)
      Hodges boot win test matches – its that simple.Think he is a must.
      Very much agree on Lance for reasons you mentioned.
      I would have Tui in there instead of Ned
      11 is tough – hes in form and you have to give him credit – But I would pick Sefa.

      Its speed we need against the ABs. They are freaking blistering fast because their forwards get the job done faster and our defense has to be maniacal.

      • Hoss

        Normally agree on Hodge and his place in gold and i put him in the same boat as Koribete and Sefa – not enough quality pill from the piggies and a 10 who is really only Shute Shield quality – at best.

        With quality ball on a regular basis all three Frebels mentioned above are in a Wallabies 30.

        Agree on speed and i would glady have either two above instead of the Fijian tank – but i started out by picking my 23 on pure form (as at now) and its hard to ignore the big juy trampling over those poor little Nipponese guys, different story against the darkness and their big New Zealanesian players, plus, with any winger of 125kgs or more they will kick in behind and turn the big unit around and run the attack out of him.

        For balance here is my Cheika 23 though.

        1. Sio
        2 TPN
        3 Kepu
        4 Coleman
        5 Simmons
        6 Hannigan
        7 Hooper
        8 Pocock
        9 Genia
        10 Foley
        11 Koribete
        12 Beale
        13 Hodge
        14 Sefa
        15 Folau
        16 Slipper
        17 Ulese
        18 6A’s
        19 Douglas
        20 Rodda
        21 Dempsey
        22 Powell
        23 Rona (for versatility and cover in backs)

        • Adrian

          Nearly, but, by game time:


          Kerevi, Arnold probably unlucky

        • joy

          Hodge`s defence is a woeful 61% this year. If he was a Red he’d be sent back to club rugby.

  • Adrian

    I don’t want them to do it too soon (ie. before NSW game), but surely Reds need a guy who can put others through gaps. Lance can do this a bit, but it didn’t happen this time.

    Surely Duncan P?

    IMO he’s second only to Beale in ability to do this, and adds leadership.

    I’d play him at full-back if they want to keep the current overall structure, and bring him up now and then

  • Nutta

    Thanks Steve

    Random thoughts from the idiot in the room:

    1. How the hell did Slipper and Tupou stay on the field for as long as they did after that head knock and where is the player-welfare blow-up that should have followed? Slipper did not get yanked until at least 6-7min after the knock and Tupou – who was clearly off his head – played on with a clearly compromised shoulder in addition. Now there are plenty of times I played on with no idea where/what I was doing (and that’s even not concussed) but that was then and this is now – if we are fair dinkum about player welfare that was a dead-set sham.

    2. The disallow of the Qld try was disappointing. In an era of endless replay after replay for 2 flies racing up a wall, the non-check was mystifying

    3. I like the Qld scrum. Good gear.

    4. Clearly there is something personal between Sam Carter and Douglas. Those two are set on each other.

    5. Is the Fijian Massarati qualified for the Wobbs?

    6. David Pocock – spends a bucket of time in the wilderness and comes back into town dropping bombs without missing a beat. Freak. Gold. Man-Crush.

    7. Still no clear Wobbs Hooker on the radar.

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