Brumbies beat injury-hit Qld 32-12 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies beat injury-hit Qld 32-12

By Darren Walton 02/05/2010 11:56:02 AM Comments (0)

The Brumbies kept their finals hopes alive with a 32-12 bonus-point victory over injury-hit Queensland in Saturday's Super 14 derby at Canberra Stadium.

Dominant from the outset, the Brumbies ran in four unanswered tries - including a double to prop Ben Alexander - to close within two competition points of the top four with two rounds remaining before the playoffs.

The 20-point shellacking also preserved the ACT side's 15-season undefeated record against the Reds in Super rugby and set the scene for a thrilling five-team race to the last two semi-finals berths.

Queensland are still fourth behind the Crusaders on points differential and complete the regular season with a must-win game against the fast-finishing Hurricanes in Wellington and the Highlanders in Brisbane.

The NSW Waratahs, who play the Chiefs away and sixth-placed Hurricanes at home, are in fifth spot, just one point ahead of the Brumbies, who host the Highlanders next week and then finish with the Crusaders in Christchurch.

"It's an amazing competition this one," jubilant Brumbies coach Andy Friend said.

"Even after last week (when we lost to the Waratahs), we said we were not out of it. A lot of people had written us off, but that's fine. We've still got the belief."

While his Queensland counterpart Ewen McKenzie rated the Reds' performance their worst for the season, Friend lauded his Brumbies for finding their best form when it mattered most.

"I'm really happy with that. It's been coming and I've been saying `I can't wait till we click' because we did click there tonight, which is good," he said.

"We've seen it in patches through the course of the year - some of our early games were good - but there tonight it was a real sustained effort."

"The boys should be very proud of themselves."

The Reds, who had a mathematical chance heading into Saturday night's clash of seizing top spot on the ladder, suffered a massive double blow, losing both their second-rowers to injury inside the opening 25 minutes.

Adam Byrnes limped with off with a potentially season-ending knee injury before Rob Simmons sustained a suspected fractured cheekbone.

Not surprisingly, the Queensland lineout was in disarray, with the Brumbies stealing a series of Reds throws.

"Losing those guys hurt big time," said coach McKenzie.

"It caused a lot of problems for us. We were basically playing with five backrowers."

The powerful Brumbies scrum also caused the Reds plenty of heartache.

Both the Brumbies' first-half tries - to lock Mark Chisholm in the 13th minute and Alexander 10 minutes later, came after skipper Stephen Hoiles opted for attacking scrums on the Queensland line instead of gift penalty goals.

"We were battling at scrum time," McKenzie said.

"But we fought back and I thought we were a show at 14-12, but they found another gear and kept challenging us and we made a few mistakes and lost composure at key times."

After trailing 14-0, Queensland clawed their way into the contest with two penalty goals from five-eighth Quade Cooper in the 26th and 33rd minutes.

Two more Cooper penalties after the break narrowed the deficit to two points, but the Brumbies secured a deserved victory with further tries to halfback Josh Valentine in the 56th minute and Alexander seven minutes from fulltime.

Brumbies flanker Rocky Elsom was cited after the match for punching Queensland's former All Black Daniel Braid in the 36th minute.

The Wallabies captain will face the SANZAR judiciary in Canberra on Sunday morning.

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