Reds break duck, down Brumbies 31-25 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds break duck, down Brumbies 31-25

David Beniuk 05/03/2011 11:36:27 PM Comments (0)

The boot of Quade Cooper has finally broken Queensland's Super Rugby duck in Canberra, the Reds compounding the Brumbies' week of turmoil with a 31-25 victory on Saturday night.

Cooper booted seven penalties, a conversion and a drop goal to prove the Reds are more than the entertainers of the competition, getting the visitors deservedly home even with the Brumbies scoring four tries to one in front of a disappointing 16,027 fans.

The Wallabies five-eighth got one over the man he replaced in the gold No.10 jersey, Matt Giteau, who couldn't get cohesion in the Brumbies attack as the Reds delivered on their promise to muscle up at the breakdown.

The loss leaves the Brumbies, who sacked head coach Andy Friend during the week, with just one win from three outings.

Perhaps the banner at the northern end of Canberra Stadium said it all - Bring back our Friend! - and new boss Tony Rea and his high profile support staff have their work cut out if they're to make some ground in the Australian conference in coming weeks.

With their set piece also struggling, the Brumbies face the emotion-charged Crusaders in New Zealand next weekend before a bye then a crucial home game against the NSW Waratahs.

Queensland scored their only try in the 12th minute through Scott Higginbotham after good lead-up work from Cooper before the home side replied through Stephen Moore in the 21st and in-form fullback Pat McCabe in the 32nd.

But Cooper's boot had delivered a 22-15 halftime lead to the Reds.

A blistering opening to the second half from the Brumbies, when Reds prop Ben Daley was in the sin bin, resulted in crowd favourite Ita Vaea crossing in the 43rd minute before Giteau missed the opportunity to tie the game up by hitting the upright.

Cooper added penalties in the 52nd, 55th and 69th minutes to make it 31-20 before the Brumbies got it together for a try to prop Ben Alexander - but Giteau hit the upright again.

Some heart-stopping late attack was not enough to prevent the Reds notching their second win in 17 Super Rugby games against the Brumbies.

Queensland had lost on their previous nine trips to the national capital.

"It's the first time we've won over here and I think the most pleasing thing is we did it in a very mature way," Reds stand-in skipper Will Genia said.

"It's a way that we've won a game that we haven't played before, not the razzle dazzle but the smart tactical kicking and just taking points that are on offer."

Giteau denied noticing heckling from sections of the crowd in support of Friend.

"No one hurts more than the players so, as much as you probably feel if you support the Brumbies you're hurting, we're hurting a lot more," he said.

"Everyone's pretty gutted.

"I think for the second week now we've created history for another club (after last week's loss to new franchise Melbourne).

"That's not a good thing."

Brumbies players came together in a huddle as they ended their tumultuous week.

"They're pretty personal things but generally it was ... just stick tight as a group, bounce back," Giteau said.

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