Brumbies faith in youngster pays off
REACTION: Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa was full of praise for his match-winning youngster Mack Hansen.
Alaalatoa says he never doubted unheralded youngster Mack Hansen would nail the penalty to sink Queensland at the death.
The 22-year-old had missed an easy penalty just 10 minutes earlier at GIO Stadium, but as cool as ice he stepped up to take a far harder kick after the siren had sounded with the game on the line.
About 40m out Hansen kick split the uprights to give the Brumbies the 22-20 win and keep them on top of the table in this year’s Super Rugby AU competition.
Story continues below…
The Brumbies were six points adrift with six minutes to play and somehow clawed their way back into the game with Hansen slotting the winning penalty to take the points.
Alaalatoa said after the match that they had backed themselves and continued to “play their footy” and when the penalty came Hansen just pointed to the sticks…and nailed it.
“As a player, he’s come a long way this year. For him to have the confidence there to step up and win the game says a lot about himself.”
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar had this to say about the youngster who has only played in five games so far: “He’s [Hansen] a Canberra boy who’s been supporting the Brumbies since he was a toddler.
“He’s not going to get rattled by mistakes. He’s a kid who will back his skill and ability.”
“He’ll make a mistake or two here and there, that’s him as a footballer, but he backs himself. The pros far outweigh the cons with him.”
This positive result means that the Brumbies are now a game-and-a-half clear at the top of the ladder with the Reds surely kicking themselves for a missed opportunity to record their first win in Canberra since 2014.