Thorn's Reds make huge statement ahead of playoffs
MATCH REPORT: The Queensland Reds will enter next weekend’s Super Rugby AU preliminary final in top gear after a slick 26-7 defeat of the Brumbies on Saturday.
Guaranteed top spot regardless of the result at Suncorp Stadium, the Brumbies will await the winner of the Reds and Melbourne Rebels in the decider on home turf in a fortnight.
The Reds made sure they left an impression though, the victory coming after two closes losses to the Canberra side earlier this season and built on a slick first half and another supreme defensive effort.
*As it happened: Reds v Brumbies
The Brumbies’ incumbent Wallabies halfback Nic White and emerging star Tate McDermott waged a brilliant first-half battle in one of many jousts for a potential Wallabies jersey later this year.
James O’Connor was assured again in the No.10 for the Reds, while improved fullback Jock Campbell was central to both first-half tries.
He dummied and broke the line, flicking a pass to captain Liam Wright before laying on the assist for Chris Feauai-Sautia as the Reds burst ahead 18-0.
Pete Samu scored after the bell to finish the half but the Reds put the clamps on after that, keeping an opponent to one try or less for the third-straight game.
Flicked to the wing to finish the game, McDermott capped the win with a breakaway try as the Brumbies were guilty of poor handling and errant passing.
A 9,922-strong crowd – the highest Suncorp Stadium attendance for any code since sport was shut down by the coronavirus – relished the injury comeback of Hunter Paisami, who produced some thunderous defence when called on in the final 20 minutes.
More will turn up to watch the sudden death clash with the Rebels next Saturday, the nomadic Melbourne outfit sneaking into the play-off thanks to a last-minute try to beat the Western Force earlier in the day.
Man of the match: The Reds had a couple of players, especially in the pack that stood out. However, our nod goes to Reds scrumhalf Tate McDermott. He dictated much of the play from the scrumhalf position and when he switched to wing he still proved vital and scored a try from out wide.
For the Reds:
Tries: Wright, Feauai-Sautia, McDermott
Pens: O’Connor 3
Queensland Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Harry Hoopert.
Replacements: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Hunter Paisami.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simon, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Bayley Kuenzle, 9 Nic White, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Will Miller, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 James Slipper, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Len Ikitau, 23 Solomone Kata.
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy
TMO: Jordan Way