Brumbies held off Reds fightback to win the Super Rugby Australia title 28-23 in a final played at Canberra on Saturday.
Noah Lolosio’s penalty saw Brumbies take a 3-0 lead at the fifth-minute. Seven minutes later James O’Connor levelled the scores following a penalty at the other end. Brumbies regained the lead at the 18th minute with Folau Fainga dotting the first try of the match and it was converted by Lolosio.
As Reds were in the hunt to level the scores, Brumbies won the ball back and Andy Muirhead managed to beat the defence to score after Tevita Kuridrani set him up. Reds cut the gap to five points at the 31st minute. They opted for a line in the 22 and Petaia made a break before offloading to Harry Wilson who scored a converted try.
O Connor also converted a penalty and the teams headed to break with a two-point gap with Brumbies still ahead.
Seven minutes into the second half, Brumbies earned a free-kick and a quick tap by Samu saw them come close. Simone Irae scored to take the side 22 points after Lolosio’s conversion. Lolosio added two penalties and stretched the lead by 15 points.
Reds fought back with a penalty and Angus Blyth’s try which cut the gap 28-23. But Brumbies held on the slim lead to win the match and end 16-year title drought.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Will Miller, 6 Lachlan McCaffrey, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Murray Douglas, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 James Slipper, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Rob Valetini, 21 Nic White, 22 Bayley Kuenzle, 23 Solomone Kata.
Queensland Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 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 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Jack Hardy.