RICHARD FERGUSON reports on the Brumbies beating the Reds and starting the season with a win.
The Brumbies beat the Reds 24 – 6 after leading them 8 – 6 at the break.
The first half of Super Rugby for these teams was just that, a first outing that saw little cohesion and penalties a plenty. Both teams’ kickers battled for accuracy as the wind played havoc. The Brumbies did manage to score a try with the first attacking move of the game, Jesse Mogg dotting down in the corner after about 10 minutes.
The Brumbies streaked ahead in the second half, keeping the Reds scoreless while kicking their own penalties. The kicking was a woeful display, so much so that the Brumbies used four different kickers with little success. Mogg scored his second try of the match on the sound of the siren, which was converted by replacement Robbie Coleman.
Clyde Rathbone had a solid return match, but in a match dominated by forward play and the backline not getting much room to move, he did not exactly shine.
The talking point throughout the match was the breakdowns and the referee’s interpretation of the new laws, which resulted in a stop start match. The Brumbies, and in particular David Pocock, adapted to the referee’s calls and took full advantage in the second half.
The score line does give a false impression about how close this match was, with the Reds’ defence holding strong for long periods of time. What would be a concern for coach Ewen McKenzie though, is the fact that the Reds never really looked like scoring a try all match.
The Brumbies now face the Rebels in Melbourne while the Reds head into a tough encounter with the Waratahs in Brisbane.