Reds wrangle CA Technologies Brumbies

The CA Technologies Brumbies have been penalised out of the contest at Canberra Stadium despite scoring four tries to one, eventually losing 31-25 to the Queensland Reds.

The match was a carnival of penalties, with referee Mark Lawrence breathing through his whistle to keep the CA Technologies Brumbies on one win from three games in 2011.

Having only ever beaten the CA Technologies Brumbies once since the Super Rugby competition started, the Reds had even more cause to celebrate as they recorded their first ever win in Canberra.

And without crossing the try line, Quade Cooper managed to cancel the CA Technologies Brumbies attacking raids snaring 26 points through penalty kicks.

Starting the match as the faster team, the Reds shot to an early lead off the boot of Quade Cooper after CA Technologies Brumbies prop Dan Palmer was penalised for coming in from the side.

The penalty gave the Reds momentum and two minutes later Scott Higginbotham was in for the Reds in the right hand corner.

Looking shaky, the CA Technologies Brumbies found themselves 12 down after just 10 minutes and needed some spark to get back in the contest.

Once again it came from fullback Pat McCabe who provided starch in attack making ground each time he touched the ball. McCabe, who was eventually named Man of the Match, has continued the same strong form in all three of the CA Technologies Brumbies games this season.

His midfield bust in the 18th minute helped the CA Technologies Brumbies establish pressure and Stephen Moore powered over less than a minute later to bring the ACT side back in the match.

But once again costly mistakes eased the pressure. Cooper’s boot did the talking, moving the difference back out to nine points, 16-7 after two soft penalties from within kicking range.

Just when it looked like the Reds might run away with the half, Pat McCabe again stepped up, at full reach placing the ball over the line and bringing the CA Technologies Brumbies within four points, 16-12.

But the penalties continued to flow, with both teams exchanging blows to take the half time score to 22-15, the Reds holding an edge over the CA Technologies Brumbies.

Ita “All Day” Vaea started the second half with a fantastic try again knocking off the carefully crafted pressure the Reds had managed to mount. Floating on the left side of the field, Vaea found himself on the end of some great work from his inside backs to stroll across the line for his first career try.

And while the kick was again unsuccessful, the CA Technologies Brumbies were back in the match.

But Mark Lawrence continued to blow the pea out of his whistle and the Reds continued to play the game in the CA Technologies Brumbies 22, forcing errors and converting them to points.

With scores sitting at 31-20, Ben Alexander found himself on the end of a Giteau pass to dart 30 meters and bring the ACT team within five points.

The CA Technologies Brumbies had a chance to win the game in the final minute when Alexander again found space, but the ball ended up in touch the next phase allowing the Reds savour an historic win.

QUEENSLAND REDS 31 (Scott Higginbotham try Quade Cooper con 7 pens drop goal) bt CA TECHNOLOGIES BRUMBIES 25 (Ben Alexander, Pat McCabe, Stephen Moore, Ita Vaea tries Matt Giteau con pen) at Canberra Stadium. Referee: Mark Lawrence. Crowd: 16,027.

CA Technologies Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Steve Moore (replaced by Huia Edmonds)
3. Dan Palmer (replaced by Salesi Ma'afu)
4. Ben Hand
5. Mark Chisholm (replaced by Peter Kimlin)
6. Colby Faingaa
7. Julian Salvi (replaced by Michael Hooper)
8. Ita Vaea 
9. Josh Valentine (replaced by Patrick Phibbs)
10. Matt Giteau ©
11. Francis Fainifo
12. Robbie Coleman
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (replaced by Christian Lealiifano)
14. Henry Speight
15. Pat McCabe

16. Huia Edmonds
17. Salesi Ma'afu
18. Peter Kimlin
19. Michael Hooper
20. Patrick Phibbs
21. Matt Toomua
22. Christian Lealiifano