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The CA Brumbies have retained the Rod Macqueen Cup following their 32-12 win over the Queensland Reds at Canberra Stadium tonight.
Brandishing yellow socks and rebranded jerseys in honour of their number one ticketholder OzHarvest Canberra, the home side turned in their most complete performance on the season, running in four tries against the fourth-placed Reds.
The win continues the CA Brumbies’ impressive run against the Reds in Super Rugby that includes an undefeated home record and just one loss to the Queenslanders since 1996.
Prop Ben Alexander again led the way on the try-scoring front with his third double of the season, while Matt Giteau’s game control and kicking in general play were superb in a performance that saw him awarded CA/Dataflex Man of the Match honours.
CA Brumbies Head Coach Andy Friend said he was impressed with his side’s ability to maintain intensity throughout the match.
“I was really happy with that,” he said. “It’s been coming and I’ve said I couldn’t wait until we clicked and I think we clicked tonight which was good. We’d seen it in patches through the course of the year; some of our early games were good but tonight it was a sustained effort.”
The CA Brumbies signaled their intentions early when waving away a straightforward ninth-minute penalty attempt, instead opting for a scrum on the five-metre line. Two phases later rampaging lock Mark Chisholm charged around the corner and steamed over the Reds defence before reaching out to score. Giteau converted to give the side a 7-0 advantage.
By the 22-minute mark the ACT side had doubled its score when Alexander ran off Josh Valentine to cross for his first with Giteau again adding the extras.
Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper got his side on the scoreboard with penalty goals in the 26th and 33rd minutes while Giteau’s missed penalty goal on the stroke of half time ensured the score remained 14-6 at the break.
By the 50-minute mark a further two Cooper penalties reduced the deficit to two points before Valentine found space from the back of a ruck seven minutes later to scamper across for a converted try.
Leading 21-12, the CA Brumbies were unfortunate not to go further ahead when Rocky Elsom burst through the defence with his pass unable to find Adam Ashley-Cooper down the right-hand flank. However, a scrum penalty directly in front of the posts gifted Giteau with three points and enabled him to extend the lead to 24-12 after 67 minutes.
With seven minutes remaining the CA Brumbies secured the bonus point when slick hands from Mitch Chapman allowed Alexander to cross in the corner for his second touchdown.
Giteau was unable to convert but did kick a penalty goal in the 78th minute to round out the 32-12 score line.
The CA Brumbies return to Canberra Stadium next Saturday (8 May) for their final home match of the Investec Bank Super 14 season against the Highlanders.
CA Brumbies 32 (Ben Alexander 2; Mark Chisholm, Josh Valentine tries; Matt Giteau 3/4 conversions, 2/3 penalty goals) defeated Reds 12 (Quade Cooper 4/4 penalty goals) at Canberra Stadium, Canberra.
Half time: CA Brumbies 14-6
Referee: Chris Pollock (Aus)
1. Ben Alexander
2. Stephen Moore
3. Salesi Ma’afu
4. Mitchell Chapman
5. Mark Chisholm
6. Rocky Elsom
7. Colby Faingaa
8. Stephen Hoiles (c)
9. Josh Valentine
10. Matt Giteau
11. Brackin Karauria-Henry
12. Tyrone Smith
13. Andrew Smith
14. Pat McCabe
15. Adam Ashley-Cooper
16. Huia Edmonds
17. Jerry Yanuyanutawa
18. Ben Hand
19. Michael Hooper
20. Patrick Phibbs
21. Robbie Coleman
22. Ed Stubbs
20. Patrick Phibbs for 9. Josh Valentine (26th minute – blood)
9. Josh Valentine for 20. Patrick Phibbs (34th minute – blood return)
19. Michael Hooper for 7. Colby Faingaa (60th minute)
16. Huia Edmonds for 2. Stephen Moore (60th minute)
22. Ed Stubbs for 11. Brackin Karauria-Henry (70th minute)
18. Ben Hand for 4 Mitchell Chapman (72nd minute)
17. Jerry Yanuyanutawa for 1. Ben Alexander (76th minute)
20. Patrick Phibbs for 9. Josh Valentine (76th minute)
21. Robbie Coleman for 15. Adam Ashley-Cooper (77th minute)
1. Ben Daley
2. Saia Faingaa
3. Jack Kennedy
4. Rob Simmons
5. Adam Byrnes
6. Scott Higginbotham
7. Daniel Braid
8. Leroy Houston
9. Will Genia (c)
10. Quade Cooper
11. Digby Ioane
12. Anthony Faingaa
13. Will Chambers
14. Brando Va’alu
15. Peter Hynes
16. Sean Hardman
17. Greg Holmes
18. Ezra Taylor
19. Jake Schatz
20. Ben Lucas
21. Ben Tapuai
22. Luke Morahan
Investec Bank Super 14: Week 13
CA Brumbies v Highlanders
Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Saturday, 8 May 2010
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