The Plus500 Brumbies have ended their regular Super Rugby season in the strongest way possible after taking their seventh straight victory at GIO Stadium against the Reds.
Coming in to the match as the Australian Conference champions, the Brumbies didn't let off in their last game of the year before finals, showing their strength in the 80 minutes to seal the bonus-point win.
While it was a big finish for the Canberra men, the match didn't start as quick for the home side who conceded the opening points of the game, though they didn't let it get them on the back foot.
Bryce Hegarty was the first to put points on the board for the game, giving the Reds an early lead in the 8th minute as he converted his own try, taking a 0-7 lead.
Brumbies captain Christian Lealiifano was nearly taken out of the game in the 15th minute after a late shot from Taniela Tupou floored the flyhalf, earning the Reds player a yellow card.
One man up on the visitors, Andy Muirhead went over for the first Brumbies try of the match in the 17th minute after a long pass from Lealiifano found the right winger, bringing the scores to 5-7.
Despite strong defence from the Brumbies, the Reds were afforded the opportunity for a penalty late in the first half and took it, Hegarty stretching the visitor's lead to 5-10.
A pre-break surge saw the Brumbies fight back and attack the Reds defence, resulting in a number of penalties in reach of the try line.
The constant pressure led to a try from Lachlan McCaffery in the 37th minute, giving the Brumbies the lead after Lealiifano kicked the conversion for a score of 12-10.Just after the half-time siren sounded, the Brumbies secured a penalty try which gave them a strong 19-10 lead going in to the sheds, bouncing back from the slow start to the match.
Not wanting to let go of the momentum they had gained in the first half, Rory Arnold crossed the line for his first try on the night in the 47th minute.
The try and a Lealiifano conversion stretched the Brumbies lead to 26-10 with the team still showing plenty of fight. Tom Wright joined the Brumbies try party in the next set of play after intercepting a Reds pass, going over half the length of the field to give the home side their fifth try of the night.
Lealiifano's third conversion of the night stretched the Brumbies lead out to 33-10 in the 52nd minute.A surprise drop goal from the Reds' Matt McGahan gave the Queensland side an extra three points shortly after but the Brumbies didn't let it distract them, again keeping up their attack in the opposition half.
Though the Brumbies pressured the Reds, a brief lapse saw Duncan Paia'aua go over for another try to the away side, bringing the scores back to 33-20 after anther Hegarty conversion was successful.
Another late-half burst from the Brumbies was headed by a Murray Douglas try, capitalised by a conversion from Ryan Lonergan to seemingly put the game away at 40-20.A late consolation try to the Reds' Alex Mafi narrowed up the scores to 40-27 but wasn't enough to take the victory away from the Brumbies who fought hard in the second half to take the win.
Plus500 Brumbies (12) 40 (T: Muirhead, McCaffery, Penalty Try, Arnold, Wright, Douglas, C: Lealiifano (3), Lonergan)
Reds (10) 27 (T: Hegarty, Paia'aua, Mafi, C: Hegarty (3), P: Hegarty, D: McGahan)
1. Scott SIO, 2. Folau FAINGAA (16. Connal MCINERNEY), 3. Allan ALAALATOA, 4. Rory ARNOLD (19.n Murray DOUGLAS), 5. Sam CARTER, 6. Robbie VALETINI (20. Pete SAMU), 7. Jahrome BROWN, 8. Lachlan MCCAFFERY, 9. Joe POWELL (21. Ryan LONERGAN), 10. Christian LEALIIFANO, 11. Tom WRIGHT (23. Len IKITAU), 12. Irae SIMONE, 13. Tevita KURIDRANI, 14. Andy MUIRHEAD, 15. Tom BANKS