A penalty goal after the siren by Mack Hansen from 40 metres out has seen the Plus500 Brumbies win a 22-20 thrilling contest against the Queensland Reds at GIO stadium.
Hansen's nerves of steel proved the difference, with the home side having to fight back late in the second half having trailed 20-14 with 10 minutes remaining in the match.
Despite trailing for most of the second half, try scoring machine Folau Fainga'a opened the scoring six minutes in for the Brumbies, off the back of a perfectly executed maul from the home side on the Reds five metre line, with Fainga'a sneaking around the Reds defence to place the ball over the line. Bailey Kuenzle added the extras.
The Brumbies continued to hold majority of the ball in the first 20 minutes of play, consistently testing the Reds defence. The Reds would have their moments with the footy but never really threatened.
And in the 33rd minute Fainga'a would cross over the line again for his brace, in almost identical fashion to his first, once again showcasing how deadly the Brumbies are from the maul. Kuenzle again converted to make the score 14-0.
James O’Connor notches a three pointer for the Reds from directly in front soon after to get the scoring going and this was followed by an outstanding attacking set for by Reds with it appearing Jordan Petaia had opened the Queensland sides account for the night.
However, controversy followed as the try was denied by the video referee as Tom Wright was shown to have been hit high by Reds flanker Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, when possession was turned over prior to the try.
On the resumption of the play the Reds showed they were not demoralised from the earlier call with Number 8 Harry Wilson crashing over for the Queensland sides first five pointer of the night, despite it initially going upstairs to check for a potential knock on, the try stood.
They would then score again hitting the lead for the first time of the match with Wilson this time turning provider to put Angus Scott-Young in for the Reds. O’Connor added the extras with the Reds now leading 17-14 47 minutes in.
Momentum was now well in the Reds favour and O’Connor soon followed the try with his second three pointer of the evening, stretching the Reds lead to six 50 minutes in.
O’Connor would have an opportunity to add his third penalty goal with 11 minutes to go, however this time it was just hooked to the left by the playmaker, with the Reds keeping their six-point lead with 10 to go.
A knock on by the Reds gifted the Brumbies an opportunity to attack in the final minutes of the match and the home side didn’t need a second invitation.
Faingaa’s replacement Connor McInerney would then score off another driving maul. However, Hansen was unable to kick the conversion, with the Red now only leading by one point with five minutes to go.
But Hansen would make up for his miss, kicking the winner after the siren to ensure the Brumbies remain undefeated and top of the table after five rounds of Super Rugby AU.
Plus500 Brumbies 22 (T: Fainga'a 2, McInerney, C: Kuenzle 2; P: Hansen) def Queensland Reds 20
Words Daniel Heinrich