After 16 years, the Plus500 Brumbies have added another title to their cabinet, defeating the Queensland Reds 28-23, to take out Super Rugby AU in an absolute thriller at GIO Stadium.
Noah Lolesio was the standout for the Brumbies, with the 20-year-old flyhalf kicking 13 points, which included a drop goal, seeing him take out the player of match in his long-awaited return to the side.
The first points of the match indeed came courtesy of a Lolesio penalty goal, with the flyhalf slotting it from in front four minutes in.
The Reds would then level the score, with opposition number 10 James O’Connor nailing a three pointer 12 minutes in.
But the Brumbies would win a vital line-out five metres from the Reds try line soon after, and on the resumption of play, they resorted to their most dangerous weapon, the driving maul.
And Folau Fainga’a as he consistently has all season, would crash over off the back of this, scoring his fifth try of Super Rugby AU and as Lolesio added the extras, the Brumbies now lead 10-3 17 minutes in.
The Brumbies would then capitalise further as Lolesio threw an outstanding off load in the Queensland red zone, to help Andy Muirhead over the try line, extending their lead to 12.
However, the Reds soon after showcased how dangerous they are with the football, as winger Jordan Petaia found a hole in the Brumbies defence and offloaded to Harry Wilson, who opened the Reds account.
O’Connor converted, taking the score to 15-10 with 9 minutes remaining in the first half.
O’Connor would then add another three for the Reds after the half-time buzzer, seeing the Brumbies take a narrow 15-13 lead into the interval.
The Brumbies would however start the second half with a bang, as Tom Banks weaved his way through the Reds defence with pace after he was put in space by Irae Simone inside the Reds 22. Lolesio added the two, giving them a nine-point lead.
Lolesio would then follow up by catching the Reds off guard with a pinpoint drop goal, extending the Brumbies lead to 12 with 31 minutes remaining.
The Reds would soon be down to 14 men as winger Filipo Daugunu was shown yellow a minute later for a dangerous tackle on Lachlan McCaffrey.
Further salt would then be added to the wound, as Lolesio added another penalty goal in the 54th minute, giving the Brumbies a 28-13 lead.
But the Reds would follow by adding a three of their own through O’Connor in the 58th minute.
Angus Blyth then snuck home for a five pointer for the Reds, despite it initially going upstairs for a potential knock on in the lead up. O’Connor converted making it a five-point ball game with 15 to play.
But the Brumbies would follow up by putting in an outstanding defensive display to hold the Reds out for the reminder of the match, seeing them run out champions of Australia with a 28-23 win.
Plus500 Brumbies def Queensland Reds