Queensland edge Brumbies 13-12
Queensland’s late season resurgence has claimed its most crucial scalp yet with the Reds narrowly defeating the Brumbies 13-12 in a bitter Super Rugby battle in Canberra on Saturday.
It puts the defending champions firmly back in the play-offs race, closing the gap to the ACT franchise to sit just five points adrift in second spot in the Australian conference.
The one-point win also gives them clear bragging rights as the form Australian team, having also beaten the Brumbies 20-13 in Brisbane in round seven.
Queensland kept the Brumbies tryless although the result could well have gone the other way if not for a wayward Zack Holmes penalty kick at the end.
With just 40 seconds remaining, the young five-eighth attempted a 38m kick and missed, allowing the Reds to breathe a sigh of relief.
The win in front of 16,123 at Canberra Stadium wasn’t all joy for the Reds whose captain James Horwill limped from the field early in the second half.
Queensland took a 10-6 lead into halftime after scoring the only try of the match.
Only penalties were traded after the break – two to the Brumbies and one to the Reds.
Referee Stephen Walsh arguably enjoyed the most on-field action of the opening half, delivering a whopping 11 penalties in the first 25 minutes.
Queensland landed a critical first blow, scoring the runaway try in just the third minute via Luke Morahan, who was brought in at fullback as last-minute cover for the injured Ben Lucas.
Morahan cleared a gap in the Brumbies line deep in his own half before executing a perfect 40m chip-and-chase, with Mike Harris converting to give the Reds an early 7-0 lead.
Two penalties to Holmes, who shone in a key five-eighth battle against Quade Cooper, then brought the margin back to a point before another penalty to Harris gave the Reds the 10-6 halftime lead.© AAP 2013