Rugby: Brumbies score bonus point win over Reds
CANBERRA—Argentine scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli sparked the ACT Brumbies to a 43-24 bonus point win over the Queensland Reds in their Super Rugby clash in Canberra on Friday.
Cubelli, who started off the bench due to his late arrival in Canberra following national duty with the Pumas, scored one try and set up another to ensure the Brumbies maintained their lead at the top of the Australian conference.
The lowly Reds had fought hard to match the Brumbies and were only trailing by five points at 17-22 midway through the second half.
But Cubelli’s introduction after 60 minutes changed the game when he sliced through a gap from the base of a ruck to put Christian Leali’ifano in, before scoring himself to put the game out of reach.
“It was obviously really pleasing the way we finished,” Leali’ifano said.
“Tomas gave a little bit of spark for us—it’s nice to have someone of that calibre on the bench. “He really sparked the game up and gave the boys some energy.”
The Reds had started the game well and went ahead 10-0 after just 10 minutes following a Henry Taefu penalty and a converted try by hooker Andrew Ready.
But the Brumbies fought their way back to level the scores in a poor quality first half, marred by a host of handling errors from both sides.
They then struck a telling blow right on halftime when Brumbies prop Ben Alexander was awarded a try despite appearing to lose control of the ball before the line.
The Reds were dealt another blow soon after the restart when a superb length-of-the-field try was disallowed after the television match official ruled that winger Eto Nabuli’s boot had just brushed the sideline in the lead up.
A possible 17-15 lead then became a 22-10 deficit when Brumbies skipper Stephen Moore scored his second try of the match, and seventh of the season, minutes later.
The Reds got back to within five points thanks to a try to replacement flyhalf Duncan Paia’aua, but Cubelli’s entry to the game changed the momentum and the Brumbies cruised to an easy victory.
“The effort was there, but that try just before halftime really hurt us,” Queensland captain James Slipper said.
“I was proud of the boys. We fought well but our discipline and their set piece probably got over us tonight.”—AFP