Vunivalu scores as Reds beat Brumbies in thriller
March 13, 2021 10:29 pm
Fiji born Suliasi Vunivalu scored the first try for the Queensland Reds as they came from behind to beat the Brumbies 40-38 at Gio Stadium.
The round four thriller managed to bounce back in the last minute of the match to snatch the victory.
Another Fijian, Seru Uru made his presence felt when he entered the field in the second half to give Reds the much needed confidence boost.
Uru’s remarkable 60 metre break gave Queensland one final chance to win the game and they grabbed it with both hands.
A sharp lineout play was sent infield to Hunter Paisami who shocked the Brumbies backline by sending a grubber behind, and Jordan Petaia reacted well to a shocking bounce to snatch the ball and dot down for the winner.
The Brumbies opened their account early after an easy penalty from Noah Lolesio, thanks to an offside penalty deep in Queensland’s half.
It was all too easy for the defending champions in the early stages as Pete Samu opened the try scoring for the Brumbies after a terrific flick pass from Andy Muirhead.
The attacking flow didn’t stop there as the Brumbies put on another try inside the opening 15 minutes when Folau Fainga’a dived over following a powerful rolling maul.
Two penalty kicks off the boot of James O’Connor stemmed the Brumbies momentum before Vunivalu opened his Rugby account with a try down the right edge.
The point scoring slowed in the second half before Fainga’a finished yet another dominant Brumbies maul.
The Reds responded with twenty minutes left after building some nice phase play deep into Brumbies territory, before eventually setting up powerhouse prop Taniela Tupou to barge over from a pick and drive.
It was all Queensland after that as injuries mounted for the Brumbies with Scott Sio, Tom Ross and Tom Cusack all forced off in great discomfort.
Tupou then took full advantage of the Brumbies undermanned scrum as the Reds pack shunted their opposite forwards and gave Harry Wilson the simplest of touchdowns.
The Brumbies weren’t a spent force though and built a long series of phases in Reds territory before a moment of individual brilliance from Len Ikitau stepped and offloaded to create space for Samu who then shuffled on for Issak Fines-Leleiwasa to scoot down the sideline.
The try then superbly converted from the sideline by last week’s hero Ryan Lonergan.
Tries: Samu 2, Fainga’a 2, Fines-Leleiwasa
Cons: Lolesio 4, Lonergan
Tries: Vunivalu, Tupou, Wilson, Petaia
Cons: O’Connor 4
Pens: O’Connor 4