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Brumbies player ratings v Reds | Super Rugby Pacific

By Jack O'Rourke
Noah Lolesio of the Brumbies passes during the Super Rugby Pacific match between ACT Brumbies and Queensland Reds. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The ACT Brumbies renewed their budding rivalry with the Queensland Reds, hosting them at GIO Stadium in Canberra. On a short turn-around, the Brumbies were able to hold out a valiant Reds side.

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The Brumbies started strong, with two quick tries to start the first half, but a combination of poor execution and a dogged fightback from the Reds let the came become close in the second half.

In the end, it was the Brumbies defence and composure that held the Reds at bay, as the Brumbies secured a 23-17 win to put them 3-0 for the season. Here is how the Brumbies players rated:

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1. James Slipper – 6.5

Slipper is not slowing down with age. The veteran prop has become a leader in the Brumbies forward pack, and speaks with his actions. His tireless work rate at the breakdown and his support of his fellow forwards allowed the Brumbies to set a good base to launch their attack. Left the field at halftime.

2. Lachlan Lonergan – 7

Scored his teams second try of the night through a typical rolling maul demonstration from the Brumbies brawny forward pack. Made a team-high 14 tackles.

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3. Rhys Van Nek – 6

The Young prop is looking like a good prospect in his first start for the Brumbies. A very strong scrummager, Van Nek was also very effective at the breakdown.

4. Nick Frost – 6.5

Forming a solid locking partnership with Neville. Was industrious across the park and put his size to good use with some hard carries in the inside channels. Was targeted 4 times at the lineout.

5. Cadeyrn Neville – 6 

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Was a major target at lineout time for the Brumbies, organising his forward pack to set up for their devasting maul attack. Was tareget at lineout time 3 times, all to good effect.

6. Rob Valetini – 6.5

Was his powerful best, but also contributed to the Brumbies dropped ball count.

7. Rory Scott – 6

Comparisons to Pocock are not unfounded, as Scott is a tyro at the breakdown. Disrupted the Reds on multiple occasions just as they were looking to get a roll on.

8. Pete Samu – 6.5

Samu did his best work out on the flanks, receiving the ball with a full head of steam up and linking up with his backs in the wide channels. He is a dynamic ball runner, posing a threat to the more traditional flankers on the Reds.

9. Nic White – 7.5

Skippering the side for 100th Super Rugby game, the wiley veretan halfback showed his class, controlling the game from the base of the ruck and steering his formidable forward pack around the ground. ut the Brumbies in the 26th minute scoring off a pop ball from Neville. Pre-match the discussion was all about his battle with Tate McDermott, and if this was an early Wallabies audition, White put his hand up this game.

10. Noah Lolesio – 6.5

His partnership with White is invaluable to the Brumbies. Lolesio strength lies in being able to direct play and set players into motion, creating confusion for the defence. Was all over Tom Lynagh in defence to stake his claims for a Wallabies spot.

11. Corey Toole – 6

The former Sevens player continues to impress with every game. His electric turn of pace means that he was a danger to the Reds every the ball was kicked in his direction. When he did get the ball in his with a bit of space, he was able to beat defenders.

12. Ollie Sapsford – 5.5

A quiet game in a rare start for the New Zealander. He can carry hard in tight, getting the Brumbies over the advantage line. Was solid in defence, forming a formidable partnership with Ikitau in the midfield.

13. Len Ikitau – 7 

Used his long-range boot to kick the Brumbies out of trouble when it looked like the Reds were gathering momentum. Perhaps the best defensive outside centre in Super Rugby at the moment, and made 10 tackles for the game.

14. Andy Muirhead – 6

Does a lot of unnoticed work off the ball and always seems to pop up at the right time. Uses his speed and small stature to great effect, making the Reds defence miss when he has space with the ball. Was good in the air tonight. Fell of a few tackles in defense, especially when forced to mark up against Petaia.

15. Tom Wright – 7.5

Had a remarkable game in the fullback jersey, running for over 100 metres. He ran hard and used his elusiveness to make defenders miss. Was very good a covering kicks at the back. Still had lapses in defence, allowing Petaia to score twice.

Replacements:

16. Connal McInnerny – N/A 

Got in the action late in the game.

17. Blake Schoupp – 6

Entered the action in the second half. Looks to be well-suited to Super Rugby.

18. Tom Ross – 6

Replaced Slipper and did well to maintain the advantage at set-piece time.

19. Darcy Swain – 6

Came on for Frost. Brought much-needed aggression to proceedings

20. Luke Reimer – 6.5

Always adds impact off the bench. Combining with Scott, he was very hard to move off the ball

21. Ryan Lonergan – 6

Entered the action early, sharing the scrumhalf role with White. The Brumbies didn’t miss a beat when he came on.

22. Jack Debreczeni – N/A

Didn’t get on the field.

23. Ben O’Donnell – N/A

Came on with 10 minutes to go, got limited touches.

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