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Brumbies player ratings vs Reds | Super Rugby Pacific

By Jack O'Rourke
(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The Brumbies hosted the Reds at GIO Stadium on Friday night to open round five of Super Rugby Pacific. 

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The rivalry between the ACT Brumbies and the Queensland Reds has reached new heights following a series of close encounters in recent years, including the Super Rugby AU final where the Reds prevailed right on full-time. 

Both teams battled for ascendency early in the first half, with the Reds breaking through for the first try. The Brumbies hit back shortly with a try of their own to go in ahead at halftime. 

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The battle at scrum time continued into the second half, with both teams locked in an arm wrestle for momentum. The game opened up late in the game, as the Reds tried their hand at attacking the Brumbies line. The men from Canberra held tough and relied on their defence to hold off multiple raids from the Reds to grab a hard-fought victory 16-12 to retain bragging rights until their next match. 

Here’s how the Brumbies rated:

1. James Slipper – 7

The wily veteran was rock solid at the scrum as usual. Combined with the front row to win an important penalty right on half time. Showed his leadership skills by rallying the troops when the Brumbies were under the pump. 

2. Folau Fainga’a – 5.5

Performed his role admirably at lineout time, delivering solid ball to his jumpers and controlled the pill at the back of the maul. He got around the park but never truly presented a threat. As the incumbent Wallabies hooker, he will be feeling the competition breathing down his neck.  

3. Allan Alaalatoa – 7

Used his vast experience to out-muscle his opposition number Dane Zander in the scrum. He has become a talismanic figure in Canberra, and the Brumbies captain went the full 80 minutes yet again. 

4. Darcy Swain – 6

Continues to go strength-to-strength at lock. Caused problems for the Reds with his counter-maul technique at lineout time. Was sent to the bin for being offside while the Reds were on the attack at a crucial period of the match. 

5. Nick Frost – 7

Has come into this season with a few extra kilos of muscle on his frame and put it to good use tonight. Carried hard through the middle and formed a good combination with Swain to add extra grunt at scrum time. Won a crucial lineout against the head to shut down an attacking raid from the Reds. 

6. Rob Valetini – 7

Put in a dominant showing again, carrying hard and making metres to set the platform for the Brumbies backline. Continues his excellent form and is becoming a key cog in the Brumbies back row. 

7. Jahrome Brown – 7

Displayed his physicality and workman-like endurance at the breakdown. He was denied a try by a matter of a few blades of grass after peeling off the back of the scrum and was denied by a great covering tackling by James O’Connor. Left the field for a HIA after a big collision with Harry Wilson. 

8. Pete Samu – 5.5

Was all over the park in defence and continued to be a menace at the breakdown. However, the Wallaby utility was never able to assert his presence on the match. 

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9. Nic White – 6 

White provided plenty of fireworks from scrum-half, chirping the Reds at every possible chance. Led the team around the park and even won a crucial turnover. Kicked a penalty goal to keep the Brumbies in front. Was subbed off for Lonergan. 

10. Noah Lolesio – 6 

Got absolutely hammered by Hunter Paisami early in the match but quickly shook it off. Underplayed his hand but showed nice control in giving options to his outside backs. Unfortunately went off with an injury just after halftime. 

11. Andy Muirhead – 6

Went looking for work when he wasn’t presented a whole lot of opportunities. Played well above his weight and put a big hit on Petaia in the second half. Was tenacious on the ball, winning some crucial turnovers. 

12. Irae Simone – 7

Was a key figure in the Brumbies backline. Dropped a clever grubber to set up Tom Wright under the posts for their opening try and became a second distributor when Lolesio left the park.

13. Len Ikitau – 6.5

Was well contained for most of the match and wasn’t allowed to make the block-busting runs he is famous for. He tested the lines with some grubbers and matched-up well in defence. 

14. Tom Wright – 7

Put himself in positions to make a difference all game. Capitalised on a Simone grubber to extend his try-scoring run. Injected himself when he was needed and shut down most of the Reds counter-attack. 

15. Tom Banks – 6

Had a quiet game by his standards. Despite injecting himself into the backline on a few occasions, Banks was unable to break the line and reel off huge metres like his previous games. 

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Reserves

16. Connal McInerney – 6.5

Came on in the 60th minute. Was a handy replacement and kept the momentum going in the forwards.

17. Scott Sio – 6.5

When he came on for Slipper, the Brumbies lost nothing in terms of scrum stability. 

18. Sefo Kautai – N/A

19. Tom Hooper – 6.5 

Impressed again in a cameo off the bench, putting in a big shift in defence. 

20. Luke Reimer – 6

Was a solid replacement for Jahrome Brown when he went off for HIA. Worked hard at the breakdown and fronted up in defence. Missed an opportunity to feed the ball to Mogg which could have set up a try.  

21. Ryan Lonergan – 6

Came into the game in the 60th minute and took over kicking duties. Choose some good kicking options off the base of the scrum and was able to control the game for the Brumbies. 

22. Rodney Iona – 5.5

Came on for Lolesio shortly after halftime. Made some poor kicking options but did enough to keep the Brumbies out of trouble. Was lucky not to be penalised for holding back McReight. 

23. Jesse Mogg – 6.5 

Looked good coming off the bench and found in himself space a few times. Could have scored if Reimer passed to him off a fast break.

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