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'Whether they were right or wrong penalties you can't do much about it': Brumbies captain Alaalatoa concerned over penalty count in loss to Reds

By AAP
(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Set piece frustrations will motivate Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa as he sets his sights on a Super Rugby AU grand final rematch with the Queensland Reds.

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The skipper returned from a three-game suspension in Saturday’s 24-22 loss to the Reds at Suncorp Stadium, the hosts rallying from 12-0 down to edge ahead with just three minutes to play.

The result followed a 40-38 Reds win in Canberra earlier this season that flipped the script after the Brumbies had edged them to win the domestic title last year.

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The victory ensured the Reds a home grand final on May 8, with the defending champion Brumbies now set to host the semi-final against either the Melbourne Rebels or Western Force once the regular season ends in a fortnight.

Some Jordan Petaia brilliance helped, the winger kicking a 50-22 then soaring for a try as the Reds’ comeback gathered pace.

But the host’s scrum was crucial to first get them back into the contest, James O’Connor’s go-ahead penalty goal coming from a scrum penalty that ultimately sunk the Brumbies.

The 15-8 penalty count against the Brumbies wasn’t missed by coach Dan McKellar or Alaalatoa, the coach voicing his frustrations last year over rival Reds prop Taniela Tupou’s binding technique.

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On Friday he insinuated that if the Reds’ scrum had earned those penalties, then the Brumbies’ dominant maul should have too.

The captain was annoyed that they had fallen into the Reds’ trap again.

“Well they got penalties for it, whether they were right or wrong penalties you can’t do much about it,” Alaalatoa said of the Reds’ apparent scrum dominance.

“We knew coming in they pride themselves on their scrum and to be honest it delivered for them.

“I’m keen to play them again; we’re so close but we just couldn’t come away in the big moments.

“Yes, we’re sitting here on the losing side but we still have another opportunity.”

The Brumbies’ backrowers did their best to remind their Reds’ opposites there was plenty of talent in Australia, with Rob Valetini, Pete Samu and Tom Cusack winning the early battle.

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Fraser McReight, Angus Scott-Young and Harry Wilson had the last laugh with some crucial defensive plays, while Cusack (hamstring) and to a lesser extent Samu (neck/shoulder) now both face injury concerns ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Rebels.

“Valetini’s been outstanding for us, Samu was good and Cusack too before his injury and they’ll compete hard for a long time to come,” McKellar said.

“There’s two good footy teams there (the Reds and Brumbies) that are really challenging each other.

“But we were in a position to win the game and didn’t take those little moments that turn out to be big moments.”

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sean 10 minutes ago
The bite don't match the bark

Yeah, he has a few good points… I disagree that our 7s haven't done anything, we won Bronze in 2016, and we were virtually unplayable to the backend of the “teens” winning the series. 7s is far more competitive globally than Union, so it's fair to say we haven't dominated, but we are almost always contenders. But I do agree that our national side doesn't perform nearly as well as it should between World Cups, and I do agree that our supporters can be too passionate and the opitimity of what Rugby stands against. I have said so many times. And I also believe some context needs to be taken into account with Saturday's win for Ireland. They're a really good team! Settled coaching staff, and bar a few legends retiring, they've had a full season and plenty of time together. We have some youngsters being groomed for the future, have played only 3 games now under a new coaching team with new philosophies and game plans. I'm excited by what the future of this team holds, as much as I am disappointed by the result. But unlike this article suggests, I am never going to take away from what Ireland has achieved, is achieving, and where they're heading. As a Rugby fan, I love the tight games, like the last two weekends. As a Bok Super Fan, I agree we don't perform as well as we should. And as an aside, you come play a game at 7am on our fields, bud. -2°c and frost on the field that is as hard as concrete…. Then we’ll see just how tough you are. Well done Ireland! They played well, and gave our boys a lot to think about. That's what you want from the top two teams in the world. Rugby won. The fans of this greatbsport won. A'n bullshit like this article is why Rugby is losing its identity. I don't like soccer. This article perpetuates the soccer influences the game of Rugby is starting to see. It's why Wayne Barnes retired, feared for his family, and he isn't the only ref to say so. I have called out many Bok fans for being an embarrassment to the game, and I will continue to do so. Rugbypass.com, this article is close to the same bullshit. You should be better.

32 Go to comments
M
Michael 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Cant deny Christie is a good defender, box kicks well at times, BUT he’s a second too slow passing from the ground. Roigard, Ratima and Hotham will be our 2027 halfbacks I believe DMAC has played reasonably well in both games, so deserves to keep his place - his two breaks at Eden Park should have resulted in tries. Reece was really to blame for the Taylor failure - he stayed too wide, if he had come in a couple of meters the pass from Taylor would have worked. The Perofeta failure was extraordinary, he is normally such a good distributor, failure to draw in Steward was remarkable, failure to look inside was a shocker. Cory Flynn as lineout coach… umm something a miss here. Not sure who is calling the lineouts, but clearly we miss Whitelock’s leadership. Having a disfunctional line out really underminded the AB attack. But let’s remind ourselves Itoje is a master, and their tactics of going for the arms of the jumper on landing and pulling over was brilliant causing Paddy and Scooter to both fumble the balls. I am a Blues supporter so I like Talea, but if you play him on the wrong wing look out. While he’s not the fastest wing, he’s elusive and very industrious always looking for work. However, he’s not the tallest player, and everyone knows his weakness (a) being turned in defence - he’s slow to turn and react and (b) never jumps for high balls is normally out jumped. Personally, I find Recce and Talea too alike - Razor needs to couple them with another complementary partner Clark and Narawa respectively. However, for me the real troubling challenge is our mid-field. I am sorry Barrett & Ioane are a poor combo - either Barrett & Proctor or ALB & Ioane - but having two mid-fielders who are poor distributors is nuts. Jordie had a forgettable game in truth he missed so many tackles, which to be fair is unlike him. But sadly both Barrett and Ioane chose to bash first and rarely distribute cleanly.

22 Go to comments
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