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Revenge for Brumbies in gritty win over Reds

Brumbies 24 Reds 6

Brumbies vs the Reds. Click for more photos

Brumbies v Reds

The Brumbies come up against the Reds at Canberra Stadium to kick off the Super Rugby season. Photo: Jay Cronan

THE ACT Brumbies believe they're better equipped to handle pressure in year two of the Jake White era and showed they had ''matured'' after last-year's meltdown by beating the Queensland Reds on Saturday night.

The Brumbies got their season off to a perfect start with a 24-6 victory over the Reds at Canberra Stadium.

The only downside was Henry Speight being taken to hospital after he left the field in agony in the second half with what appeared to be a rib injury.

It was a match built up as a clash between the top two teams in Australia with the opposing coaches trading jibes all week.

But the pain of being knocked out of the finals with a final-round choke last season spurred the Brumbies on to stake their claim to be Australia's No.1 team.

In a gutsy and grinding performance, Jesse Mogg scored the only two tries of the match.

The Reds were undermanned with leaders James Horwill and Will Genia on the sideline with injuries.

But Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen said the tight victory would provide a solid building block "to get to where we want to be".

The Brumbies were on the verge of a drought-breaking finals appearance last year before they stumbled at the last hurdle and lost to the Auckland Blues at home in a heart-breaking end to their season.

"I know the team has matured a lot, just the way we approach training and prepare around games," Mowen said.

"It was the first time we were back at Canberra Stadium after that pretty disappointing [performance against the Blues].

"[Beating the Reds] doesn't wipe [that losing feeling] out and I don't think you want it to. You want to use it as a reference point that if you slacken off, you get your arse handed to you.

"It was a huge, costly lesson last year, but it's set this group up."

The Brumbies had started to become the Reds bunnies in the past two seasons.

After losing just once to the Queenslanders in the first 15 years of Super Rugby, the Brumbies had secured just one win in the past four matches between the teams.

ACT coach White admitted he was concerned and could sense "deja vu" in the second half when his team missed crucial penalty attempts. But instead of crumbling, the Brumbies continued to surge and secured the 18-point win when Mogg scored his second try in the last minute of the match.

The passion and fierce rivalry spilled on to the field with four scuffles in the first half before the referee warned both captains.

The Brumbies missed five penalty shots and a conversion but still recorded a solid victory.

"You want to make sure you get off to a winning start," White said.

"We've been speaking about if you want an opportunity you have to use it and stake a claim.

"At half-time I was a bit concerned there was going to be a bit of dé´jà vu because we missed a couple of kicks … but everything we spoke about at half-time we got some just reward for."

White praised marquee Brumbies recruit Pocock for almost sealing the game with a crucial turnover in the 71st minute. The Brumbies' attention will now turn to taking on the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park on Friday night.

ACT BRUMBIES 24 (Jesse Mogg 2 tries Ian Prior con Mogg 2, Nic White 2 pens) bt QUEENSLAND REDS 6 (Michael Harris 2 pens) at Canberra Stadium. Referee: Andrew Lees. Crowd: 17,058.

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Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
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Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Report Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
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FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Stats
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ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
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SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
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IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Stats
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