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What we learnt: Queensland Reds v ACT Brumbies

Rod Davies of the Reds breaks away from the defence. Click for more photos

Super Rugby: Brumbies vs Reds

The Brumbies take on the Reds in round nine Super Rugby at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. Photo: Bradley Kanaris

SCOREBOARD

ACT BRUMBIES 23 (Scott Fardy, Joseph Tomane tries; Nic White 2 conversions, 3 penalties) bt QUEENSLAND REDS 20 (Beau Robinson, Eddie Quirk tries; Quade Cooper 2 conversions, 2 penalties) at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night. Referee: Steve Walsh. Crowd: 30,004.

THE BRUMBIES

The Brumbies had a couple of stumbles in their start to the season. But they will be pleased with six wins from eight games and enjoy a well-earned break on their bye week. The Brumbies have scored just one bonus point this season. But they've lost just two games and will hold on to top spot in the Australian conference for at least one more week. They are setting themselves to make a charge the play-offs for back-to-back years. Despite a horror injury toll in the early part of the season, including David Pocock, Fotu Auelua, Henry Speight, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio, Joseph Tomane, Sam Carter and Leon Power. Pocock is the only player who won't be back this season and the Brumbies could get reinforcements for their game against the Waikato Chiefs on Anzac Day. Most thought the departure of coach Jake White would hurt the Brumbies. But coaching duo Stephen Larkham and Laurie Fisher have continued on and the Brumbies are well placed to chase a top-two finish.

THE REDS' SEASON

Reds skipper James Horwill was a dejected man after the heartbreaking loss. It was the first time the Reds had lost back-to-back home games since 2009 and the tight three-point defeat leaves their season delicately placed. They are by no means out of the running. But they have a mountain of work to do to force their way back into finals contention. The 2011 champions look more composed with the ball, a break from their helter-skelter style of the past. Quade Cooper is mixing his superb and unpredictable running game with a much-improved kicking performance. But the Reds are being let down in execution. They had a mountain of possession and plenty of chances to kill off the Brumbies. They just lacked the finishing touch to get over the line. They've lost five of their eight games and could slide down the ladder this weekend. Captain James Horwill said: "It's disappointing ... it's not good enough to get close enough. We need to be better, we can't just expect a good 40 minutes to get the result, that's not good enough from us."

THE SECOND-HALF FIRE

The Reds got a perfect attacking chance in the first 10 minutes of the second half. It ignited the Reds and their crowd. The Brumbies scrambled to stop a try in the corner and Reds flanker Eddie Quirk held Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore in a ruck. Moore took offence and lashed out with a swinging arm while Queensland scrumhalf Will Genia dived over in the corner. Referee Steve Walsh sent the whole play upstairs to the television match official. The crowd called for Moore to be sent off when replays of his swinging arm were shown on the big screen. Walsh reviewed it all and Moore was lucky to escape without punishment. The Reds were camped on the Queensland line for almost 15 minutes but after three attacking lineouts, they lost the ball. It lifted the intensity in the match as the unrelenting Reds tried to cut the 13-point margin. But the Moore incident will come under scrutiny to see if Genia should have been awarded a try.

THE "YOUNG BULL" DEBUTANT

Young gun Tom Staniforth lumbers around the field with "tree trunk legs" and a 19-year-old body. Described as a beast and animal before his first Super Rugby game, Staniforth got his chance to shine at Suncorp Stadium. At 196 centimetres, Staniforth isn't the biggest lock going around. He's not the fittest, either, and he was caught offside. But with just one season of Canberra club rugby under his belt, Staniforth's biggest asset is his mongrel. The former Canberra Boys Grammar student is tipped to captain the Australian under-20s at the junior world championship later this year. The part-time pub glassy wasn't fazed at the prospect of taking on former Wallabies captain James Horwill. He pointed and yelled at Reds skipper at a lineout in the Brumbies' defensive 22 metres. He's on a two-week supplementary contract to replaced injured locks Sam Carter and Leon Power. But if he gets another chance he has shown he can hold his own. He got through 65 minutes in his first game.

THE FINISHING TOUCH

The Brumbies dominated the Reds in the first 40 minutes. They had enough possession and field position to the blow the Reds off the field in two games. But one of their problems this season has been their finishing touch. The Brumbies have been brilliant in open play, are willing to offload and their forwards are among the best ball-playing big men in the competition. But either they get too excited or their missing the polish on their performance. They had 70 per cent possession in the first half had 40 mauls compared to the Reds' 15 and had 10 offloads compared to Queensland's one. The Reds have been regarded as the best free-flowing broken-play team in the competition in recent years. But it was the Brumbies doing all the running in the first half, racking up 220m, while the Reds only got 54m of open space. They've got all the attributes, they've just need patience when the line is beckoning. On multiple occasions they slipped through gaps or had the Reds scrambling in defence. But almost every time they pushed an extra pass or dropped the ball instead of letting the pressure take its toll. That patience will be a crucial element to the Brumbies' hopes of being a title contender. Possession swung in the second half with the Reds camped in the Brumbies' half for 21 minutes.

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Super Rugby 2015

Round 1
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CRU 10vs REB 20 Report Stats
BRU 47vs RED 3 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
LIO 8vs HUR 22 Report Stats
BLU 18vs CHF 23 Report Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
SHA 29vs CHT 35 Report Stats
BUL 17vs STO 29 Report Stats
WAR 13vs FOR 25 Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHF 19vs BRU 17 Report Stats
REB 28vs WAR 38 Report Stats
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
BUL 13vs HUR 17 Report Stats
HIG 20vs CRU 26 Report Stats
RED 18vs FOR 6 Report Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
STO 27vs BLU 16 Report Stats
SHA 29vs LIO 12 Report Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HIG 20vs RED 13 Report Stats
FOR 13vs HUR 42 Report Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 25vs BLU 24 Report Stats
CHF 40vs CRU 16 Stats
REB 15vs BRU 20 Report Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 43vs SHA 35 Report Stats
LIO 19vs STO 22 Report Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 17vs HIG 20 Report Stats
BRU 27vs FOR 15 Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU 10vs LIO 13 Report Stats
RED 5vs WAR 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT 20vs BUL 39 Report Stats
STO 29vs SHA 13 Report Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 30vs BLU 23 Report Stats
FOR 17vs REB 21 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 34vs LIO 6 Report Stats
HIG 26vs WAR 19 Report Stats
RED 0vs BRU 29 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
STO 19vs CHF 28 Report Stats
CHT 10vs SHA 27 Report Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG 13vs HUR 20 Report Stats
REB 16vs LIO 20 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 57vs CHT 14 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 25vs FOR 24 Report Stats
SHA 12vs CHF 11 Report Stats
WAR 28vs BRU 13 Report Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 36vs REB 12 Report Stats
RED 17vs LIO 18 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 37vs CHT 27 Report Stats
HIG 39vs STO 21 Report Stats
WAR 23vs BLU 11 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
SHA 15vs FOR 9 Report Stats
BUL 31vs CRU 19 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
HUR 25vs STO 20 Report Stats
REB 23vs RED 15 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
CHF 23vs BLU 16 Report Stats
BRU 20vs CHT 3 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
SHA 10vs CRU 52 Report Stats
LIO 22vs BUL 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BLU 16vs BRU 14 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 20vs HIG 25 Report Stats
WAR 18vs STO 32 Report Stats
FOR 15vs CHT 24 Report Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO 23vs SHA 21 Report Stats
BUL 43vs RED 22 Report Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 9vs CHF 26 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
HUR 24vs WAR 29 Report Stats
HIG 30vs BLU 24 Report Stats
BRU 8vs REB 13 Report Stats
FOR 6vs STO 13 Report Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
SHA 10vs BUL 17 Report Stats
CHT 17vs RED 18 Report Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF 35vs FOR 27 Report Stats
BRU 31vs HIG 18 Report Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 29vs BLU 15 Report Stats
WAR 18vs REB 16 Report Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO 34vs CHT 29 Report Stats
STO 15vs BUL 13 Report Stats
RED 19vs HUR 35 Report Stats
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Round 12
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG 48vs SHA 15 Report Stats
BRU 10vs WAR 13 Report Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 41vs FOR 24 Report Stats
HUR 29vs CRU 23 Report Stats
REB 16vs CHF 15 Report Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 25vs STO 17 Report Stats
BUL 35vs LIO 33 Report Stats
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Round 13
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 58vs RED 17 Report Stats
REB 42vs BLU 22 Report Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 32vs SHA 24 Report Stats
FOR 18vs WAR 11 Report Stats
LIO 28vs HIG 23 Report Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
STO 25vs BRU 24 Report Stats
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Round 14
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 23vs BUL 18 Report Stats
RED 46vs REB 29 Report Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 22vs CHF 18 Report Stats
WAR 33vs SHA 18 Report Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
LIO 20vs BRU 30 Report Stats
CHT 24vs HIG 45 Report Stats
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Round 15
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
CHF 34vs BUL 20 Report Stats
RED 14vs SHA 21 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 5vs HUR 29 Report Stats
WAR 32vs CRU 22 Report Stats
FOR 3vs HIG 23 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 17vs LIO 40 Report Stats
STO 31vs REB 15 Report Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 35vs HUR 18 Report Stats
BRU 22vs BUL 16 Report Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA 25vs REB 21 Report Stats
HIG 36vs CHF 9 Report Stats
FOR 10vs RED 32 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
STO 42vs CHT 12 Report Stats
LIO 27vs WAR 22 Report Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR 56vs HIG 20 Report Stats
FOR 20vs BRU 33 Report Stats
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
REB 21vs BUL 20 Report Stats
BLU 11vs CRU 34 Report Stats
RED 3vs CHF 24 Report Stats
CHT 33vs WAR 58 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
STO 19vs LIO 19 Report Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
BLU 7vs HIG 44 Report Stats
REB 11vs FOR 13 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
BRU 24vs CRU 37 Report Stats
CHF 13vs HUR 21 Report Stats
WAR 31vs RED 5 Report Stats
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
BUL 29vs CHT 42 Report Stats
SHA 34vs STO 12 Stats
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Super Rugby Qualifying Finals
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
HIG 24vs CHF 14 Report Stats
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
STO 19vs BRU 39 Report Stats
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Super Rugby Semi Finals
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR 29vs BRU 9 Stats
WAR 17vs HIG 35 Report Stats
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Super Rugby Grand Final
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
HUR 14vs HIG 21 Report Stats
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Super Rugby 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 2 0 170 66
Waratahs 16 11 5 0 96 52
Stormers 16 10 5 1 50 45
Highlanders 16 11 5 0 117 53
Brumbies 16 9 7 0 108 47
Lions 16 9 6 1 -22 42
Chiefs 16 10 6 0 73 48
Bulls 16 7 9 0 9 38
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