Super Rugby: Queensland Reds beat Australian rivals ACT Brumbies
Last Updated: 23/02/14 12:07pm
The Reds celebrate after Chris Feauai-Sautia's late try beat the Brumbies
Replacement Chris Feauai-Sautia scored a try three minutes from time to clinch the Queensland Reds' 27-17 win over the ACT Brumbies in Super Rugby.
First-half tries from Lachie Turner and Aidan Toua set the Reds on their way to a 17-9 lead over last season's finalists at the break.
But they were under heavy defensive pressure throughout the second half which was only relieved by Feauai-Sautia's late try secured a rare win over their Australian Conference rivals in Dunedin.
The decisive try came from an uncharacteristic mistake by Brumbies full-back Jesse Mogg who, on a night of mixed fortunes, scored all of his team's points but was also held up over the goalline and knocked the ball on in defence to allow the Reds' last score.
Mogg opened the scoring with a penalty in the eighth minute as the Brumbies controlled the early territory.
The Brumbies opted to use Nic White's boot from close range and the Wallaby scrum-half made sure with his first attempt to put last year's finalists into a 6-0 lead.
Lachie Turner then capped his Reds debut with a sublime finish in the corner with Quade Cooper's long pass releasing the former Waratah as he touched down beating White in the process. Cooper's conversion from out on the touchline put the visitors ahead.
Aidan Toua then lit up the match with an outstanding try, bursting on to a flat pass from Cooper and putting his injury nightmares behind him with a jaw-dropping burst of speed to dummy his way over.
Mogg then added three points as the Brumbies scored their third penalty of the match.
A penalty against the Brumbies for not releasing helped Cooper restore the Reds' eight-point lead, the Australia No 10 playing with real composure and punishing the Brumbies when the opportunities arose. It meant the Reds went in at the break 17-9 ahead.
Mogg's penalty after the interval kept the Brumbies in touch but a costly error from Tevita Kuridrani handed Cooper a simple shot to keep that eight-point gap on the scoreboard.
Greg Holmes was sent to the bin on the 53rd minute as multiple discrepancies racked up against the Reds, opening a window for the Brumbies to grab their first try with a scrum under the posts.
Mogg had been denied in the first half but the Reds couldn't stop his gliding run from deep in the second, the full-back scampering over the hosts' first try of the season. His conversion was amiss to keep the Reds ahead, but only by three points at 17-20.
For such a disciplined match from both teams, it ended in a comedy of errors.
Cooper's kick to touch from a penalty didn't find the touchline but Mogg spilled the ball, offering it up on a plate for Feauai-Sautia who swooped and ran under the posts to secure the win.
It was fair reward for their effort, even denying the Brumbies a losing bonus point at the death to give the 2011 champions the perfect start to the season.
Super Rugby 2014 Round 1
Jake White's return to South Africa enjoyed a victorious start as the Sharks beat the Bulls 31-16 in Durban on Saturday.
The 2014 Super Rugby season started with an upset as newcomers the Lions recorded a 21-20 win over the Cheetahs.
The Sharks entertain three-time champions Bulls at Kings Park in Durban in a high-profile opener on Saturday.