No panic for Brumbies after Reds loss
February 23, 2014
It's head down for the Brumbies after a round one loss © Getty Images
The Brumbies insist there will be no need to "reinvent the wheel" after suffering an upset home loss to Queensland Reds in their Super Rugby season opener. Life post Jake White started on a sour note for last year's grand finalists after falling short 27-17 to conference rivals the Reds in Canberra on Saturday night.
The ACT franchise threatened to overrun the visitors with a late surge following a yellow card to Reds prop Greg Holmes. However the Reds' dogged defence held out the Brumbies - twice holding them up over the tryline - until Chris Feauai-Sautia scored an unlikely match clincher in the 79th minute, denying the home side a bonus point in the process.
As frustrating a loss as it was, Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher said there were a lot of positives to take out of the match.
"It's not as if you've got to reinvent the wheel next week," he said. "We had a lot of the game, we just couldn't close things out, and that's a massive tribute to the Reds' character and their defence. We'll move on and there will be a game to win next week."
In the past two seasons, the derbies between the Reds and the Brumbies have been critical in eventually determining the Australian conference winner. The Reds won both derbies in 2012, pipping the Brumbies for the top conference spot, while last year the Brumbies won at home and then drew in Brisbane to clinch the all-important home final. It's a stat that doesn't concern Brumbies captain Ben Mowen however, who says the season is long, and the games left are plenty.
"No pathways are the same," he said. "It's always disappointing if you don't get off to the right start, but in saying that we won the first game last year and then lost the final. Maybe we'll lose the first game this year and win the final."
The Brumbies will now turn their attention to next Saturday's game against the Western Force in Perth. Outside centre Andrew Smith may be in doubt for the clash after receiving a head knock in the second half.