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Two for Moore as Brumbies beat Reds

NZN 1/07/2016 Roje Adaimy

The Brumbies have consolidated their place on top of Super Rugby's Australian conference with an all-important 43-24 bonus-point win over Queensland at GIO Stadium.

The ACT franchise extended their winning streak to four on a freezing Friday night thanks to a try double to Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore.

The hosts had a shaky start and trailed 10-0 before their attack was sparked by Argentinian halfback Tomas Cubelli, who replaced Joe Powell in the 58th minute, that led to three tries in the final 20 minutes.

The six-tries-to-three victory puts them five points ahead of fierce rivals the NSW Waratahs, who play Japan's unfancied Sunwolves in Tokyo on Saturday.

Even if the Tahs land a win with bonus point, the Brumbies will retain the lead with an extra victory up their sleeve with two regular-season games remaining.

It was a rather uninspiring affair in Canberra after the month-long international hiatus.

Near-zero temperatures and a greasy field meant plenty of errors and injuries - including to Brumbies debutant and No.8 Ben Hyne, whose first Super Rugby game lasted less than five minutes after he rolled his ankle.

The Reds drew first blood with a penalty goal and converted try to hooker Andrew Ready for a 10-0 lead after 18 minutes.

It took a while for the Brumbies to warm up, but they finally did just before the break via co-captain Moore off a rolling maul.

A Ben Alexander five-pointer after the half-time siren gave them a 15-10 lead.

Queensland were denied the chance to level the scores in the 42nd minute after the TMO spotted a foot in touch en route to an entertaining Samu Kerevi try.

Instead, the hosts skipped ahead with another Moore effort - his seventh of the season, the most ever by a hooker in Super Rugby.

Duncan Paia'aua briefly took the wind out of the Brumbies' sails, before Lealiifano scored off a Cubelli break. Cubelli dived over for one of his own 10 minutes later.

Lausii Taliauli sealed the bonus point with five minutes remaining.

The Brumbies travel to Auckland next week to face the Blues, while the Reds host the Chiefs.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham was disappointed with the first half, but encouraged by a "superb" second term.

He said it had been a pretty emotional week for many of his players, left disappointed by their recent Wallabies' 3-0 Test series loss to England.

"We had one training run this week and we didn't do any breakdown or defensive work," he said.

"I think that first-half was really a bit of a training run to find their feet, and in the second half they got it all together.

"It was a bonus to get the three-try advantage - we haven't had many this year."

Reds skipper James Slipper said Alexander's try hurt them after an impressive start.

"The first 20 minutes we played the game that we came here to play and put the Brumbies under a lot of pressure," he said.

"We knew they were going to be a tough team to beat, especially down here at home - they're a finals contender so we knew had to be on our game.

"But I thought, overall, our players really put their hands up tonight."

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