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Brumbies edge out Reds

The Brumbies moved top of the Super Rugby table after dispatching Australian rivals Queensland Reds 23-20 in Brisbane on Friday

Leading 20-3 on the half hour mark, the Brumbies seemed to be coasting, but the Reds responded with a onslaught that swept them within three points with 11 minutes remaining.

However, the Reds were unable to finish what they had started and have now lost their last four matches by five points or less.

A strong start by the Brumbies saw Scott Fardy crash over after Quade Cooper had blundered by losing the ball close to his own line.

The Reds' indiscipline saw the deficit stretched to 10 points through the kicking of Nic White, who then set up a first try of the season for Joe Tomane.

The landslide victory failed to materialise, however, as the Reds finally moved out of first gear.

A converted try from Beau Robinson that rounded off a driving maul helped slash the deficit to 20-10 at half-time and the fightback was under way.

On three occasions the Reds went desperately close to scoring tries with Will Genia being denied by the TMO, Rod Davies losing the ball in a tackle with the line beckoning and Cooper spilling forward when over the whitewash.

Finally they crossed when a powerful scrum enabled Ed Quirk to muscle over, before three points from White gave the Brumbies some breathing space.

A penalty from Cooper set up the grandstand finish, but the Reds fell agonisingly short having done the hard part in battling back within three points.

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