Both Super Rugby AU matches last weekend were decided after the 80th minute, but the Brumbies and Reds start as clear-cut favourites ahead of Round 6.
History: Played 18: Brumbies 10 V Rebels 8
Last meeting: July 4, 2020: Brumbies 31 d Rebels 23 at GIO Stadium
Final Thoughts: The Brumbies have one hand on the inaugural Super Rugby AU title, winning all four games to open up a seven-point lead on the field. But they needed a late Connal McInerney try and a Mack Hansen penalty after the siren to edge the Reds 22-20 last Saturday.
The 2-1-1 Rebels also got out of jail in Round 5, with Isi Naisarani scoring the historic golden point try in a 25-20 defeat of the Force. The Rebels are unbeaten since their opening-round loss to the Brumbies.
The Brumbies ran in six tries in a 39-26 victory in Round 2 of the 2020 Super Rugby season, with NRL convert Solomone Kata a particular standout. While the scoreline was closer in the teams’ Super Rugby AU opener, the manner of the Brumbies’ 31-23 win was more emphatic, scoring five tries to two.
The Brumbies are experts at closing out games and are hard to back against here. But with eight of the 10 Super Rugby AU games so far decided by nine points or less, expect another tight one.
19:15 (AEST), Sat 8th Aug @ Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
History: Played 32: Waratahs 18 V Reds 14
Last meeting: July 3, 2020: Reds 32 d Waratahs 26 at Suncorp Stadium
Final Thoughts: The Waratahs had the Round 5 bye to stew over a dismal 29-10 loss to the Rebels, compounding an already dismal season. Despite pushing the Brumbies agonisingly close, the ’Tahs’ only win so far came against the Force.
The 2-1-1 Reds are second on the Super Rugby AU ladder. But they will be ruing a missed opportunity last week to stay unbeaten and sit atop the standings. The Reds led the Brumbies six with six minutes to go but lost 22-20 courtesy of a stoppage-time penalty goal.
The Reds snapped an 11-match losing streak against the Waratahs via a 32-26 victory in Brisbane in the first-ever Super Rugby AU match. James O’Connor stepped up with two late penalty goals to secure the drought-breaking result.
The Waratahs boast a 10-5 Super Rugby record at home against the Reds. They are also 4-0 at the SCG since farewelling their old Allianz Stadium base.
Brad Thorn’s Reds are building nicely, however, and they look well-placed to add to the Waratahs’ 2020 misery.