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Zack Holmes missed a penalty kick seconds before the final whistle to allow the Queensland Reds to prevail 13-12 over the ACT Brumbies in a dour territorial battle in their Super Rugby match in Canberra on Saturday.
Holmes's miss brought a dramatic end to what had been for the most part an uninspiring arm-wrestle between two Australian conference rivals too timid to carry the ball in hand and all too eager to kick it away.
The ugly win kept the Reds' title defence alive, leaving them only five points behind the conference-leading Brumbies and also within striking distance of the top six for a berth to the playoffs.
“Great result,” Reds vice captain Will Genia said of his team's rare win at Canberra Stadium in a pitchside interview.
“We were very fortunate at the end, we gave it away and gave away a penalty and the young kid missed.”
Reds fullback Luke Morahan scored the match's only try in the fourth minute with a piece of individual brilliance, bursting through the Brumbies' line in his team's own half and bolting 50 metres to chase down his own kick behind the posts.
The game descended into an unsightly spectacle thereafter with both teams committing a rash of penalties and rarely making incursions behind their opposing 22-metre lines.
The Reds took a 10-6 lead at halftime but Holmes slotted two penalty goals to keep the Brumbies in touch.
The young flyhalf had a shot at glory when Saia Faingaa infringed at the breakdown with two minutes left but his shot from about 40 metres out on a slight angle sailed left of the posts to elicit a collective groan from the stands. – Reuters