Brumbies five-eighth Matt Toomua gave codehopper Karmichael Hunt a first-hand masterclass on how to steer a Super Rugby side, with Queensland smashed 47-3 on Friday at Canberra Stadium.
With the scoreline a record-winning margin between the two sides – Hunt’s season-opening rugby debut won’t be featuring in his stellar highlight reel.
Wallabies playmaker Toomua cut him in half with a trademark bone-rattler in the 11th minute, before running over him in the second half to bring up the Brumbies’ third try.
The Reds were extremely ill-disciplined, and the Brumbies benefited greatly from big Nic White touch finders and then near-unstoppable rolling mauls.
So desperate were the Reds to stop the mauls that James Horwill received his second yellow card, leaving the field in the 76th minute.
When the Reds did get their hands on the ball, they displayed impatience and poor structure.
Hunt often found himself short of front-foot runners due to the Brumbies’ blitz defence.
It took the Brumbies just five minutes to get on the board.
A strong run by prop Scott Sio sucked in several midfield Reds defenders, with fullback Robbie Coleman then finding space out wide.
Christian Lealiifano showed no early signs of his 2014 kicking woes, knocking over the conversion and then three penalties to put the Brumbies up 16-0 after 28 minutes.
Hunt was harshly penalised for not using his arms in a tackle in the 19th minute, and the resulting lineout looked destined for a try until David Pocock dropped the ball over the line from the back of another rolling maul.
Hunt finally put the Reds on the board with a 40m penalty goal in the 34th minute, their lack of chances partly due to their sloppiness at the breakdown.
Man-of-the-match Pocock was otherwise solid in his comeback game from his second knee reconstruction, likewise Stephen Moore, who came on in the 50th minute.
The Reds gave away their 14th penalty in the shadows of halftime, compared to the Brumbies’ four, and it cost them dearly.
Joe Tomane scored in the corner after a well-executed rolling maul for a 21-3 lead.
Referee Angus Gardner finally gave Horwill his first yellow following numerous warnings after halftime, with Toomua rolling over Hunt two minutes later to extend the lead to 28-3.
Halfback White then grubbered the ball through Will Genia’s legs and outraced Hunt to the ball to bring up the Brumbies’ bonus try.
Toomua put over Tevita Kuridrani for the fifth try, before reserve back James Dargaville crossed over on debut.