James O’Connor scored a try with the clock in the red to seal the Super Rugby AU title for the Reds in front of 42,000 fans in Brisbane.
The Reds had beaten the Brumbies twice in the regular season already, but the visitors controlled the majority of the game as the Queenslanders struggled to break down the opposition defence.
There was 84 minutes on the clock before the home side finally managed to crack the Brumbies’ defensive line, which proved to be enough to deliver them a dramatic 19-16 win in the final.
WHAT. A. FINISH. 🤯 James O’Connor snatches victory in the 84th minute!
— StanSportAU (@StanSportAU) May 8, 2021
The Brumbies had led the game from the 12th minute after a well-worked try from Tom Banks, and held onto that lead for more than 70 minutes before they ultimately conceded the match-winning try.
The Queenslanders had beaten their Canberra-based rivals late on in their previous two meetings this season as well, thanks to a 78th minute try from Jordan Petaia in round four, and a 77th minute James O’Connor penalty in round eight.
Both sides will be back in action next weekend as Super Rugby Trans-Tasman kicks off, where the Reds will play the Highlanders and the Brumbies will play the Crusaders.
FULL TIME: @Reds_Rugby steal it at the death! @BrumbiesRugby valiant but spate of yellow cards and a James O’Connor masterclass hand the Reds a drought-breaking title!https://t.co/dkpCWvFBjc#SuperRugbyAU #REDvBRU pic.twitter.com/BZILJSfLAu
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) May 8, 2021
Crusaders prove too strong for the Chiefs.
The Crusaders defeated the Chiefs earlier this morning in the Super Rugby Aotearoa final as they ground out a 24-13 victory in Christchurch.
The home side were the strong favourites going into the match, and stormed into a 12-3 lead after 16 minutes thanks to tries from Sevu Reece and Will Jordan.
The Chiefs quickly got themselves back into the game however, as a try from Damien McKenzie in the 20th minute closed the gap to two points.
— Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) May 8, 2021
The visitors had plenty of chances to chip away at the Crusaders’ lead, but McKenzie missed three penalties, while the Chiefs also failed to score a try when the home side were down to 13 men due to two yellow cards.
A drop goal and two penalties from Richie Mo’unga in the final 16 minutes took the game away from the Chiefs, as the Crusaders won back-to-back Super Rugby Aotearoa titles.