Super Rugby


St.George Queensland Reds lose to Western Force at Suncorp Stadium

The St.George Queensland Reds have fallen 22-6 to the Western Force in their Super Rugby clash at Suncorp Stadium.

The Force’s resilient defence won out, with points and line breaks difficult to come by for both teams on a wet track in Brisbane.

The Force scored the single try of the match to Luke Morahan in the 80th minute, while flyhalf Jono Lance kicked five penalty goals and a conversion. The Reds’ two penalty goals were kicked by Japanese fullback Ayumu Goromaru.

Reds head coach Richard Graham said: “We had an expectation for this game, based on the hard work we’ve done, but we’re disappointed because we were well short of the mark.”

Queensland was not without its chances and showed intent to attack on the occasions the side ventured into the Force’s half.

The Reds were forced into a bench reshuffle on match day when replacement flanker Michael Gunn withdrew with an ankle injury.

Gunn’s misfortune created an opportunity for Nudgee College product and former Australian Schoolboys representative Waita Setu to make his Queensland and Super Rugby debut.

Queensland could have used breakdown specialist Gunn after enduring a frustrating start to the game.

They fell behind 3-0 early and lost experienced hooker Saia Fainga’a to a foot injury midway through the first half.

With the greasy ball making handling difficult, the tackle area was a pivotal battleground where neither side could build long sequences of possession.

Still, there were glimpses of quality from the Reds who heaped pressure on the Force scrum and found space on the edge for wingers Eto Nabuli and Chris Feauai-Sautia.

Trailing 9-3 at halftime, the grind continued early in the second half, with a fourth penalty from Lance setting the Reds an even tougher path to victory.

The Force played field position well, were patient, controlled and kept the Reds in their own territory for much of the second half.

Goromaru gave the home fans some hope when he banged over his second penalty but the margin was restored to nine points when replacement hooker Andrew Ready was caught offside with seven minutes remaining.

The Force sealed the win after full time with a cross field kick to Morahan, who ran in untouched in the corner to score.

WESTERN FORCE 22 (Luke Morahan try; Ian Prior conversion, Jono Lance 5 penalties) def. ST.GEORGE QUEENSLAND REDS 6 (Ayumu Goromaru 2 penalties) at Suncorp Stadium.

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