Super Rugby


St.George Queensland Reds lose to Hurricanes at Suncorp Stadium

The St.George Queensland Reds have gone down 34-15 to the Hurricanes in Round 6 of Vodafone Super Rugby at Suncorp Stadium.

In front of 17,439 spectators, the defending champions crossed for two early tries but the Reds showed composure to claw their way back into the contest and trail by just two points at half-time. 

It was a gruelling second-half for the home side who were forced to defend their own line for sustained periods of time. 

Reds head coach Nick Stiles said he was pleased with the improved performance from his side, but no one was happy to walk away with a “courageous loss.” 

“We knew the Hurricanes would fly up in defence so we wanted our forwards to carry hard and tight, to get us over that advantage line and I thought we executed that really well. We stuck to our structures and we started to build some continuity,” he said. 

“In that second half, there was a period where we played some really exciting football but probably threw a few too many offloads and turned the ball over which killed us.

"Last year we probably lose by 70 points, I reckon easily, but I want to be really clear - I'm not into courageous losses.

"The team we're trying to build here and the culture we're building is definitely not happy with a courageous loss. We're here to win football games."

Taniela Tupou made his starting debut at loosehead prop, scrummaging well before being replaced by debutant Phil Kite in the 74th minute. 

The Hurricanes benefitted from the majority of possession in the opening 15 minutes and were rewarded when winger Julian Savea scored in the corner. 

Minutes later, scrumhalf TJ Perenara intercepted a McIntyre inside pass to race away for the Hurricanes second try.

Hurricanes’ inside centre Negani Laumape was sent to the sin bin for dangerous play and the Reds had the Hurricanes back peddling before turning down a penalty goal opportunity an opting for a five-metre scrum. 

The home side set for a scrum in centre field, Karmichael Hunt took the ball from first receiver, offloaded to Scott Higginbotham who popped the ball over the top for Chris Kuridrani to score.  

After stringing phases together, Higginbotham opened up the Hurricanes’ defence with a flick pass to Tupou who dished to Kuridrani. The winger returned the ball to Higginbotham and the Number 8 dotted down under the uprights. 

At two tries a piece, the teams went to the half-time break with the Hurricanes leading 14-12.

The visitors were first to score after half time, as winger Vince Aso finished off an Ardie Savea line break. 

With the Hurricanes constantly threatening, the Reds’ goal-line defence was resolute to withstand wave after wave of Hurricanes attack. 

On numerous occasions the Reds exited their own 22, only for the Hurricanes to turn them around with accurate tactical kicking and strong ball carries. 

Jordie Barrett slotted a penalty goal in the 69th minute but McIntyre responded immediately, taking the score to 22-15 with 10 minutes remaining. 

Two late tries to Jordie and Beauden Barrett sealed the victory for the Hurricanes. 

The Reds travel to Canberra next weekend and will face the Brumbies at GIO Stadium on Saturday April 8, 7:45PM AEST. 

St George Queensland Reds 12 (Chris Kuridrani, Scott Higginbotham tries; Jake McIntyre con, McIntyre pen goal) defeated by Hurricanes 34 (Julian Savea, TJ Perenara, Vince Aso, Jordie Barrett, Beauden Barrett tries; Jordie Barrett 3 cons, J Barrett 1 pen goal) at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday 1 April, 2017.

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