Super Rugby


6/29/2018

St.George Queensland Reds lose to Blues at Eden Park


The St.George Queensland Reds have suffered a disappointing loss to the Blues, falling 39-16 at Auckland’s Eden Park on Friday night.

The game hung in the balance in the opening stages, but back-to-back yellow cards against the Reds for dangerous tackles turned the contest on its head. 

Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “The two yellow cards early on certainly didn’t help, but the game was still there. We didn’t show smarts with how we approached it. I didn’t think we handled the conditions well at all. 

“In saying that, our set piece was excellent. I think we earned eight scrum penalties, you don’t see that very often. It is a credit to Cameron Lillicrap and the work he has done with the pack since pre-season. I rate him as a world-class scrum coach. 

“We just needed to focus more on field position. When we got down to those areas we could use our strengths and we got pay.

“You need to play at the right end of the field, especially in those conditions. It was another difficult learning experience for us.”

The Reds found themselves down 21-6 at half time after successive yellow cards to Jordan Petaia and Taniela Tupou for dangerous tackles in the 23rd and 25th minutes broke the game wide open. 

At the time of the first card, the Blues had a narrow 8-6 lead, before edging ahead with two tries and a penalty goal while the Reds were shorthanded. 

The Blues extended their lead to 31-6 early in the second half, off the back of a penalty and converted try. 

The Reds finally found some momentum around the 60-minute mark, spearheaded by a powerful set-piece performance.

The Reds scored their first try at the 62nd minute mark, with a scrum penalty setting up an attacking lineout five metres out, leading to a dominant maul and a try to centre Duncan Paia’aua, closing the gap to 31-11.

Blues lock Matiaha Martin was yellow carded for collapsing the maul in the lead up to the try.

The Reds repeated the effort eight minutes later, earning another scrum penalty, with Blues’ replacement prop yellow carded. The Reds kicked to touch to set up a five-metre lineout, this time mauling over for a try to replacement hooker Alex Mafi, narrowing the score to 31-16. 

The Blues had the final say in the game, kicking their fourth penalty goal and scoring a late try to secure the match.

The Reds return home next week to host the Melbourne Rebels at Suncorp Stadium on Friday 6 July, in their second-last clash of the 2018 Vodafone Super Rugby season.

St.George Queensland Reds 16 (Duncan Paia'aua, Alex Mafi tries; Jono Lance 2 penalty goals) defeated by Blues 39 (Caleb, Clarke, Stephen Perofeta, Matt Moulds, Rieko Ioane, Melani Nanai tries; Perofeta 1 conversion; Stephen Perofeta 2, Bryn Gatland 1 penalty goals) at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday 29 July, 2018.

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