Super Rugby


4/14/2019

St.George Queensland Reds lose to Bulls in Pretoria


The St.George Queensland Reds have suffered their fifth loss of the season after going down 32-17 to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld Stadium. 

The home side continued its dominant 18-year winning streak over the Reds in Pretoria to hand Queensland defeat in the opening match of their two-week tour of South Africa.

Despite the loss, it proved a memorable match for University of Queensland flyer Jock Campbell who came off the bench in the 65th minute to make his Super Rugby and Queensland debut. 

Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “It was a tough game to watch. If you turn up off your game, you get beaten – especially in Pretoria.

“Credit to the Bulls on the win. They’ve had some tough weeks, so that’s a good win for them. 

“For us it was very frustrating. There were opportunities there for us if we were clinical and built our game. You can’t win games of footy when you’re turning over the ball that much. 

“We just have to work hard and lick our wounds for the Sharks next week. They’re a very strong side and it’s tough to win down in Durban,” said Thorn.

The Reds opened the scoring in the 1st minute when Bryce Hegarty kicked the visitors to a 3-nil lead after forcing a penalty off the kick-off.

It took the Bulls just three minutes to respond through prop Lizo Gqoboka, before Handre Pollard slotted a penalty from in front to extend their advantage to 8-3.

Some excellent scrambling defence and cover pressure from Samu Kerevi denied the home side a try in the 23rd minute, but there was no stopping the Bulls a second time as they crossed five minutes later to make it 13-3 at the break.

The Bulls needed just 50 seconds into the second half to find the line again after regaining the ball off the kick-off and went on to score through Pollard. The flyhalf converted his own try to stretch their lead out to 17 points.

Kerevi gave the Reds a glimmer of hope after he crossed for Queensland’s first five pointer to put them back within 10 points in the 57th minute.

Two tries in three minutes pushed the Bulls lead out to 32-10, before Kerevi ran a beautiful line to bag his second, but the damage had already been done.

Despite the Reds best efforts in the final 10 minutes, the Bulls closed out the match to seal a 32-17 win and end a two-game losing streak at home. 
 
Queensland continues their South African tour next week, as they travel to Durban for Friday’s match against the Sharks at Jonsson Kings Park. 

The Reds return home in Round 12 as they host the Sunwolves at Suncorp Stadium on Friday May 3. Tickets available via http://bit.ly/2019RedsTickets

St.George Queensland Reds 17 (Tries: Kerevi 2. Conversions: Hegarty 2. Penalties: Hegarty) defeated by Bulls 32 (Tries: Pollard 2, Gqoboka, van Staden, Liebenberg. Conversions: Pollard 2. Penalties: Pollard) at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria on April 13 2019.

Rugby Traveller