The Queensland Reds have damaged their New Zealand hoodoo and ended the Chiefs’ unbeaten season with a surprising Tremendous Rugby Pacific upset in New Plymouth.
Composure and relentless defence have been behind the Reds’ 25-22 win, with Tom Lynagh’s 77th-minute penalty ending a 21-game, 10-year dropping streak on New Zealand soil.
The Chiefs had an opportunity to steal a win, placing collectively a pulsating 27 phases after the full-time siren and twice holding a penalty benefit.
However Tyrone Thompson was held up over the road by a pack of determined Reds, the referee’s full-time whistle killing that benefit and sealing a well-known first win for Brad Thorn in New Zealand since he took over as Queensland coach in 2018.
“I am tremendous pleased with them,” Thorn advised Stan Sport after the match.
“We got here from Townsville very upset with the Waratahs recreation, up in opposition to the undefeated league staff … I do know they’d guys lacking, we had some as nicely.
“However an amazing, nice second for everybody.
“We knew we would should make tackles … we simply needed to preserve turning up and it exhibits across the angle of the staff.”
It got here in opposition to the ladder leaders no much less, who’ve averaged 37 factors per recreation in 10 straight wins to start the season.
It was additionally the Reds’ first win in opposition to New Zealand opposition of their final 11 begins and has revived the facet’s finals hopes in what will likely be coach Thorn’s remaining season.
“Unbelievable,” co-captain Tate McDermott mentioned. “It offers us new life.
“We have at all times simply lacked the polish, self-discipline’s been an Achilles heel and tonight we put it away and defended like a pack of canine.”
Jock Campbell excelled at fullback with Jordan Petaia (wrist) out, whereas James O’Connor was influential at quantity 12.
Halfback McDermott and flanker Fraser McReight have been all over the place in inspiring World Cup auditions.
Hooker Matt Faessler was additionally a key man, approaching in a full swap of the Reds’ entrance row with two minutes to play within the first half.
That proved a turning level, the Reds boldly kicking for contact as a substitute of taking three factors and scoring by way of McDermott to go to the sheds 12-12 after dominating the half.
Campbell scored on the restart after extra sustained stress, poor kicking the one draw back after the Reds corrected their lineout wobbles of the opening interval.
The Chiefs pressed for a response however discovered no means by way of the Reds’ defence, star quantity 10 Damian McKenzie finally kicking out on the total.
A McReight knock-on supplied an opportunity although, Samipeni Finau finally scoring after numerous close-range costs on the line.
That levelled the scores at 22-22 with seven minutes to play, the Reds someway successful possession when their restart hit the deck.
Lynagh obliged with a penalty to place them forward after which, after a scrum on midway when play was paused to deal with a Finau damage, Queensland held on for expensive life to safe a well-known win.