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Resilient Reds beat Moana Pasifika – Super Rugby Pacific


BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – MAY 20: Jock Campbell of the Reds istduring the round 14 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Queensland Reds and the Moana Pasifika at Suncorp Stadium on May 20, 2022 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Queensland Reds beat Moana Pasifika 34-22 in a scrappy Super Rugby Pacific contest at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

Jock Campbell bagged a brace as the Queensland Reds halted a four-match losing streak in Super Rugby Pacific to solidify the seventh spot on the table.

This was a resilient display by the out of form Reds, who kept the visitors scoreless in the second stanza while down two men.

The Reds took a 24-10 lead into the shed after half of their four first-half tries were converted.

Moana scored twice after the break, but the Reds took the spoils.

Campbell (twice), Fraser McReight – again excellent – and Harry Hoopert crossed for the home team in the opening half.

Christian Leali’ifano converted Solomone Funaki’s early score before adding a late penalty to bring up double figures.

Sione Tu’ipulotu’s unconverted try got the visitors off to a good start after halftime, but James O’Connor’s penalty opened up a 12-point gap soon after.

The home team’s discipline began to falter as the visitors turned up the intensity.

Matt Faessler and McReight both spent time on the naughty step after receiving yellow cards in quick succession.

Somehow, the hosts did not concede while down to 13.

Moreover, Brad Thorn’s men killed the game when Harry Wilson’s intercept made it 32-15 before Lawson Creighton’s conversion.

Ereatara Enari went off for a deliberate knockdown; however, the tourists went through the phases and scored before the hooter.

The TMO missed Henry Time-Stowers’ boot touch the sideline, and the number eight scored later in the attack.

Leali’ifano took the conversion before the TMO could take the try off the board.

It was a costly error from Brett Cronan because it means the Reds don’t claim a bonus point.

Mr Cronan left a bitter – although correct – taste in the mouth when he did strike off Tate McDermott’s last-gasp score.

Moana Pasifika has now lost their last nine consecutive Super Rugby Pacific games, and they sit bottom of the log after the Culture Round.

The Queensland Reds overturned an early setback to take a comfortable 14-point halftime lead

The Reds didn’t touch the ball much in the first 10 minutes, but once the home team did, they made it count.

Queensland scored 19 unanswered points as they overturned an early seven-point deficit.

Funaki opened the scoring in the fourth minute after a well-worked short lineout move from close range.

But Queensland hit back with three tries before the half-hour mark to make it 19-7.

Campbell, McReight and Hoopert all crossed as Thorn’s men took control of the contest.

Some good hands by the Reds eventually led to Campbell crashing over near the corner.

O’Connor missed the conversion, but his team soon had the lead when Josh Flook’s offload put away McReight next to the poles.

Wilson won the turnover before McDermott’s cleaver box-grubber was chased down by Flook.

There was no one at the back for Moana. Flook beat the chasing defenders before offloading to the supporting McReight.

Henry Time-Stowers went off for a reckless tip-tackle on McReight before the end of the first quarter. The Reds scored again.

Seru Uru, in the halfback role after McDermott’s carry, popped to Hoopert.

The prop, with the help of McReight, crashed through Ray Niuia and Abraham Pole.

Leali’ifano – who made his Test debut in 2013 on this ground versus the British & Irish Lions – made it 19-10 on the half-hour.

Despite the three, Moana Pasifika was, by now, reeling under the weight of pressure from the red tide.

Moana began to leak multiple penalties, which led to another Campbell score.

The Reds attacked inside the red zone. O’Connor knew he had the advanatge, and put in a little left foot grubber behind the flat defensive line for the chasing Campbell.

The flying fullback got checked by a defender, but still managed to dot down under pressure.

O’Connor pulled his conversion.

Moana Pasifika strike soon after halftime, but the Reds, despite playing with 13, kept the islanders in check

The Brisbane outfit looked out of sorts after the break. They lost their mojo and discipline but were fortunate the profligate islanders did not take advantage.

Tu’ipulotu crashed over soon after the restart to reduce the deficit and keep his side in the contest.

Piggyback penalties against the Aussies set up Moana on the Reds’ line. A superb-worked driving maul set up the attack.

Tu’ipulotu broke off the ruck to the right and crashed through McReight to score next to the flag.

Leali’ifano’s unsuccessful conversion hit the post before O’Connor made it 27-15 with his first goal of the game.

Moana began to look dangerous, while the Reds began to wobble.

Multiple infringements saw the ref lose his cool with McDermott’s men.

Mr Cooper showed two yellows to Faessler and McReight, but the tourists could not make the Australians pay.

Instead, the Pacific Islanders lost an important scrum inside the opposition’s 22 while they were down to 13 players.

Before the double-carding, Mauger’s men knocked on near the line.

Flook left with a shoulder injury. O’Connor left with a hamstring strain.

Creighton, on for O’Connor missed a penalty, but the opposition’s misjudged counter-attack ended the contest.

Moana tried to run the ball out from their 22. They went through some phases before Wilson intercepted Leali’ifano’s floated pass to score under the posts.

Creighton converted, but a frenetic ending saw the Reds lose, win, and lose a bonus point at the death.

Time-Stowers barged over before the hooter, but the big No 8 stepped on the line in the build-up.

The TMO, however, missed the review, and Leali’ifano kicked a quick conversation before the try could be taken off the board.

Moments later, and after the hooter, the Reds scored a stunner through McDermott.

This time, and to the disappointment of the home support, the TMO ruled the final pass from Uru went forward to his skipper.

Final Score: Reds 34 (24) Moana 22 (10)

Scorers

Reds
Tries – Campbell (2), McReight, Hoopert, Wilson
Pen – O’Connor
Con – O’Connor (2), Creighton
Drop –
Cards – Faessler (Yellow, 56′), McReight (Yellow, 58′)

Moana
Tries – Funaki, Tu’ipulotu, Time-Stowers
Pen – Leali’ifano
Con – Leali’ifano (2)
Drop –
Cards – Time-Stowers (Yellow, 19′), Enari (Yellow, 77′)

Match Officials
Referee: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 1: Jordan Way
Assistant Ref 2: 
Reuben Keane
TMO: Brett Cronan

Teams

Queensland Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Suliasi Vunivalu, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott (Captain), 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Seru Uru, 5 Angus Blyth, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Feao Fotuaika, 2 Matt Faessler, 1 Harry Hoopert.

Replacements: 16 Richie Asiata, 17 Dane Zander, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Connor Vest, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Kalani Thomas, 22 Lawson Creighton, 23 Filipo Daugunu.

Moana Pasifika: 15 William Havili, 14 Tomasi Alosio, 13 Solomone Kata, 12 Danny Toala, 11 Timoci Tavatavanawai, 10 Christian Leali’ifano, 9 Jonathan Taumateine, 8 Henry Time-Stowers, 7 Solomone Funaki, 6 Sione Tu’ipulotu, 5 Samuel Slade, 4 Michael Curry, 3 Sekope Kepu (captain), 2 Ray Niuia, 1 Abraham Pole.

Replacements:
16 Samiuela Moli, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Joe ‘Apikotoa, 19 Alex McRobbie, 20 Jack Lam, 21 Ereatara Enari, 22 Lincoln McClutchie, 23 Henry Taefu.



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