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Extra time penalty earns Blues draw with Reds

Samu Kerevi scored a crucial second half try for the Reds

Ihaia West kicked a penalty in extra time to deny the Reds their first Super Rugby victory of the year and earn a 25- all draw at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

The Blues have now not won away from home in their last 11 matches as they last won away in June 2014.

The Reds trailed 13-15 at half time but fought back in the second half by outscoring the Blues by 16 points to 10 and led by 10 points in the final quarter.

With one player in the sin bin the Blues were awarded a penalty in extra time and opted for the draw instead of taking gamble on going after a match-clinching try.

West’s penalty goal kept the Reds without a win after four rounds following the recent sacking of head coach Richard Graham.

The Reds led by 10 points with seven minutes left, but scrum-half Billy Guyton ploughed over for a converted try for the Blues.

The Aucklanders put the home defence under immense pressure in the closing stages despite playing a man down after Sione Mafileo was yellow carded.

The Blues recycled the ball through 21 phases before the Reds conceded the fateful penalty for not rolling away in a maul.

It presented West with the opportunity to lock up the game minutes after the final siren had sounded.

The Reds had previously won four out of their last five encounters with Auckland and had not lost at home to the Blues since 2010.

Second-half tries from Eto Nabuli and Jake McIntyre put the Reds 10 points in front and on course for a morale-boosting win under co-interim coaches Nick Stiles and Matt O’Connor.

The Blues led 15-13 at half-time following tries by West and Bryn Hall, while powerful winger Chris Feauai-Sautia scored for the home side.

Auckland had looked the better side for most of the game but yet again their notorious indiscipline let them down conceding 14 penalties.

For the second successive week Japanese World Cup star Ayumu Goromaru remained on the bench and was not called upon by the Reds.

The Blues have a win and a draw from four games, while the Reds stay at the bottom of the Australian Conference with the draw and three defeats.

The Reds are at home again next week as they host the Waratahs on Sunday while the Blues have a bye.

Final Score Reds 25 (13) Blues 25 (15)

Scorers

Reds
Tries – C. Feauai-Sautia, S, Kerevi, J.McIntyre
Pen – J.McIntyre 2
Con – J.McIntyre 2
Drop –
Cards –

Blues
Tries – I.West, B.Hall, M.McGahan
Pen – I.West 2
Con – I.West 2
Drop –
Cards – S. Mafileo (77th min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee: Andrew Lees
Assistant Ref 1:Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 2:Jordan Way
TMO :Damien Mitchelmore

Teams

Reds

1. Sef Fa’agase , 2. Andrew Ready , 3. Greg Holmes , 4. Cadeyrn Neville , 5. Rob Simmons (C) , 6. Hendrik Tui , 7. Waita Setu , 8. Jake Schatz , 9. Nick Frisby , 10. Jake McIntyre , 11. Eto Nabuli , 12. Anthony Fainga’a , 13. Samu Kerevi , 14. Chris Feauai-Sautia , 15. Karmichael Hunt

Replacements : 16. Matt Mafi , 17. Pettowa Paraka , 18. Sam Talakai , 19. Ben Matwijow , 20. Curtis Browning , 21. Scott Gale , 22. Sam Greene , 23. Ayumu Goromaru

Blues

Ofa Tu’ungafasi, James Parsons, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Josh Bekhuis, Jerome Kaino (c), Blake Gibson, Steven Luatua; Bryn Hall, Ihaia West, Tevita Li, George Moala, Male Sa’u, Rieko Ioane, Lolagi Visinia.

Replacements: Quentin MacDonald, Nic Mayhew, Sione Mafileo, Hoani Matenga, Kara Pryor, Akira Ioane, Billy Guyton, Matt McGahan.