Super Rugby AU

Reds fight back to edge spirited Force in tense derby

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The Reds beat the Force 31-24 in a tense but entertaining Super Rugby AU clash at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

The win sees the Reds top the Super Rugby AU log while ending a three-game losing streak against the Force.

Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Jock Campbell, Taniela Tupou and Filipo Daugunu all crossed for the hosts, who fought back from an early 14-point deficit to lead by nine with less than 10 minutes remaining.

The Western Force, however, managed to stay in the game scoring four tries of their own, through Jack McGregor and Byron Ralston – who grabbed a brace – and Andrew Ready.

Hunter Paisaimi’s 70th-minute yellow card saw Ready flop over the chalk to set-up a tense finish to the Australian derby.

The visitors had their chances, but a late drop-goal by O’Connor saw the Reds home.

The wait for a first Super Rugby win in three years goes on for the Perth-based franchise, who sit bottom of the Super Rugby AU table.

Western Force comes out firing, but Reds reign them in with nine-minute blitz.

The Force took a quickfire 14-point lead in the opening quarter of an hour though outside backs Jack McGregor and Byron Ralston.

But the Reds hit back immediately, scoring three tries in nine minutes to take a 21-14 lead after 28 minutes.

Paenga-Amosa crashed over in the right-hand corner after a sustained attack in the 19th-minute.

Four minutes later, Campbell dotted down under the posts after Paisaimi’s scything midfield break from a scrum inside the Reds’ half, set-up the score.

Tupou crashed over from close range soon afterwards.

James O’Connor’s 50-22 set-up the attacking lineout that led to the try, converted to open up a seven-point advantage.

Queensland in full control, but O’Connor’s error gifts Force a try before the interval.

O’Connor soon went from hero to zero.

Super Rugby AU Round 3 Video Highlights: Reds versus Western Force at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

The standoff threw a criminal intercept, with the Reds 10 metres out from the goal-line and looking likely to score.

The gift was gladly accepted by Ralston, who raced away 70 metres to score under the posts.

Daugunu, however, managed to charge down Jono Lance’s lethargic conversion attempt from in front to give Brad Thron’s men a two-point lead at the break.

Lance took over kicking duties from skipper Ian Prior but missed two conversions, which proved costly in the end.

Reds dominate the third quarter, extending their lead with their fourth try of the game.

The Reds had all the territory (68%) and possession (61%) in the second stanza and looked dangerous every time they had the ball in hand.

Daugunu crossed for his third try in three games after sustained pressure from the Reds, five minutes after the restart as the hosts turned the screw.

The winger took Hamish Stewarts catch-and-pass under pressure before cutting inside off his left foot to beat Henry Stowers and score.

Chris Feauai-Sautia and Campbell both went close, and Liam Wright almost stole a score from a sloppy exit by the Force, while camped on their line.

Paisaimi yellow card gives visitors a lifeline.

The Force managed to stay in the game, dominating the last quarter of an hour.

Paisaimi’s sin-binning with less than 10 minutes remaining opened the door for an upset.

Ready flopped over after the resulting lineout and a powerful driving maul to give the Perth team a late chance at snatching victory.

However, Lance’s conversion hit the post, before O’Connor landed a drop-goal in the 79th-minute to seal the deal.

Final Score: Reds 31 (21) Western Force 24 (19)

Scorers

Reds
Tries – Paenga-Amosa, Campbell, Tupou, Daugunu
Pen –
Con – O’Connor (4)
Drop – O’Connor
Cards – Paisaimi (Yellow, 70′)

Western Force
Tries – McGregor, Ralston (2), Ready
Pen –
Con – Prior (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Way
TMO:  Brett Cronan

Teams

Reds

15 Jock Campbell, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Hunter Paisaimi, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright (captain), 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Scott-Young, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Harry Hoopert.

Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Dane Zander, 18 Jack Straker, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 21 Scott Malolua, 22 Josh Flook, 23 Bryce Hegarty.

Western Force

15 Jack McGregor, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Nick Jooste, 11 Brad Lacey, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior (captain), 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Tevin Ferris, 6 Henry Stowers, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Angus Wagner.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Ollie Callen, 21 Jacob Abel, 22 Henry Taefu, 23 Kyle Godwin.

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