Super Rugby

Reds hold off spirited Force to go top of Super Rugby AU




The Queensland Reds edged the Western Force 26-19 in a hard-fought Super Rugby AU contest at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

Hunter Paisami bagged a brace as the Reds held off a spirited Force on Australia’s east coast. The Brisbane men outscored their opposition four tries to one to go top of Super Rugby AU after five rounds.

The slender win –– and seventh in a row –– take the Reds three points above the Brumbies after four matches.

The Western Force stays in fourth spot, four points behind the Melbourne Rebels and five ahead of the winless Waratahs.

Jake McIntyre’s boot kept his team in the game but if you do not score tries, don’t expect many victories in Super Rugby.

The Reds took an early 14-3 lead after scores from Tate McDermott and Paisami inside the first quarter. Queensland had won their previous eight home games at Suncorp, and the omens looked bad for the visitors.

McDermott scored from close range, on nine minutes. He only got over the chalk because of some poor tackling from McIntyre, but the decision to take the scrum, instead of taking the points, paid off.

McIntyre put his team on the board soon after. However, the Reds struck immediately when Paisami bashed his way over the line, fending off Richard Kahui after crossing the line to add insult to injury.

O’Connor added the extras, but the Force did not let their hosts build a big lead.

Western Force fight back to stay in the contest

McIntyre converted Feleti Kaitu’u’s 20th-minute try. Kaitu’u picked up the ball from the ruck and bulldozed his way over the line.

The ill-discipline of Brad thorn’s men kept the Perth side in the hunt, it even allowed them to take a surprising lead thanks to two more penalties.

Fraser McReight had a try chalked off, four minutes earlier at 14-13, before McIntyre’s third goal put the visitors ahead.

But Queensland hit back a minute after McIntyre’s penalty-goal with their third try, and Paisami’s second of the night, to go back in front.

It came from a turnover by the everpresent Taniela Tupou at the breakdown. McDermott went left to Paisami, who threw a dummy, sending Tomás Cubelli for a coke and a smile.

The centre then ghosted through the gap, untouched, to score. O’Connor’s rare miss made it a three-point game.

McIntyre duly levelled on 57 minutes. Bryce Hegarty entered the match and knocked-on with the try line at his mercy as the Force stayed in the contest.

The game slowed as the teams tired, the changes making the last 20 minutes a disjointed penalty-fest, and the mistakes mounted.

Super Rugby AU Round 5 Video Highlights: Queensland Reds vs Western Force at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Thorn’s side kept pushing, pinning the opposition inside their 22. Tim Sampson’s side had the better of the tight-phases; however, a powerful 67th-minute scrum shifted the game back in the home team’s favour.

Suliasi Vunivalu, who is still finding his feet in Union, showed what he can do, setting up Jock Campbell’s score. O’Connor converted to make it a seven-point ball-game with 11 minutes to play.

Vunivalu combined with McDermott’s, beat two tackles, fended off the helpless Jack McGregor, and put Campbell away in the corner.

As the clock ticked down, the Perth side looked for a late leveller. They won a penalty, kicked to the corner.

The Reds, however, stayed disciplined, holding the attack at bay. Brandon Paenga-Amosa got over the ball and won his team a match-clinching penalty near their line.

Final Score: Reds 26 (14) Western Force 19 (13)


Tries – McDermott, Paisami (2), Campbell
Pen –
Con – O’Connor (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Western Force
Tries – Kaitu’u
Pen – McIntyre (4)
Con – McIntyre
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 1: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 2: Reuben Keane
TMO: Brett Cronan


Queensland Reds

15 Jock Campbell, 14 Suliasi Vunivalu, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Ilaisa Droasese, 10 James O’Connor (captain), 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Dane Zander

16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Seru Uru, 21 Kalani Thomas, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Bryce Hegarty

Western Force

15 Rob Kearney, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Richard Kahui, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Brynard Stander (captain), 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Tom Robertson

16 Jack Winchester, 17 Angus Wagner, 18 Santiago Medrabi, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Tim Anstee, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Jack McGregor, 23 Marcel Brache


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