The second match on Friday is in Brisbane where the Queensland Reds and Japan’s Sunwolves play their final Super Rugby matches for the 2018 season.
Both teams are out of contention for the playoffs and the Sunwolves will finish the season in 15th place because they cannot improve on their log position.
- Both of the two meetings between the Reds and Sunwolves have been won by the home team on the day (one win apiece), with the Sunwolves picking up a 63-28 victory in their most recent encounter.
- Queensland is hunting for back-to-back wins for the first time since Round 5 after picking up a 37-23 win over the Rebels in Round 18.
- There has been an average of 84 points scored per game over the Sunwolves’ last three fixtures, though only one of those games ended with a margin of greater than 10 points.
- The Sunwolves boast a goal-kicking success rate of 88% this campaign, the best of any team in the competition and 13 percentage points greater than that of the Reds.
- Of the three players to have attempted a drop goal this season, the Sunwolves’ Hayden Parker is the only player to have landed one.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Brisbane.
3.00: Willie Britz loses the ball in the tackle. Scrum to the Reds inside the Sunwolves 22.
5.00: TRY! Liam Wright crashes over for his first Super Rugby try this season. Jono Lance’s run set-up the ruck near try-line. quick recycling and Wright powers over. 5-0
6.00: CONVERSION! Lance continues his good form with the boot. 7-0
9.00: Both teams are trying to play fast, but they are making handling errors in contact.
12.00: The Sunwolves have a scrum inside the Reds 22.
13.00: The Reds are under the pump, conceding a penalty after Taniela Tupou is caught offsides. The visitors opt for a shot at goal.
14.00: PENALTY! Hayden Parker slots another kick – he has only missed two kicks all season long. 7-3
15.00: Michael Little makes the tackle, gets up and wins the penalty because Izack Rodda does not release.
16.00: PENALTY! Parker, who has not missed a penalty all season, adds a long-range kick. 7-6
19.00: MISS! Lance can’t add the easy penalty from in front. Wow! 7-6
21.00: The Reds are going sideways, and not getting very far down the field. They eventually get a break and are inside the opposition’s 22.
23.00: TRY! Eto Nabuli finishes off a mammoth 20-phase attack. The forwards pick-and-drove several phases with Tupou carrying well. The Sunwolves, struggling to contain the Reds, eventually fold. 12-6
24.00: CONVERSION! Lance adds another two. 14-6
27.00: Sunwolves going through the phases and are inside the Reds 22.
28.00: TRY! It’s the Sunwolves turn to go through the phases. Little charges toward the whitewash and tries an offload, but Duncan Paia’aua deliberately knocks the ball down and the referee awards a penalty try.
28.00: YELLOW CARD! Duncan Paia’aua is sent to the bin.
29.00: The Reds are awarded a penalty; Lance calls for the kicking tee.
30.00: PENALTY! Lance, from the same spot he missed earlier, makes no mistake this time. 17-13
31.00: The home side is on the attack inside the visitors’ 22.
32.00: TRY! Lance, with a show-and-go, ghosts through Wimpie van der Walt and Michael Leitch, to score in his final game for Queensland. 22-13
34.00: CONVERSION! Lance converts his own kick. 24-13
35.00: Jean-Pierre Smith goes through the middle of the ruck, beats Yutaka Nagare, swerves Ed Quirk and charges down the field before being tackled by Little and Craig Millar. What a run!
36.00: Queensland going through some more phases; their ball retention has gotten better as the game has gone on.
37.00: Parker is off to the blood-bin and Scott Higginbotham will not return to the field. The game has stopped for potential foul play against Quirk.
37.00: RED CARD! Quirk is off for punching Hamish Stewart in the ruck. It is dubious, and the Sunwolves, for the second week in a row, will play with 14 men for about 42 minutes.
38.00: It came from the TMO Damien Mitchelmore, not referee Ben O’Keeffe. Last week, Semisi Masirewa was sent off in the 39th-minute.
40.00: TRY! Tupou crashes over for his fourth try in 2018. 29-13
41.00: MISS! Lance cannot add the extras. 29-13
The halftime score was Reds 29 Sunwolves 13
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Australia.
42.00: Brad Thorn says he “hopes we can entertain our fans” at halftime. He should have thought about that in pre-season.
44.00: Cameras cut to the great George Smith, who is on the sideline in a suit having played his final game on Australian soil. Two Super Rugby titles, four finals, 164 Super Rugby caps and 111 Wallaby Tests, including two Lions tours – Wow!
45.00: YELLOW CARD! Caleb Timu is lucky not to be sent off for a shoulder charge to the head of a Sunwolves player’s head.
49.00: Lineout to Queensland. Rodda takes and the Reds go wide. Scott Young takes the ball up before Stewart kicks deep to Jason Emery. The fullback gathers and kicks to halfway.
51.00: The changes are being rung by both teams.
52.00: TRY! Paia’aua, back on, strips the ball from Leitch and races away into the Sunwolves 22. He draws the defenders and gives a basketball over-the-head pop-pass to the supporting Nabuli, who has a brace. 34-13
53.00: CONVERSION! Lance adds his fourth conversion. Game over! 36-13
58.00: TRY! Paia’aua waltzes past Leitch in the corner and dots down for his 6th Super Rugby score of the year. 41-13
59.00: MISS! Lance’s kick shaves the left-hand post. 41-13
64.00: TRY! Moses Sorovi darts inside after throwing a dummy, and races to the try-line. He is tackled but stretches out to score. 46-13
65.00: CONVERSION! Lance makes no mistake. 48-13
68.00: Scrum to the Reds inside their half.
72.00: TRY! Little plays a pass back inside, the tackle is made but the ball goes out. Little takes a quick throw, and Ryoto Nakamura is over. 48-18
73.00: CONVERSION! Parker adds another kick. My word. 48-20
74.00: Leitch is smoked by Rodda, but the ball is regained and sent wide.
75.00: TRY! Jaba Bregvadze is over for his first try of the season. 48-25
76.00: CONVERSION! Parker moves to 136 points in the tournament. 48-27
78.00: the clock is ticking down. George Smith gets another cheer after being shown on the big screen.
79.00: Jordan Petaia was born four days after Smith made his Super Rugby debut. Insane!
80.00: A Sunwolves’ player is tackled over the goal-line.
The final score is Reds 48 (29) Sunwolves 27 (13)
Tries – Wright, Nabuli (2), Lance, Tupou, Paia’aua, Sorovi
Pen – Lance
Con – Lance (5)
Cards -Paia’aua, (Yellow, 28′), Timu, (Yellow, 45′)
Tries – Penalty try, Nakamura
Pen – Parker (2)
Con – Parker (2)
Cards – Quirk, (Red, 38′)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Way
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore
Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Hamish Stewart, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Liam Wright, 6 Caleb Timu, 5 Lukhan Tui, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Jean-Pierre Smith.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Adam Korczyk, 22 Moses Sorovi, 23 Teti Tela.
Sunwolves: 15 Jason Emery, 14 Yoshikazu Fujita, 13 Michael Little, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Akihito Yamada, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Edward Quirk, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Wimpie van der Walt, 4 James Moore, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Craig Millar.
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Kazuki Himeno, 20 Rahboni Warren Vosayako, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ryoto Nakamura.