Super Rugby, Queensland Reds replied well to their close golden point Hurricanes loss last week with an amazing win v Chiefs tonight

by Sports Benches

What a game that is after the Queensland Reds has bounced back from their narrow loss to the Hurricanes during extra time at Golden Point last Sunday to an unreal close win v the ladder-topping Chiefs side tonight on home turf (Suncorp Stadium) in Brisbane. The first half saw both teams going side-by-side with the Chiefs opening the scoring account first with two penalty goals in between the one big score but it was the Reds who hold the home ground advantage going into half-time by four points, 15-11. Now the Chiefs never backed away without a fight when they regained the lead not long after the break (15-16) but then the Reds closed in by a one point trail via penalty goal before they regained the lead and was able to lock the Chiefs up despite the opposition’s huge patient attacking play as the clock ticks down for the win they truly deserved at full-time, 25-19. The Reds will now head back to Melbourne on Friday v Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park whose other team’s form has been great after back-to-back wins but only v Western Force & Moana Pasifika, so let’s see if the Reds stay winning or it’s the Rebels time. Meanwhile, the Chiefs will head back home to FMG Stadium in Waikato next Saturday night v Fijiian Drua & that team continued the Crusaders’ worst start to 2024 with three straight losses after another home win earlier today in Lautoka, 20-10.

Harry Wilson has played it with pride after he was outstanding tonight in the No.8 Reds jersey, having demonstrated excellent physicality alongside an excellent physical stature to ensure that the Chiefs will have a hard time getting past him. It led to a few tries off the back from the counter-attack where he was able to get behind them as well as a few try-saving opportunities in defense including the last 10-15 mins & he held off well under pressure thanks to their small lead. It all goes to show that he has unfinished business left age 24 where he helped Wests Brothers win the QLD Hospital Cup last year but was also ignored last year by the Wallabies – let’s hope he can keep on going under the radar of Joe Schmidt.

The next Harry spotlight within the Reds squad is Harry McLaughlin-Phillips who made an immediate impact in the reserve No.10 role after he came on for Tom Lynagh earlier in the 2nd half. His conversion kicks through the two posts have been spotless while he made some creative attacking play through the channels such as that cross kick where Josh Flook was able to get the job done & help the Reds fight back up and stay ahead for the lead up front. Looks like competition is heating up there which is healthy to see as part of the blueprint Les Kiss wants to see at Ballymore & McLaughlin-Phillips is one of the young No.10 players who is here to learn and be the best he can be at age 19.

And Shaun Stevenson wasn’t bad on the Chiefs right wing position and he can do whatever he likes with the ball in hand alongside tremendous pace at his prime thanks to his team’s scrambled defensive work as well as the patient attacking build-up going forward. If he played at full-back then it would’ve been a different story where Stevenson can make the Chiefs attack more dangerous with Damian McKenzie in it at 10 and that is something the Chiefs might need to consider next game. Yes, they showed some good fight and attacking threat that kept them in contention all game but they just didn’t get the best out of their finishing play unfortunately when trying to stop the Reds from walking away for the win.

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