Queensland Reds 2024 season stops in the last eight for yet another year after 2nd half turnaround not enough to flip their poor start at the hands of the Chiefs in Waikato

by Sports Benches

The first of the 2024 Super Rugby finals has just been getting started where 4th placed Chiefs host 5th placed Queensland Reds at Waikato Stadium. First half saw a massive show from the Chiefs in front of their home supporters that puts them in a healthy position going into half-time, 31-0. Yes, the 2nd half was won by the Reds alone off the back of some tries when a few new faces from the Chiefs bench might not have exactly shined a light as the starters. However, Reds were still nowhere near the Chiefs all along where they continued to pick up more errors whereas the Chiefs were able to extend their lead whenever and wherever possible that ensured the Waikato supporters another year in the semi-finals going into next weekend, 43-21.

The winner for Quarter-Final 2 early tomorrow afternoon at Sky Stadium in Wellington would see the 1st-placed Hurricanes or 8th-placed Melbourne Rebels (soon to be shut down not based on regular season form this season unfortunately due to financial reasons) take on the Chiefs going for the 1st semi game which will now be on next Saturday afternoon. Plus, the 2nd Saturday night semi would be finalised off the last two Quarter-Final games across the entirety of tomorrow night in both Auckland & Canberra time respectively with Blues (2nd) v Fijian Drua (7th) and ACT Brumbies (3rd) v Highlanders (6th).

Samipeni Finau kept the Chiefs in check in all areas both in defense and attack on the blindside No.6 tonight. He never stopped running and smashing into places that gave the best run for his money thanks to his team’s brilliant backline, so they can get the job done for him with as seen with their outstanding 1st 40. Yes, the Reds might have some moments of their later in the 2nd half off the back of the Chiefs subs but his towering and rock solid physicality would be key in next week’s semi v Hurricanes or Rebels. Samisoni Taukeiaho was also another Chiefs player who did so well as the starting hooker (No.2). He’s got plenty of power to unpack such as his throwing-in accuracy and most importantly, his physical strength to plow his way into opposition defenders with two first-half tries. He earned his early rest after 50 odd mins of play with his reserve Bradley Slater also doing so well with just the one 2nd half TRY for himself that would hopefully see them win semis once again.

And despite the Reds leaving the Playoffs early yet again, gotta say competition isn’t bad when it comes to reserve No.10 Lawson Creighton following his impressive impact for Tom Lynagh later in the 2nd half. He got straight into it by changing up the attack for the Reds even though catching up to the Chiefs is very much impossible with two successful conversion kicks sandwiched in between one late TRY for himself. If he did all of that magic from the start, it would’ve been a different story when Les Kiss gave Ballymore a new lease of life off Brad Thorn – just not the Reds night sadly to finish off their 2024 season.

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