Queensland Reds secure a much-needed win v Moana Pasifika in Week 14 of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific

It was a brilliant game to watch last night in Round 14 of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific at Suncorp Stadium, as Queensland Reds welcome Moana Pasifika. Moana fired off early with the headstart before before the Reds fought back with three tries in the Opening 40 at 24-10. Although, Moana made up some lost time in the 2nd half with another two tries on the board. However, the Reds have done enough to hold Moana back & safeguard this match-up courtesy of Harry Wilson with the win, 34-22.

Congratulations to Queensland Reds with a much-needed win v Moana after a string of consecutive defeats v New Zealand teams, even though the match-ups they played v Chiefs & Highlanders were unlucky. They responded really well after the early Moana headstart with a brilliant first-half performance, especially when Jock Campbell collected back-to-back tries. Now they will still need to improve their 2nd half performance which is something the Reds must face up v Crusaders next Friday. They haven’t scored much later on until Harry Wilson safeguarded the Reds home with his 70th minute try, although Tate McDermott’s amazing finish to this game was denied by the ref over a forward pass from Seru Uru. But they still need to put a full-match performance if the Reds are going to shock the Saders, as well as enjoy an extended run in the Playoffs beginning in two weeks’ time.

Moana Pasifika would be disappointed with the loss there, having been a great opponent against the Reds which is how Super Rugby should be like each week of this competition. They got the early headstart after Solomone Funaki opened their scoring account, as well as a comeback in the 2nd 40 with two tries from their back row forwards in Sione Tuipulotu & Henry Stowers. But a poor defensive response and some lost penalties have restricted the most of Moana’s attacking opportunities, where the Reds ran them ragged in return with the loss. They have two games next week to finish off their inaugural Super Rugby campaign at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland; one is the rearranged fixture v Western Force on Tuesday, followed by the Brumbies on Saturday.

Chiefs saw off a late Queensland Reds threat with a two-point win despite being down to 14 men with five minutes left

It was a terrific close match-up between the two sides that kickstarted Week 11 of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific after 80 minutes of play. The first-half run saw the Queensland Reds & Chiefs share the lead at half-time, 13-13. Chiefs continued their resurgence where they regained top spot, while the Reds fought back as of late. The Semipeni Finau red card gave the Reds some glimmer of hope thanks to Hunter Paisami’s TRY with three minutes left, but they unfortunately ran out of time with a narrow two-point loss, 25-27.

Reds were unlucky to lose at Suncorp Stadium by two points to the Chiefs. They fired off slow and steady through the two three-point penalty goals off fly-half in Lawson Creighton before Harry Wilson opened the scoring account in the 30th minute at Number 8. Although, they were still in contention despite losing the lead later in the 2nd half, on top of another two tries from Josh Flook and the crucial consolation big score in Hunter Paisami, that gave his side some glimmer of hope with only five minutes to go. They were unlucky not to be given time in the end to upsurp the Chiefs, especially when Creighton failed to convert into the goalposts after Josh Flook’s TRY in the 51st minute. However, the ill-discipline robbed the Reds’ momentum where a couple of lost penalties and two yellow cards against them saw the Reds fell short.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs were on the same page as the Reds in the first half with a couple of penalty goals before Cortez Ratima leveled the scoresheets at half-time. But their last 40-minute momentum has to be the turning point, despite the Samipemi Finau red card in the 75th minute over a high tackle on Fraser McReight. They were so dangerous in attack when the Reds couldn’t stop them thanks to their ill-discipline, having regained & extended the lead with another two tries before they held off a difficult opponent through a sigh of relief towards full-time. Credit to Samisoni Taukei’aho at hooker, who completed an execution masterclass that got the Chiefs back in front, while Pita Sowakula extended their winning share where he handled the Reds well with the scrum feed and their defensive half. And Bryn Gatland’s kicking is top-notch as always without error through the goalposts 100%.

The Reds will be back at Suncorp Stadium when they take on the Highlanders from Dunedin next Friday, while the Chiefs will return home to Waikato in New Zealand next Saturday night v the ACT Brumbies.

Queensland Reds overcame a messy 1st half run with 13 men to rebound later in the 2nd half with the win v Waratahs

What a way to end Week 6 of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season, when we looked back at this oldest rivalry, with the Queensland Reds host NSW Waratahs here at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. It was a tight opening 40 minutes of play where both teams were level 13-13 at the half-time break. However, the Reds returned to winning ways following their narrow loss v Brumbies in Canberra last week, as the final score is 32-20.

It may not be the night they liked to reflect on the loss from the Tahs, who got themselves firing with the sensational opening TRY from Jack Grant at half-back. They just couldn’t kick on when it comes to their attacking shape, which caused further lost penalties and opportunities against the ball later in the 2nd half. Not even the consolation TRY from sub hooker Tom Horton is barely enough to make up lost time towards the full-time siren.

Meanwhile, the Reds overcame a crucial 1st half spell when they were level with the Tahs at the break. Their starting loosehead front row in Dane Zander was sent off with a straight red, while Tate McDermott can debate that he didn’t deliberately knock a player down. However, the referee dismissed that claim where McDermott had to sit 10 mins in the naughty chair. Things got much better though later in the 2nd half when the Reds managed to bag two tries that turned the momentum around, as it was enough to maintain themselves in the winner’s circle. And to go from 13 men on the field to a late turnaround following the 20-minute red card replacement is incredible stuff from the home side.

The Tahs will be staying within QLD for a while, but this time it will be on the Gold Coast when they head off to Cbus Super Stadium next Friday v Fijian Drua. Then the best of the best Super Rugby teams in Australia between the Reds v Brumbies continues back at Suncorp Stadium next Saturday night.

Rugby News, Top 3 players from the Queensland Reds v NSW Waratahs Game in RD6 of 2022 Super Rugby Pacific

Taniela Tupou proved to be a powerful front-rower with valuable Wallaby experience at tighthead tonight for the Reds. He’s got such a great eye when Tupou had the chance to look at the Tahs’ weaknesses in the attack before he spotted their mistakes & used it against them, especially in the scrummaging defensively. And the Reds redeemed themselves later on that helped extend & maintain their winning margin when Tupou exploited the Tahs defense further in return, where he squeezed his way through the gate & bagged himself a TRY in the second half. That kind of hard work Tupou safeguarded his Reds side in the box seat earned him an early mark in the 67th minute, with unfinished business ahead v Brumbies also at home next Saturday.

The next Reds spotlight player after Tupou to look at is Harry Wilson on the back row at No.8. He has been a brilliant contributor as always who never stops running back and forth throughout the full 80 minutes of play. The teamwork was there to work out and set up a trap when identifying the Tahs’ attacking weaknesses, before he helped them hold the ball up phyiscally when it comes to his defensive contribution. Then Wilson had a crack to build some pressure back to the opposition half with the ball on hand, while he can be mobile alongside the physical grit to get the job done, especially after half-time with a couple of successful big scores.

And the standout Tahs player is Mark Nawaquanitawase on the right-wing tonight at No.14. His pace & the high-flying catches saw him in cruise control with the ball, such as that sensational TRY assist towards scrum-half Jack Grant via the short side in the 1st half. While he continued to provide a decent threat against the Reds’ defensive line, he just needed more support to make good use of his attacking skillsets that would’ve steered past the Reds tonight.

Rugby News, Queensland Reds hold off the Fijian Drua’s late comeback fight with a 33-28 win at Suncorp Stadium

Wow!! What a game that is to reflect a fantastic Saturday night of Super Rugby Pacific between the Queensland Reds & Fijian Drua, that went down through the wire at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Reds opened the account with a big score from full-back Jordan Petaia before Harry Wilson scored the 2nd TRY, as the home team are 12-6 at half-time before they continued to stay ahead going into the 2nd half. Meanwhile, the Drua came back from two three-point goals earlier on into three big scores late in the 2nd half, where the new start Super Rugby team almost captured an upset in front of the Reds. However, it’s Seru Uru on the blindside back row who saved the Reds’ night, thanks to a game-winning TRY that secured their unbeaten start of the 2022 campaign by five points, 33-28.

The Reds have plenty to fix in the next coming days when a messy attacking shape and ill-discipline almost put them on the brink of a shock loss v Drua. It’s not a good look when their starting frontline of Harry Hoopert & Josh Nasser were sent to the naughty chair for 10 minutes during the 1st half, as they better be careful the next time Queensland faces the Brumbies, or else they will be punished big time. However, the Reds have done enough that put themselves past the safe line first. The build-up momentum is good where they were able to stay ahead, while extending that winning share. And they managed to bounce back following the Drua’s quickfire spell late in the 2nd half when Seru Uru came in to save the day. But as said earlier, they will need to watch their discipline and get their attacking shape organized, if the Reds are to beat the Brumbies on Friday night.

Meanwhile, so unlucky from the Drua who were almost so close towards pulling that shock upset v Reds. We love how they spotted the Reds’ ill-discipline and disjointed attack, where the Drua were able to stop them from scoring at times. We also look at the example of how inside center Kalaveti Ravouvou intercepted the ball off the back end of the Reds’ messy attacking mistakes during the first few mins of play, having ran off over halfway and almost scored, when he couldn’t find any numbers around him. It gave a preview of the Drua’s plan to haunt the Reds’ later on & again almost succeeded with three quickfire tries in five minutes late in the 2nd half. The only weakness Drua needs to work on is their first 40, when some ill-discipline and a lack of finishing organization held them back before they left it too late.

The Reds will now travel to Canberra on Friday night v ACT Brumbies at GIO Stadium, while Drua will have their home game next Saturday in Sydney v Western Force at Leichardt Oval.

It will be interesting to see whether the Brumbies will stay 1st or see the Reds knock them down to 2nd in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific standings after Round 5.

Rugby News Australia, Queensland Reds v Melbourne Rebels Game Review in RD2 of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific

It’s been a wet and wild night when playing under the rain at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, especially during the 2nd half as the Queensland Reds came out firing on top with the win v Melbourne Rebels, 23-5.

Brilliant start by the Queensland Reds, who kickstarted their 2022 campaign with the early lead. Like how they were patient while sorting out their attacking shape, when Harry Wilson at No.8 produced a short-ball assist to Taniela Tupou towards the TRY line that bagged them five to seven points. Although they were able to extend the scoreboard lead a little further ahead of the break at 13-5 thanks to the two penalty goals from James O’Connor, but the Reds need to watch their discipline if they are to stop the Rebels from scoring after half-time. They later managed to wrap this up comfortably even in the uncomfortable wet conditions, thanks to another Harry Wilson masterclass with the TRY this time via the short-ball assist from O’Connor. And full-back Jock Campbell rounded off the Reds’ 3rd and final TRY of the night in the 80th minute.

Meanwhile, the Rebels were excellent as always when it comes to the defense. They read it well when the Reds were not up to scratch earlier on, as one of their winning penalties/advantages was successfully converted into a TRY via a five-meter line-out, thanks to Brad Wilkin on the openside flanker role. They just need to be a bit more patient when being given the ball, watch the opposition sink with more mistakes and the Rebels can see light at the end of the tunnel come full-time. Unfortunately, they just couldn’t make the most of these opportunities when it comes to sorting out their attack & trying to get past the Reds zone. Not even the heavy rain has changed the game that much later in the 2nd half.

The Reds will head off into New South Wales where they will face the Waratahs on Friday night at Leichardt Oval, as both teams are in the Top 2 right now on the Super Rugby Pacific ladder with the Brumbies v Western Force game to come tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Rebels will return home in Melbourne for another Saturday night clash in 7 days at AAMI Park v Western Force from Perth.

Rugby News, Top 3 players from the Queensland Reds v Melbourne Rebels Game in RD1 of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific

Well done to Number 8 Harry Wilson, who played a big part in the Queensland Reds’ opening-round win for 2022 v Melbourne Rebels tonight. He brings so much to the table that a Number 8 usually contributes on the field, such as smashing through the opposition territory, spotting the Rebels mistakes defensively & building teamwork before he combined all of these skillsets that helped the Reds successfully unleash past the TRY line. And to top it off, he walked away with one assist in the 1st half via a short-ball offload towards Taniela Tupou on far left, plus a TRY for himself later in the 2nd half thanks to an inside pass from James O’Connor. He even clearly grounded the ball down just on the TRY line which was enough to award him a big score!!

Then we look at another Reds player on display, this time it’s James O’Connor at first five-eighth, who just played his 100th Super Rugby game tonight. The kicking through the two posts was brilliant as always, which helped extend the Reds’ early lead further in the first half. Beyond that, he’s an exceptional playmaker when organizing the attack through the channels. Not only does JOC love to create cross kicks as one way to get past the opposition through the gate, but his vision & leadership when offloading to his men with some room, have helped exploit the Rebels past the TRY line. And that one example where he assisted an inside pass to Harry Wilson, in another successful five-point touch score after half-time is exceptional teamwork planted right there.

These two men are key to the Reds’ hot start in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign, should they seek another successful spell even they will be facing the New Zealand teams at some point.

And Brad Wilkin did well to spot the Reds’ mistakes earlier on with some ill-discipline defensively. It allowed his Rebels side to put the pressure back to the home team, when being given the ball where Wilkin was blessed with the penalties that saw him nail down five points by himself via the five-meter line out. But a lack of executions & patience has let him down that led to more Rebels mistakes of their own, not even the heavy rain didn’t help change their game that much.

Australian Rugby News, 2021 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman RD4: Top 3 players from the Reds v Blues Game

Pat Tuipulotu was one of the Blues big contributors last night. When he started on the second row at No.5. The impact was there straightaway both in attack & defense. In which helps his side reduce the workload and be more patient upfront.

It is something Patrick did exactly just like that with the assists/tries. He has a great read while the Reds defenders were under pressure. Before he unpacks the physicality to push themselves closer to the touch area. And it really set up a easy route in accruing maximum points possible. With credit to Pat who contributed both tries in the first 40.

The work is not over yet though after the half-time break. This time his backline put in the great work closer to the Reds danger zone. When Mark Talea ran really well but fell a tad short. Before Pat answered his help & extended The Blues lead with the try himself. This is really good communication in making up a well balanced attack. Like how Pat talked up well to have a decoy runner by his side. So the human shield is there for Mark to complete the execution. Then the same goes for Mark to reach out for help & Pat answers his cause. Well done to Pat who put out a great shift that helped get ahead early. And he also got an early mark too after 65 minutes. So he can recharge in the final round next week.

Mark Telea

He was so electric last night on The Blues right wing position at No.14. Where he has to credit to the forwards contribution. That would be in a way to spot the Reds lack of executions. Before his side took advantage of it and cashed in patiently.

This is an effective strategy to bide some time going forward. Then let them find clues to break the Reds chain. Which made life for Talea so easy to make up two contributing tries in the first 40. The first one was a great offload from Pat Tuipulotu. Where Pat called out his second rower to add some backup. And that is how Mark was able to extend The Blues lead. Then he was given another chance to extend his 2nd & ran wide.

It may have fell short when he battled against a few defenders alone. But at least he reached out for support to avoid getting isolated. And Pat answered his call just after the break. This shows how his Blues side stayed patient when given the ball. Communication is one thing via the short passes. Before processing the physicality which Mark took great care in the end. He is really tall who can get behind his team. Then he can run that anyone else unable to catch him. He does reminds me of Bryan Habana for the Springboks. And Mark does have both Samoan and South African blood. But it will be interesting if he dons the All Blacks.

Harry Wilson

He did his best possible in a losing side last night at Number 8. Queensland Reds may be a tad behind during the start. But the defensive shape is always there as a positive. It tested his skills in a way that helped them win a couple of penalties.

Before Harry was able to get some support runners. Thanks to Hunter Paisami in the midfield via a short ball offload. And translated his attacking outlet both with the physicality/speed. In which saw him accrue the first of three touchdowns of the night. With Brandon Paenga-Amosa scoring the second after the break that also came from his forwards pack. That communication is there from Paisami who spotted a clear gap. So Harry pulled off past The Blues defenders.

But for the majority they were isolated unfortunately. Thanks to the Reds lack of conversions with their attacking shape going forward. It is something they are unable to bridge that weakness in order to catch up. As Harry needs plenty of help from the backline to sort out. Especially when they are going up against the top ranked Hurricanes. Three-point penalty goals are there late in the second 40. Due credit as said with the defensive application. Just not enough time to settle for a draw at least after the final siren.

Rugby News Australia, 2021 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman RD2: Top 3 players from the Reds v Crusaders Game

Richie Mo’unga is so outstanding in the playmaker role tonight. Such an important presence for both club and country. Which is the Crusaders & All Blacks. Having made a hat-trick of touch scores. And endless accuracy of kicks into the goal.

He has all the attacking tools that made into a superstar player. Look at his read of the Reds poor passage of play. While trying to build some momentum in their attack. There was no one close to the home side to pick it up. As Richie mistaken them with the intercept/turnover. Before he got around the Reds half. And pulled them away from miles towards the touch line. Not one player has even caught him.

Got to say that Richie is just too good both home and away. You cannot get away with his physicality. As well as the pace that supported the execution. Some from himself. And some to his team-mates that helped his side build a big score. The communication is key to set up decoy runners close to him. And take it to the next level. It is something the Reds did not do much to stay in contention. With Richie in there he is 100% the complete package.

Sevu Reece

Who should be the other Crusaders duo after Richie Mo’unga? And that person belongs on the same backline group as him. We will go for Sevu Reece who plays on the right wing. And he has been electric as always tonight in Brisbane.

The communication and attacking setup has been spot on. Especially when the Reds were struggling to match what they demonstrated. No support runners around them to continue playing with the ball. He noticed that and ultimately punished them. After Reece touched the ball down.

Then that momentum remained tip top after the break. Nothing much really improved from home side. Even with the ball on hand. Where the Reds won the penalty for the line out kick. Reece cancelled this with the ball met just outside his zone. Before his Crusaders side were patient. And struck gold with another attacking masterclass. With David Havilli made the cross kick into the right short side. In which was easy for him to find that touchdown. There is one word to describe him tonight. And Sevu Reece is very descriptive to any defender. As seen with the Reds poor 40-60 mins run.

Harry Wilson

It is hard to see the Reds experience another big loss. Not an easy start to the Trans-Tasman leg. They do not have to face the Australian sides again. It may be exciting when it comes to racing the NZ teams. But so far it is not been very easy.

The best Reds player tonight alone is Harry Wilson. Where he plays in the Number 8 role. So part of the back row in the forwards pack. A good start is there when it comes to the defense. Having seen his side win a couple of penalties.

Although he was involved a lot more during the 2nd 40. Such as a touch try himself. As well as an assist to Suliasi Vunivalu not long later. Harry brings plenty of physicality. Not just to protect his forwards. But he can make up the meters to eat the Crusaders own half. While Harry made a couple of positive contributions. Sadly it comes down to disjointed executions. When it comes to a whole Reds team for the majority. There is little to no talk up going forward. Which saw their passage of play being cancelled. That prevented them from making up these executions. And it is something they need to look at next week.