April 29, 2022
The Chiefs have made it three on the trot with a tight win over the Reds. The result further soured for the home side with prop Taniela Tupou limping off with a potential calf injury in the first half.
The Chiefs won 27-25 at Suncorp Stadium on Friday, All Black Quinn Tupaea making a match-turning play when he ran from his opposite wing to somehow stop Fraser McReight scoring a go-ahead try.
Instead they raced down the other end, Jock Campbell was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock down and then No.8 Pita Gus Sowakula scored to put the visitors ahead 27-18.
A red-card for Chiefs substitute Samipeni Finau for a high shot on McReight opened the door for the Reds with five minutes to play.
Hunter Paisami scored almost immediately but from the restart was penalised for obstruction, bumping into five-eighth Lawson Creighton in a seemingly innocuous incident.
A Chiefs knock-on from the scrum offered them one last opportunity after the siren, only for the Reds to be penalised for another ruck infringement.
The loss was the 22nd in their last 24 games against New Zealand opposition for the Reds, who are reigning Australian domestic champions.
The result also saw the Reds (7-3) drop out of Super Rugby Pacific's top four, the Chiefs (7-3) jumping them on percentage in a crucial race for a home final.
Scrums, mauls and the breakdown were dominated by the visitors, who enjoyed a 15-8 penalty count in their favour.
Wallabies scrum cornerstone Tupou looked hobbled from the outset but was down for good when he copped a stray boot in the back of his leg in a scrum on halftime.
Trailing 13-6 after Harry Wilson's try, the Chiefs took their chance to link repeated scrums together on the back of penalties.
They finally crossed seven minutes after the halftime siren had sounded, halfback Cortez-Lee Ratima's try sending them to the sheds level.
More Reds errors stacked the pressure on from the restart, hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho strolling over after a lineout steal for the Chiefs and Harry Wilson yellow-carded for repeated team infringements.
Livewire halfback Tate McDermott's fumble from a kick return then worked in his favour, the halfback darting into the clear and setting up Josh Flook for a try against the grain.
A flying McReight should have scored next but was pulled down just shy of the line by Tupaea in a play that proved the difference.
Chiefs 27 (Tries: Ratima, Taukei’aho, Sowakula Cons: Gatland 3/3 Pens: Gatland 2/2 Red card: Finau 76) Reds 25 (Tries: Wilson, McDermott, Paisami Cons: Creighton 2/3 Pens: Creighton 2/3)
Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Josh Flook 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 Lawson Creighton, 9 Tate McDermott (c), 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Angus Blyth, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Richie Asiata, 1 Harry Hoopert.
Replacements: 16 Matt Faessler, 17 Dane Zander, 18 Feao Fotuaika, 19 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 20 Seru Uru, 21 Spencer Jeans, 22 Flloyd Aubrey 23 Mac Grealy.
Chiefs: 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Jonah Lowe, 13 Alex Nankivell, 12 Rameka Poihipi, 11 Quinn Tupaea, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Cortez Ratima, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Kaylum Boshier, 6 Luke Jacobson (c), 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Josh Lord, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements:16 Bradley Slater, 17 Atu Moli, 18 George Dyer, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Samipeni Finau, 21 Mitch Brown, 22 Xavier Roe, 23 Rivez Reihana.
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant referees: Jordan Way, Reuben Keane
TMO: Brett Cronan