Reds lose to Blues in Samoa

Friday June 2, 2017

The Queensland Reds have lost 34-29 to the Blues in Round 15 of Super Rugby at Apia Park, Samoa.

In humid, slippery conditions both teams struggled to hold onto the ball but still managed to combine for nine tries with the Blues outscoring the Reds five tries to four.

A slow start by the Reds saw the Blues get out to an early 12-0 lead in the first-ever Super Rugby fixture played in Samoa.

The Reds clawed their way back and hit the lead in the 53rd minute before the match began to see saw with both sides trading second-half tries.

Stephen Perofeta’s try in the 75th was the decisive blow that saw the Blues snatch back the lead and then hold off the Reds final attack.

Head coach Nick Stiles said: “Disappointed with the loss, of course, but really thrilled with some of our young guys, we made some changes in the squad for this game and our young tight five really led us around the field tonight.

“The performances of Taniela Tupou, Andrew Ready, Lukhan Tui and Izack Rodda were really impressive. I think we’ve got some really good footballers there that are keen and hungry and are going to drive this club forward.

“Tonight’s match was a special occasion. We’ve been embraced by the Samoan people this week and their support has been incredible. The team was honoured to take part in the match and you could see on their faces how gutted they were to lose this one.”

A turnover off the kick off gave the Blues attacking field position and outside centre Rene Ranger crossed for the opening try.

Moments later Rieko Ioane scored to extend the Blues lead to 12 points.

The Reds kicked to the corner in the 12th minute and built pressure in the Blues 22 before Tupou burrowed his way over.

The Blues claimed their third try of the night through Kara Pryor and then fumbled the restart. Tupou pounced and got the Reds on the front foot with a strong run through the middle.

Awarded a penalty, the Reds set up an attacking lineout and mauled the ball forward for Andrew Ready to dot down.

Piers Francis slotted a long-range penalty goal on the cusp of half time to give the Blues a 20-12 lead at the break.

Cooper hit back five minutes in to the second stanza to reduce the deficit to five points.

George Smith charged down Perofeta’s clearance kick and forced a five-metre scrum that set up the field position for Adam Korcyzk’s try.

A try to Gerard Cowley-Tuitoti saw the Blues reclaim the lead in the 62nd minute but their lead was short lived after Izack Rodda charged down another clearance kick and Taniela Tupou crossed for his second.

With five minutes remaining, Perofeta finished off Melani Nanai’s break to steal back the lead from the Reds.

The Reds return to Suncorp Stadium on Friday 7 July to host the Brumbies.

Blues 34 (Rene Ranger, Rieko Ioane, Kara Pryor, Gerard Cowley-Tuitoti, Stephen Perofeta tries; Piers Francis 3 con; Francis pen goal) defeated the Queensland Reds 29 (Taniela Tupou 2, Andrew Ready, Adam Korcyzk tries; Quade Cooper 3 con; Cooper pen goal) at Apia Park, Samoa.

News Source: Queensland Rugby/Reds Media