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Reds win ugly against Rebels, Chiefs thump Moana Pasifika

SUPER RUGBY FRIDAY WRAP: The Queensland Reds have ground out a gritty 26-22 win over the Melbourne Rebels to stay in touch with the Super Rugby Pacific top four and all but ensure their post-season campaign.

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The Reds, fresh off a brilliant victory over the Crusaders a week ago, were outplayed on Friday in the first half in Brisbane and trailed 5-15 to a Rebels side hit hard by injuries to key players.

But they cashed in when Rebels wing Lachie Anderson was yellow-carded, scoring three tries with him sidelined to remain fifth with three games to play.

The Rebels, one spot back, earned a bonus point that could be crucial in the finals picture ahead of a tough run home against the Chiefs, Brumbies and Drua.

They lost captain Rob Leota and Alex Mafi to injuries before kick-off and prop Taniel Tupou (concussion) joined them inside 10 minutes.

Yet they dominated all facets in the first half, as they were strong in contact and more disciplined in defence and at the breakdown.

Flank Vaiolini Ekuasi was powerful and former Reds back Filipo Dauguna packed a punch at outside centre.

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The Queenslanders scored first when Matt Faessler finished a driving maul but the Rebels’ one-two punch – tries to Andrew Kellaway and Sam Talakai – made it 15-5 at the break.

Les Kiss’s men were brighter when they returned, pounding the Rebels’ line before Anderson was given his marching orders.

The points flowed, with Jock Campbell and Tim Ryan – his sixth in three career starts – scoring fluent tries and Fraser McReight finishing another maul.

They managed 21 points in the 10 minutes the Rebels were a man down, as Tate McDermott (suspension) and James O’Connor (injured) made returns off the bench in that time.

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But Anderson’s return sparked the visitors, with Maciu Nabolakasi strolling over to make it a four-point game inside the final 10 minutes.

The Rebels probed in the final minute inside the Reds’ 22, their 14 phases eventually undone by an innocuous knock-on as the Reds hung on.

Queensland weren’t without their concerns, with star loose forward Harry Wilson going off in the second half with an apparent forearm injury while McDermott provided spark after three games on the sidelines.

*All Black centre Anton Lienert-Brown grabbed a second-half try as the Chiefs thumped Moana Pasifika 43-7 in a bonus-point win Friday to go third on the Super Rugby table.

The Chiefs dominated by scoring seven tries to one at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium against a makeshift Moana Pasifika side forced by injuries into making late changes.

An emphatic second-half display sealed their win, which lifted the Chiefs above the Brumbies into third place behind leaders the Hurricanes and the Blues, who meet at Eden Park on Saturday in a top-of-the-table clash.

Centre Quinn Tupaea found his way through some dogged defending early on to claim the Chiefs’ opening try midway through the first half.

Moana were briefly down to 13 men soon when forward Irie Papuni and then scrumhalf Aisea Halo were sent to the sinbin in quick succession for foul play.

Chiefs flyhalf Josh Jacomb touched down in their absence and converted his first Super Rugby try on his fourth appearance, making it 12-0 at half-time.

The Chiefs turned the screw after the break with five more tries, starting when back Etene Nanai-Seturo chipped over the defence for a quick try.

Lienert-Brown brushed off would-be tacklers to crash over under the posts before flank Simon Parker took a short pass to power over, both tries coming inside six minutes.

The hosts briefly broke the Chiefs’ momentum when wing Anzelo Tuitavuki showed the defence a clean pair of heels out wide to claim Moana’s consolation try with 10 minutes left.

However, the Chiefs bagged two late tries to complete the rout.

Captain Luke Jacobson was rewarded for an industrious performance when the flank was driven over as the Moana defence was breached again.

The visitors then moved the ball quickly across the backs from a scrum to send wing Liam Coombes-Fabling over in the corner just before the whistle.

The defeat leaves Moana Pasifika ninth on the table, three points outside the play-off berths for the top eight teams.

See Friday’s scores and scorers below!

Reds 26-22 Melbourne Rebels

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Ryan, Campbell, McReight, Faessler
Cons: O’Connor, Creighton 2

For Rebels:
Tries: Nabolakasi, Talakai, Kellaway
Cons: Gordon 2
Pen: Gordon

Teams:

Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Tim Ryan, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Mac Grealy, 10 Lawson Creighton, 9 Kalani Thomas, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright (co-captain), 5 Angus Blyth, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Matt Faessler, 1 Sef Fa’agase.
Replacements: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Connor Vest, 20 John Bryant, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 James O’Connor, 23 Suliasi Vunivalu.

Rebels: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Lachie Anderson, 13 Filipo Daugunu, 12 Nick Jooste, 11 Darby Lancaster, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Rob Leota (captain), 7 Vaiolini Ekuasi, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Josh Canham, 4 Angelo Smith, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Isaac Kailea.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Cabous Eloff, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Maciu Nabolakasi, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Jake Strachan, 23 Glen Vaihu.

Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant referees: Dan Waenga, Mike Winter
TMO: Richard Kelly

Moana Pasifika 7-43 Chiefs

The scorers:

For Moana Pasifika:
Try: Tuitavuki
Con: Leuila

For Chiefs:
Tries: Tupaea, Jacomb, Nanai-Seturo, Lienert-Brown, Parker, Jacobson, Coombes-Fabling
Cons: Jacomb 4

Yellow cards: Irie Papuni (Moana Pasifika, foul play); Aisea Halo (Moana Pasifika, foul play)

Teams:

Moana Pasifika: 15 Danny Toala, 14 Nigel Ah Wong, 13 Pepesana Patafilo, 12 Lalomilo Lalomilo, 11 Nerai Fomai, 10 D’Angelo Leuila, 9 Aisea Halo, 8 Lotu Inisi, 7 Alamanda Motuga, 6 Miracle Fai’ilagi, 5 Allan Craig, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Suetena Asomua, 2 Sama Malolo (captain), 1 Sateki Latu.
Replacements: 16 Tomasi Maka, 17 Abraham Pole, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Semisi Paea, 20 Irie Papuni, 21 Siaoisi Nginingini, 22 Otumaka Mausia, 23 Kyren Taumoefolau.

Chiefs: 15 Etene Nanai Seturo, 14 Liam Coombes-Fabling, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 Daniel Rona, 10 Josh Jacomb, 9 Xavier Roe, 8 Wallace Sititi, 7 Luke Jacobson (captain), 6 Simon Parker, 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 3 Reuben O’Neill, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Ollie Norris.
Replacements: Tyrone Thompson, Jared Proffit, Sione Ahio, Hamilton Burr, Tom Florence, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Rameka Pohipi, Gideon Wrampling

Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant referees: Nic Berry, George Myers
TMO: Brett Cronan

AAP & AFP

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