Barrett injured in clash with Reds
FRIDAY WRAP: Beauden Barrett spun a web around the Queensland Reds before limping off as the Blues inflicted a 45-26 win in Brad Thorn’s last game as coach at Suncorp Stadium.
The Reds were the first team to beat the Chiefs all season last week, ending a 10-year losing streak in New Zealand behind dogged defence and disciplined attack.
But that disappeared in Brisbane on Friday, the Reds missing 31 tackles as the Blues ran in six tries to four and moved into fourth on the Super Rugby Pacific ladder.
It left the Reds in seventh and in danger of missing finals in Thorn’s last season in charge, games away to the Highlanders and Fijian Drua to finish the regular season potentially both must-wins for them to remain in the frame.
Barrett’s terrific short ball to Cameron Suafoa led to fullback Zarn Sullivan’s first try and the No.10 scored the second himself.
The hosts couldn’t bend the Blues’ defensive line in the first half but were still right in it when Sef Fa’agase scored to make it a three-point game at the break.
Fraser McReight was then metres from the line when he knocked on looking to dive over, flying winger Mark Telea running 60m and grubbering for Barrett.
Barrett couldn’t ground it and then limped off with a sore foot, the All Blacks talent joining five other Blues Test stars already on the sidelines as part of designated World Cup rest.
It didn’t disrupt the Blues, Patrick Tuipulotu barging over from the next play to create the crucial buffer.
Fullback Sullivan took over the playmaking duties with aplomb to set up Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens.
Harry Wilson stretched out to score and make it 31-19 with 11 minutes to play but Telea had the reply from the restart to snuff out any hopes of a comeback.
Liam Wilson continued his good form to set up Josh Flook’s first try but the Reds’ set piece lacked punch and halfback Tate McDermott and fullback Jock Campbell were without the sparkle they showed in New Plymouth a week earlier.
The results and scorers:
Blues 41-7 Reds
For the Blues:
Tries: Sullivan, Barrett, Tuipulotu, Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, Telea, Funaki
Cons: Barrett 2, Plummer 4
Pens: Barrett 1
For the Reds:
Tries: Flook, Fa’agase, Wilson, Campbell
Cons: Creighton 2, Lynagh
Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Suliasi Vunivalu, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Taj Annan, 11 Filipo Daugunu,10 Lawson Creighton, 9 Tate McDermott (captain), 8 Seru Uru, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright, Connor Vest, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Sef Fa’agase, 2 Richie Asiata, 1 George Blake,
Replacement: Matt Faessler, Dane Zander, Zane Nonggorr, Ryan Smith, Harry Wilson, Kalani Thomas, Tom Lynagh, Mac Grealy
Blues: 15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Bryce Heem, 12 Harry Plummer, 11 AJ Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Adrian Choat, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Cameron Suafoa, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Marcel Renata, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Jordan Lay.
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Josh Fusitu’a, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 James Tucker, 20 Anton Segner, 21 Taufa Funaki, 22 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 23 Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens
Referee: Jordan Way
Assistant Referee: Nic Berry, Angus Gardner
Crusaders 41-7 Moana Pacifica
Tries: Lio-Willie, Springer, Jordan, Hotham, McAlister, S Barrett
Cons: Burke (3)
For Moana Pasifika:
Pasika: 15 William Havili, 14 Tima Fainga’anuku,13 Fine Inisi,12 Levi Aumua, 11 Neria Foma’i, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Ereatara Enari, 8 Solomone Funaki (captain), 7 Alamanda Motuga,6 Miracle Faiilagi, 5 Mike McKee, 4 Michael Curry, 3 Chris Apoua, 2 Samiuela Moli, 1 Abraham Pole.
Replacements: 16 Luteru Tolai, 17 Ezekiel Lindnemuth, 18 Sosefo ‘Apikotoa, 19 Mahonri Ngakuru, 20 Jonah Mau’u, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Henry Taefu, 23 Timoci Tavatavanawai
Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan,14 Chay Fihaki, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Dallas McLeod, 11 Macca Springer, 10 Fergus Burke, 9 Noah Notham, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Corey Kellow, 6 Sione Havili Talitui, 5 Zach Gallagher, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Tamaiti Williams, 2 Brodie McAlister, 1 Kershawl Sykes-Martin.
Replacements: Ioane Moananu, Andrew Turner, Seb Calder, Dom Gardiner, Christian Lio-Willie, Mitchell Drummond, Taha Kemara, Wil Gualter
Referee: Reuben Keane
Assistant Referee: Brendon Pickerill, Marcus Playle