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Reds see double red in Super loss

Poor discipline from Wallaby scrumhalf and Reds captain Tate McDermott has cost his side badly in a 14-17 loss to Moana Pasifika.

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McDermott was red-carded for a shocking swinging arm on Moana flank Irie Papuni in the second half in Whangarei on Friday, and had to watch from the sidelines when flyhalf William Havili scored a match-winning try just a minute from time.

The Reds produced a sub-par opening and were down 0-10 at half-time.

But they found an avenue into the game with a try soon after the break, before McDermott’s strike left them a man down.

Queensland still wrestled their way to the lead when wing Jordan Petaia crossed on 71 minutes, and looked likely to snap a two-game losing streak.

But flank Fraser McReight also received a red card seven minutes from time for a high shot and the Pasifika outfit made the most of it, with Havili finding the space to cross in the 80th minute.

“We had a lot of pressure-relieving moments for them, which sort of wiped out some good moments that we had,” Reds forward Liam Wright acknowledged.

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“Errors cost us but at the same time we put ourselves right back in the fight.

“Two red cards is never good, but the boys really fought with 14 men, we found a game-style that suited the game.

“We had our moment there towards the end but unfortunately couldn’t quite do it.”

McDermott faces the prospect of a lengthy stint on the sidelines for his strike, swinging at Papuni while dragging him to the ground in a tackle.

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The incident was initially graded a yellow card offence before being upgraded to red, the same fate that met McReight for his shot.

* (Article continues below …)

Queensland made five handling errors in the first half-hour and kicked the ball out on the full several times, with the uncharacteristic mistakes costing them a chance to get into the game.

Reeling from three straight losses by a combined 134 points, the Pasifika outfit played with serious grit early and could have even led by more than they did at halftime.

The competition’s record try-scorer Julian Savea was the only player to cross in the first period, with a powerful effort from close to the line that flattened multiple Reds.

And the Reds swung the contest instantly after halftime, prop Peni Ravai lifting them back to 10-7.

Centre Josh Flook looked to have scored and given Queensland the lead, but McDermott’s indiscretion led to that try being chalked off.

Match-winning hero Havili said it was exactly the performance his squad was crying out for after their recent poor run of results.

“I’m happy after our last few weeks, we know we haven’t been putting our best foot forward for our fans and our people, and also our players,” he said.

“We know we’ve got much more to give than that, and we made it a bit hard for ourselves.

“It means a lot, we’ve been talking all about having belief through the week, even though the rub of the green hasn’t gone our way.”

* In Friday’s other game Will Harrison has breathed life into the Waratahs’ ailing season by scoring a drop-goal in extra time to seal a 43-40 win over the equally desperate Crusaders.

The lead changed 13 times in a super-charged, sometimes calamitous and incredibly memorable Friday clash in Sydney.

Christian Lio-Willie looked to have sealed the game for the Crusaders in the final two minutes of regulation time when he charged over on the short side from a scrum. The visitors were up 40-37 after Rivez Reihana nailed the conversion from the left side of the park.

But just after the restart, Crusaders wing Johnny McNicholl was ruled to have deliberately knocked on, tapping a Waratahs pass to ground just as the hosts were spreading the ball. McNicholl was shown a yellow card, reducing the Crusaders to 14 players, and giving Harrison the chance to kick for penalty goal.

The back-up flyhalf nailed the kick from just inside halfway to send an already classic match into extra time.

Once there, Harrison stepped up with his second clutch play in a matter of minutes, sending the ball over the black dot from the 22 to seal a famous win.

The NSW side has won only two of eight games to begin the year but can likely scrape into the top eight by claiming three of its final six.

The Crusaders, meanwhile, fell to a one-win and six defeats record with their second loss to the Waratahs this season.

All of Friday’s scores and scores are below

Moana Pasifika 17-14 Reds

The scorers

For Moana Pasifika
Tries: Savea, Havili
Cons: Havili 2
Pen: Havili

For Reds
Tries: Ravai Kovekalou, Petaia
Cons: McLaughlin-Phillips, Creighton

Red cards: Tate McDermott (Reds, 47 – foul play, swinging arm), Fraser McReight (Reds, 74 – foul play, high tackle)

Teams:

Moana Pasifika: 15 Danny Toala, 14 Villiami Fine, 13 Henry Taefu, 12 Julian Savea, 11 Fine Inisi, 10 William Havili, 9 Ereatara Enari, 8 Sione Havili Talitui (captain), 7 Jacob Norris, 6 Irie Papuni, 5 Allan Craig, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 Samiuela Moli, 1 Abraham Pole.
Replacements: 16 Sama Malolo, 17 Sateki Latu, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Ola Tauelangi, 20 Miracle Faiilagi, 21 Melani Matavao, 22 Christina Lealiifano, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.

Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Suliasi Vunivalu, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Jordan Petaia, 101 Harry McLaughlin-Phillips, 9 Tate McDermott (co-captain), 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright (co-captain), 5 Ryan Smith, 4 Seru Uru, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Matt Faessler, 1 Peni Ravai.
Replacements: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 John Bryant, 21 Kalani Thomas, 22 Lawson Creighton, 23 Mac Grealy.

Referee: Angus Mabey
Assistant referees: Marcus Playle, Nick Hogan
TMO: Shane McDermott

Waratahs 43-40 Crusaders

The scorers

For the Waratahs
Tries: Swinton, Hanigan, Pietsch, Heaven
Cons: Edmed 2, Harrison 2
Pens: Edmed 3, Harrison
DG: Harrison

For the Crusaders
Tries: Reece 2, McLeod, Drummond, Lio-Willie
Cons: Hohepa 2, Reihana
Pens: Hohepa 2, Reihana

Yellow card: Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders, 81)

Teams:

Waratahs: 15 Max Jorgensen, 14 Triston Reilly, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Dylan Peitsch, 10 Tane Edmed, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Langi Gleeson, 7 Charlie Gamble, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Ned Hanigan, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Julian Heaven, 1 Hayden Thompson-Stringer.
Replacements: 16 Theo Fourie, 17 Lewis Ponini, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Miles Amatoesro, 20 Hugh Sinclair, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Will Harrison, 23 Joey Walton.

Crusaders: 15 Chay Fihaki, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Levi Aumua, 12 Dallas McLeod, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Riley Hohepa, 9 Noah Hotham, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Tom Christie (captain), 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Jamie Hannah, 4 Quinten Strange, 3 Fletcher Newell, 2 George Bell, 1 George Bower.
Replacements: 16 Brodie McAlister, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Dominic Gardiner, 20 Christian Lio-Willie, 21 Mitch Drummond, 22 Rivez Reihana, 23 Macca Springer.

Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy, Jordan Kaminski
TMO: James Leckie

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