‘Costly’ sin bin ruins Reds’ dominant start

The Queensland Reds were unable to make it back-to-back wins over New Zealand sides after going down to 31-24 to the Blues at Suncorp Stadium.

After defeating the Chiefs last week in an upset in Townsville, the Reds, who were again listed as underdogs heading into tonight’s match, were on top early when Harry Wilson found some room to score under the posts for the opening try of the game.

The Reds looked to build on Wilson’s try before a sin-binning to Brandon Paenga-Amosa midway through the first half flipped their four-point lead into a 10-point deficit after Dalton Papali’i and Mark Telea crossed over for individual tries.

The two tries during Paenga-Amosa’s stint in the bin ultimately proved the difference, with the Reds forced to chip away at a deficit for most of the match.

“It’s been a costly one for the Reds,” Former Wallaby Drew Mitchell said in commentary at the time. “Two tries while Brandon Paenga-Amosa has been on the field.”

Life was always going to be made hard for the Reds with Bryce Hegarty and James O’Connor late withdrawals, but Queensland found a way to give themselves a shot at beating the competition leaders late in the second half.

Down 17 points with less than 10 minutes to go, a try to Filipo Daugunu followed by a penalty set-up a frantic final minute with the match ultimately decided by one try.

“I thought we showed a lot of fight,” Reds skipper Liam Wright told Stand Sport after the match.

“The Blues were really good tonight, quite a big pack and physical around the park. They executed well when it came down to it. I thought our guys fought all night.

“Everyone put their hand up tonight to do the hard stuff but we just weren’t quite good enough in a few key areas.”

The result, with the Blues unable to bank a fourth straight bonus point, takes the Auckland side back to the top of the standings with a 4-0 record and 19 competition points.

The Blues are now one clear of the Crusaders who also have one match left, and four in front of the Hurricanes who visit the Brumbies on Saturday night before finishing at home against the Reds on Friday.

Tom Robinson and skipper Patrick Tuipulotu were the standouts for the Blues on attack in a hard-nosed forward effort, while Fin Christie was again sharp at halfback and wing Mark Telea led the running metres (71) with a busy night’s work.

Gerard Cowley Tuioti (19 tackles) and Dalton Papalii (18) led a big defensive effort by the Blues, and neither missed a hit all night.

– with Stuff

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