Brisbane - Reigning champions, the Reds,
kept alive their Super Rugby title defence with an exhilarating 42-27
victory to end the Chiefs' nine-match winning run here on
The Reds rocked the New Zealand Conference leaders with
four tries in 11 minutes either side of half-time to grab a winning
break and make up some ground on Australian Conference front-runners, the Brumbies.
The Chiefs looked set for a 10th consecutive win when
they stormed to a 22-8 lead minutes before the interval, but the Reds
kick-started a winning fightback with a converted try after the
Ben Lucas darted over wide out and in the 11
minutes after the resumption, the Reds powered on three more converted
tries to race to a 36-22 lead.
That culminated a helter-skelter
period of 47 points in 21 minutes as the Chiefs conceded their first
four-try bonus point of the season against the rampant Reds.
The Chiefs got to within nine points with a 59th-minute try from winger Asaeli
Tikoirotuma, but Mike Harris kept the home side handily in front with a
drop goal and a penalty in the final 15 minutes.
Despite the loss
the Chiefs increased their lead over the Crusaders to eight
points in the New Zealand Conference with a four-try bonus point while
the Crusaders went down in a boilover to the Rebels in Melbourne on
Harris finished with 17 points from four conversions,
two penalties and a drop goal, while Wallaby scrumhalf Will Genia
scored the pick of the Reds' five tries with a 60m runaway
Reds fullback Luke Morahan was fortunate not to receive a
yellow card for a tip tackle on All Black Sonny Bill Williams when
the linesman could not identify him as the offending player even though
the Chiefs received the penalty.
Morahan further compounded the Chiefs' woes when he brought off two try-saving tackles in the 10
minutes when he should have been off the field in the sin bin.
had to really give it to them at the start of the second half and set
it up and credit to our guys, we did that," Reds skipper James Horwill
"We knew they were a very good defensive side and they fan
quite well, so we had to dent their defensive line and we did that close
to the ruck."
The Chiefs paid further for only their second loss
of the season with All Black outside back Richard Kahui coming off with a
dislocated shoulder nearing half-time.
"We were definitely
outplayed, especially just after half-time when the Reds got on a roll
and took us on around the fringes and got a couple of tries," Chiefs
skipper Craig Clarke said.
"I guess the areas where we will be
working on are around the fringes of the ruck where they took us on and
the lineout drive where they scored, but the other parts of our game
were pretty good."
The Reds host the bottom-placed Lions next weekend, while the Chiefs have a bye.
Shipperley, Ben Lucas, Scott Higginbotham, Will Genia, Saia Faingaa.
Conversions: Mike Harris (4). Penalties: Harris (2). Drop goal: Harris.
Tries: Sonny Bill Williams, Liam Messam, Sona Taumalolo, Asaeli
Tikoirotuma. Conversions: Aaron Cruden (2). Penalties: Cruden.
Referee: Marius Jonker (RSA)
15. Luke Morahan, 14. Dom Shipperley, 13. Anthony
Faingaa, 12. Mike Harris, 11. Digby Ioane, 10. Ben Lucas, 9. Will Genia,
8. Scott Higginbotham, 7. Liam Gill, 6. Jake Schatz, 5. James Horwill
(captain), 4. Rob Simmons, 3. James Slipper, 2. James Hanson, 1. Ben
Substitutes: 16. Saia Faingaa, 17. Greg Holmes, 18. Adam
Wallace-Harrison, 19. Ed Quirk, 20. Beau Robinson, 21. Nicholas Frisby,
22. Rod DaviesChiefs:
15. Andrew Horrell, 14. Lelia
Masaga, 13. Richard Kahui, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 11. Asaeli
Tikoirotuma, 10. Aaron Cruden, 9. Brendon Leonard, 8. Alex Bradley, 7.
Tanerau Latimer, 6. Liam Messam, 5. Michael Fitzgerald, 4. Craig Clarke
(captain), 3. Ben Tameifuna, 2. Mahonri Schwalger, 1. Sona Taumalolo
16. Hikawera Elliott, 17. Toby Smith, 18. Kane Thompson, 19. Sam Cane,
20. Augustine Pulu, 21. Jackson Willison, 22. Robbie Robinson