Late surge seals Hurricanes win over Reds - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Late surge seals Hurricanes win over Reds

Late surge seals Hurricanes win over Reds

In the final years of the Ewen McKenzie era of the Reds, the Queenslanders boasted Australia’s strongest record against New Zealand Super Rugby teams.

Suncorp has continued to prove a tough place for Kiwi’s to travel, demonstrated again tonight by the in-form Hurricanes.

The Reds produced a defensive effort reminiscent of the Wallabies pool game again Wales in 2015’s Rugby World Cup but could only watch as the Hurricanes put the foot down in the final 10 minutes to pull off a key away win.

The Match

A barrage of incisive kicks kept the Queensland faithful on the edge of their seats as Ardie Savea and Jordie Barrett re-captured probing efforts in the opening exchanges.

Suncorp roared as the Hurricanes finally found Julian Savea the one-on-one the Bus had been waiting for; dropping the clutch and powering over Jake McIntyre to score in the 15th minute.

A telegraphed McIntyre inside-ball was inhaled by scrumhalf TJ Perenara just four minutes later, tearing away for an 80m untouched try.

TJ Perenara clears the ball

TJ Perenara clears the ball

From there, momentum swung wildly, unimaginably, into the Reds favour.

The Hurricanes were denied their third try by the TMO, bringing play back to find centre Ngani Laumape guilty of a dangerous tackle deserving of a yellow card in the 24th minute.

A 5m scrum yielded the Reds first try as Scott Higginbotham floated a speculative offload over the top to find an unmarked Chris Kuridrani on the right wing.

Higginbotham produced another 2011-era Suncorp special shortly after, unlocking Eto Nabuli down the left with a filthy behind the back offload before receiving an offload in return to score between the sticks.

James Tuttle clears

James Tuttle clears

The Reds’ luck couldn’t be stopped as Kuridrani escaped certain yellow for an aerial challenge with Savea in the 35th minute, holding on to enter the half-time break behind just 15-17.

It didn’t take long for the Hurricanes to emerge from their shell – counter-attacking in class Canes fashion to put away winger Vince Aso for his seventh try in five games.

With turnovers aplenty running both sides ragged, the ‘Canes brains trust again created beauty from chaos.

A Melbourne Rebels-esque foot into touch from Mark Abbott denied the Wellingtonians a great try, before a knock-on from flanker Reed Prinsep seconds later denied them twice.

Like Peter, referee Angus Gardener would deny the Hurricanes a third time as TJ Perenara dived over on a quick tap – only to discover that his foot had missed the ball entirely in the 58th minute.

Samu Kerevi gets a big hit on Beauden Barrett

Samu Kerevi gets a big hit on Beauden Barrett

Unlike Peter, there would be a fourth and fifth denial to follow, in the 59th and 60th minute.

The Reds extraordinary good fortune continued as Izaia Perese escaped a yellow card for a high tackle in the 63rd minute.

A 67th minute penalty to the Hurricanes was matched quickly as George Smith won a penalty, converted by McIntyre in the 68th.

Behind by just seven-points with 10 to play, the Hurricanes played true to their New Zealand roots by dominating the final period.

Tries to brothers Jordie (73rd min) and Beauden (79th min) pushed the final score out to 34-15, a scoreline that utterly fails to describe the electric intensity of a spectacular match.

The victory came at some cost to the Hurricanes as a litany of players went down with injury.

The Game Changer

The yellow card issued to Hurricanes centre Ngani Laumape opened up the game completely, and the half-dozen consecutive denied tries in the second half kept Queensland pulling long after they should have folded.

As is the usual for New Zealand’s Super Rugby teams, the final 10 minutes are the game’s most important – and the Hurricane’s ability to fight through adversity from 70-minutes onwards changed the complexion of the match.


The engine of Ardie Savea deserves mention, but Jordie Barrett’s form was irrepressible. He is Green & Gold Rugby’s Man of the Match.

Wallaby watch

Samu Kerevi produced another memorable performance, capped off by taking on the captaincy after the substitution of Stephen Moore in the 48th minute.

Higginbotham played key roles in both tries scored by the Queensland Reds, and with the relative dearth of back-row options available for Michael Cheika’s Wallabies in June, Higginbotham deserves a chance.

The Details

Crowd: 17,329

Score & Scorers

Queensland Reds: 15
Tries: Chris Kuridrani (28′), Scott Higginbotham (34′)
Conversions: Jake McIntyre (1/2)
Penalties: Jake McIntyre (1/2)
Hurricanes: 34
Tries: Julian Savea, TJ Perenara, Vince Aso, Jordie Barrett, Beauden Barrett
Conversions: Jordie Barrett (3/5)
Penalties: Jordie Barrett (1/1)

Cards & citings

Ngani Laumape (24′)

Watchability: 10/10. If you can watch one Super Rugby match this weekend, watch this one – the nail clippers might get a workout, but if you’re a fan of action movies, try #REDvHUR on for size

  • onlinesideline

    Aussie rugby is in a bad way – has it ever been worse in super rugby for us – we are looking like easy beats – it used to be 2 of our super rugby sides were contenders and that we accepted getting ass wooped by the darkness come bledisloe – now we get ass wooped from Feb till Nov – sad and depressing and its going to worse and worse and we all know it – maybe its time for a breakaway NRL style comp a la a Packer’s one day cricket revolution.

    • Chinese Dave

      Thank god for the NRC, NZ can’t beat us there! But all joking aside, Rugby is in a bad state in the southern hemisphere. NZ have stepped up and become even better, just as SA and we are really running into trouble. And the worst part is that there doesn’t seem to be a way out. The expansion of money in the NH has really torn apart the crude seams that were holding things together here and in SA. Something needs to change or everyone, including NZ, will lose out.

  • muffy

    I was at the game and I saw a few things live that I don’t know if came across on the tube.
    Jake Mac is one tough and brave little bugger. He was clearly targeted by the Canes to get him off the field.
    Rob Simonds does a huge amount of grunt work
    SAMU is quite easily side stepped.
    Higgers is one hell of a player!

    Reds started in sure. Became assured and played brilliantly, then dropped their heads and lost the game convincingly.

    During the assured stage, they were just like the 2011 reds, and a joy to watch. Do that for 80

    I’m glad I went. At the start, I wasn’t so sure….

    • Nicholas

      Jake Mcintyre, fuck he can tackle like a champ. But i would say that the reds are more in line with the 2009 team. will play well for 60 or so but the bench is just not up to it (mainly through experience).

      Alos Turtle can kick the ball, same with Duncan. when QC gets back he has near no right to ever kick in play.

    • SuckerForRed

      I think both Jake & Bobby (Tuttle) show a level of bravery not seen in the halves in Australian rugby for some time.

  • Miss Rugby

    I know that with all the negativity surrounding Australian Rugby atm we are all looking for positive signs. But having read a lot of comments in the forum I think we also need to keep realistic. I know some of their fans are pretty bloody stoked and already have them beating the Brumbies by a big margin.
    Yes, it was a very exciting and entertaining match. Nail biting until the last 10. I don’t want to bag out the Reds, they really pushed the Canes more than anyone thought they would.
    The Reds scored their 2 tries when the Canes were down to 14 men. Apart from that there were no moments when you really thought they were going to score. Yes, their defence held out well at times, but the Canes still crossed the line 8 times. I know that 3 of them were disallowed, but that was due to their own errors – late tackle, foot in touch and TJ not taking the tap. If not for those lapses we would be slamming the Reds for losing by as much as 40 points (assuming all 3 would have been converted. Add an extra 21 points and its a damn ugly scoreline).
    Yes, the Reds stuck with it. They had a good crack, but do they deserve the platitudes they are getting from some of their fans?
    I know it a big improvement on previous matches, but IMO its still not good enough.
    Plus as an impartial (though leaning towards the Reds) supporter, I thought a few of Gardners calls went their way too.
    And TBH Marto is enough to make even the most impartial viewer start supporting the other team, his cheer-leading for the Reds is getting close to being on par with Kearns cheering on the Tahs while “commentating”

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Fair points and I think next week in Canberra will bring them down to earth a bit. However let’s also celebrate the good. Good attack is built off good defence and you have to start somewhere. I was pleased to see Higgers step up along with a plan that wasn’t “give it to Kerevi”. They put more pressure on the Canes than most have done and if they keep that up it will translate to points eventually.

      • idiot savant

        How magnanimous of you KRL. I don’t know where you got the idea Higgers suddenly stepped up. I think if you check the stats out Higgers has been one of the best performed number 8s all season.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Must be looking at different stats. Show me what you mean

    • idiot savant

      I agree about Marto Miss. But I don’t know where you are getting the idea that Reds fans are espousing platitudes on the Reds performance. At the time of writing there are only 3 posts on this article, 2 of them critical and 1 of them equivocal.

      • Miss Rugby

        Sorry, should have been more specific. was talking about the match thread in the forums (plus on social media), not the article here. Maybe the comments were tongue in cheek, but I’ve seen a lot of “geez what an awesome performance” type comments.

    • first time long time

      The Reds have had plenty of dud decisions go against them this year that have cost them games but the point has been made that they shouldn’t have put themselves in a position for those decisions to affect them.
      Hurricanes mistakes or not they weren’t tries so it’s a bit rich to claim reds should have lost by 40.
      It wasn’t a stellar performance but they were within 7 points with less than 10 to go against arguably the best provincial side in the world, not a bad effort.
      Don’t get me wrong I still want them to win not just hang in there

  • idiot savant

    Thanks Nick. the game was indeed electric particularly when you consider this was a match between last seasons best super rugby team in the world and last seasons laughing stock.

    The better side won but what a difference it makes when a referee uses the TMO intelligently and shows respect to player by listening to them. Even after TJ showed Gardiner absolute contempt in the first half Gardiner took on board what TJ said about the penalty tap and changed his decision. Contrast that with the arrogance of Fraser last week. If Fraser had been in charge he wouldn’t have gone to the TMO, there would’ve been no yellow card, and all those denied tries would have been awarded and the Reds would have lost by 50 nil. Now that would have been a better outcome for rugby in Australia wouldn’t it?

  • juswal

    I missed the first 30 minutes of this match. From what I saw, three things stayed with me.

    1. The Reds’ backline has formidable strike power. Given a little more space and organisation, and stickier hands, they could score tries from anywhere.

    2. Three players in particular were showing great confidence and initiative: Hunt, Higginbotham and Kerevi. Confidence fuels form, and vice versa. They are Wallaby-ready right now and I hope they stay at this level.

    3. We (TV commentators and punters alike) are too easy on NZ teams. The Hurricanes’ attack was comically inept at times. If an Australian team screwed up as many tries as they did, there’d be calls for a new skills program.

  • joy

    Perenara deliberately fakes a tap then, when caught out, calls for the penalty to be restored! And the ref agrees! Turn it up.

Queensland Reds

Nic is a freelance journalist who first tried his hand writing for Green & Gold Rugby as a schoolboy. Five years on, Nic is our resident expert on Brisbane’s local rugby scene not named RugbyReg. In April 2018 Nic releases his first book, the official biography of Waisale Serevi entitled 'Waisale Serevi: The King of Sevens'.

More in Queensland Reds