Queensland Reds wind back the clock in Kings win - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Queensland Reds wind back the clock in Kings win

Queensland Reds wind back the clock in Kings win

The Queensland Reds have defeated the visiting Southern Kings for the first and final time in Super Rugby, 47-34, in front of 11,336 fans on Easter Saturday.

Queensland fans wept tears of joy as the team flashed back to their 2011 heyday in the second half by slamming home four top-drawer tries within 21-minutes to lock up a sorely-needed victory.

Ahead 47-17 in the 61st minute, Queensland took their foot off the pedal and could only watch on in horror as the Kings’ back-three stole away their winning bonus-point like a thief in the night.

Samu Kerevi breaks a tackle by Kings Player

Samu Kerevi breaks a tackle by Kings Player

The Match

The match seemed doomed from the beginning as a combined 27 turnovers in the first half derailed what was predicted to be a high-scoring thriller.

The Reds bossed the set piece but continually bungled try-scoring opportunities as play approached the wings.

An early flirt with the touchline denied Eto Nabuli Queensland’s first points in the opening minutes, but a tighthead scrum-win deep inside the enemy half earned the winger his chance to try again in the 6th.

Quade Cooper’s difficult conversion from the left wing pushed Queensland into a 7-nil lead.

The Kings declared they would not roll over by embarking on a 15-minute-blitz of possession and territory to score in the 23rd minute.

A threatening kick from winger Yaw Penxe was scooped up by chasing flanker Christopher Cloete to tie scores following Lionel Cronje’s successful conversion.

Momentum started to swing the home side’s way as the commanding kicking of Cooper and Duncan Paia’aua erased the territory deficit.

Fullback Karmichael Hunt announced his return from injury by channelling the very best of captain Samu Kerevi on a powerful charge to score in the 28th minute.

Karmichael Hunt scores his second try of the match

Karmichael Hunt scores his second try of the match

A shoulder charge from Paia’aua upon an unsuspecting Kingsman earned the Reds’ centre 10-minutes in the sin-bin in the 37th.

Kings flyhalf Lionel Cronje kicked a penalty goal from the spot to enter the break behind just 14-10.

Queensland emerged from the bowels of Suncorp Stadium like men possessed in the second half, running home two further tries to George Smith and Eto Nabuli before Paia’aua returned to the field.

The best was still to come from the Reds, producing three 2011-era stunners to pull ahead 47-17 at the 60 minute mark.

The first, in the 53rd, came about from a rare Rob Simmons line break to set the Kings onto the back foot.

Cooper grubbered ahead for Izaia Perese, who bobbled the ball directly into the path of a streaking Karmichael Hunt for that man’s second.

Cooper took the backseat in playmaking duties for the Reds’ fourth try of the second half, linking with a looping Bobby Tuttle to put away Perese for his first Super Rugby try.

Perese would not wait long for his second as Cooper wound back the clock with an inside-the-22 crossfield kick to put away Karmichael Hunt.

A simple support line carried Perese the rest of the distance for his second Super Rugby try just three minutes after the first.

A hot-stepping finish from Kings winger Makazole Mapimpi in the 66th minute inched his side closer, while fullback Masixole Banda added his side’s fourth try in the 74th.

Eto Nabuli try saving tackle

Eto Nabuli try saving tackle

The Kings denied their hosts a near-certain bonus-point in the 75th minute by returning a kick-off all the way home for Mapimpi’s second.

The Game Changer

George Smith’s try through the heart of the Kings defence from the get go in the second half, inspiring the greatest period of running rugby Suncorp Stadium has witnessed since the good old days.


George Smith, playing his 150th Super Rugby game and what he believes to be his 450th professional match in total, simply shone for the Reds.

No more could be asked of the 36-year-old, who played out every single minute of the high-tempo match.

Wallaby watch

Karmichael Hunt did his Wallabies chances no harm, running home two tries and providing the final pass on two more. Hunt has established himself as the team’s secondary playmaker behind Wallabies ace Quade Cooper while still providing the physicality and communication so treasured in a fullback.

The Details

Crowd: 11, 336

Score & Scorers

Queensland Reds: 47
Tries: Eto Nabuli (2), Karmichael Hunt (2), George Smith, Izaia Perese (2)
Conversions: Quade Cooper (4/6)
Southern Kings: 34
Tries: Christopher Cloete, Louis Schreuder, Makazole Mapimpi (2), Masixole Banda
Conversions: Lionel Cronje (2/3); Pieter-Steyn de Wet (1/2)
Penalties: Lionel Cronje (1/1)

Cards & citings

Duncan Paia’aua (REDS), 37′

Game Watchability: 7/10 – a dour first half quickly made way for an electric second. Fast forward to 40 minutes, sit back and enjoy.

  • Bobas

    Thanks for the review, fast and accurate.

    K.Hunt looked so impressive.
    George Smith play was remarkable as well.

    This was a highly entertaining game to watch.

  • Perth girl

    A crowd of just over 11000 to watch one of the rugby heartland sides is pretty pathetic

    • Pclifto

      See above potential factors… plus the Kings are a bit of a “who the hell are they?” team that the expanded competition has engendered…

    • McWarren

      Why would you go Perth Girl, all people ever hear is, Rugby is dead, the players are crap, the team their playing isn’t from over the river so they must be shit, we don’t have the skills, the players have no heart, rugby is run by muppets, our coaches are shit, it’s not as good as in my day, we’ll never be any good. Oh and it’s Easter and 1 million Brisbanites are camping on Noosa’s north shore.

      Great game though. If they could just pull it off against, say the Chief or even in 2 weeks against the Tahs then I’ll claim progress.

    • Jimmac

      not to mention the Broncos, Lions and Roar all had home games on the same weekend.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Firstly I will admit the crowd numbers were pretty let down, but most Queenslander head to the beach in easter for our last stint of surf before it gets too cold for us. Because living up here in the good weather makes us soft!

    Great write up Nic. I was there with the family, and it was a very enjoyable match from a spectators point of view. Although the Reds blew a few chances in the first half, with sloopy ball handling and over enthiusiastic passes.
    The second half was gold and very enjoyable. Although only a small crowd it was going apeshit!
    Karmichael Hunt has to be a shoe in with his playing so far this season. His infield kicking looked good too. George smith, although he will turn it down would be a walk up start to the Wallabies squad as well.
    Quade is starting to come back to form. His passing and playmaking was pretty good. But his kicking game stands him apart from Foley. Both place kicking and in play kicking which was sublime. As well as a great little flick pass.

    These last few rounds how been very dour. This is the first time I have enjoyed going to and watching a game in months!

    • Nicholas

      first, you are 100% right on the small size, my mate and I chilled at the beach and have the game live-streamed on a laptop, was very good witha few beers.

      On to the game it self; there were some good moment in that game, but there is still consistent issues with defence this year and turnovers, 14 or so in the first halve. The scrum was OK, but not as good as last year. Add a yellow card, IMO it was harsh but probably was the correct call, which nearly makes it one yellow per game this year, that needs to be fixed ASAP. Even QC at the halve mentioned it.

      But at least we got the win!!!!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yes there are several issues! ANd you nailed all of them! But for once the positive nature of the players and their confidence returned!

      • Jack

        Laptop at the beach..? Brave move…

  • Old_Laurentian

    There’s hope for the Reds, at last. For me, Karmichael Hunt was the MOTM, and George Smith had his best game yet, but the DIFFERENCE from the last few weeks disasters was Quade Cooper, bringing direction and control to the backline – and of course mostly the X-factor.. But well done the piggies, to take control and allow this. As i wrote this, I am watching the Reds Crusaders final of 2011, and while thinking ‘how art the mighty fallen’, I see something of the fabulous relationship of Quade and Digby in the way that Quade and Karmichael link up.
    On the downside the passing and ball retention was at time simply appalling, as was that switched-off period of defence that lost the bonus point. You wish that salaries could be adjusted to reflect this laziness. Much work to do, but some green shoots showing.

  • kevinsons

    Great to watch. Geez Tuttle plays with a mature head on his shoulders for a rookie. I feel more comfortable with him in the 9 shirt then other options.

  • Simon

    Only the Reds could manage to blow that bonus point in the last 10 minutes. Still, a win’s a win and given other results in this round it’s doubly important.

    Karmichael is playing himself into a gold jersey at the moment for sure. It may only be the 23 jersey, but I’m sure he’ll take it.

  • Andy

    Entertaining match. But not a high level contest in fairness. Need to give credit to the Kings the way they came back. They looked really good with a man down. They should throw caution to the wind more often as they have some serious gas in the back 3.

  • Nutta

    What a game of mixture.

    The Big 3 positives:

    Agree on George being MOTM. I counted 3 turnovers he created and the subtle things he did that then led to Tui or Higgers doing something the commentators had puppies over was pure class.

    Agree on K.Hunt. The guy has got real ability and he is hitting his straps.

    That scrum work was pretty sound.

    But that’s about it. The turnovers, the lack of respect for the ball, the low percentage plays, the 3 late tries… happy not to be a coach.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Nutta, couldnt agree with you more. The turnovers, and ball retention was lacking. The dropping of the ball, and the hail mary passes shat me I must admit. Particularly when the Reds were heading for what would have been almost certain tries.
      There is plenty of skills work to do.
      But for once the Reds showed confidence, as every minute of the game progressed the confidence built. It was palpable!
      George Smith, people were starting to write the old man off, then he showed everyone why he is of Demi-god status!
      K Hunt was the bomb, other than a couple of defensive out of position errors, he was great. His tackling is savage, his explosive play, and his in play kicking make him a much better option than the others!
      Q Cooper showed moments of sublime ball handling skills, as well as orchestrating attack. And for once, some one was issued a yellow for an attack on Q Cooper instead of the other way around. Now that is progress!

  • kp

    Anyone else notice the kings number 10 regularly diving like a soccer star.

    • Missing Link

      Pretty sure they called it on fox sports “rolling around in back play like a soccer player”. You’re not the only one who noticed

  • Missing Link

    That cross kick from Cooper was suberb, however if he tried that against the All Blacks, they would have scored the try :)

    • Nutta

      I don’t get it. I’ve had my old-man rant last week so I’ll leave the “in my day” aspect be, but given that quality ball is so hard to come by for Oz teams right now I would love to know what sort of accountability QC is held to post match. Other than a frontie or a lock belting him for wasting ball that was hard-won (because that obviously is not happening), I wonder what is done post-game to reinforce that we don’t fkn waste ball?

      I bang on and on to my teams at work that there are only ever 4 rules at work;

      1) Work Safely. Go home the same way you walked in and your mates will to.

      2) Work for the company. They pay us, not your ego, the supplier, the customer or anyone else.

      3) Work efficiently. Do it right, do it once and move on.

      4) Respect your workmates. On-time, job done, cleaned up, and kit back on-charge. Don’t shit on workmates by being half-arsed.

      Anyone who works for me knows I only judge on those 4 rules and that if you break those rules I come for you.

      QC’s continued flippancy with the ball would put him squarely in my sights over rule 4 and probably rule 2 as well. But that’s always been my gripe with him.

      • Old_Laurentian

        I understand where you are coming from, but for me personally I part with my hard earned cash to be entertained, as well as to see a ‘job well done’. QC has sublime moments where gets me standing up and shouting (yes in frustration occasionally but not often) . Each to his own I suppose, as in all things.

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'.

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