Queensland win thriller in Brisbane
May 30, 2014
Scrum-half Will Genia played his 100th match for Queensland
© Getty Images
Queensland produced their best Super Rugby display of a nightmare season to celebrate Will Genia's 100th Reds match with a thrilling 38-31 upset of the Highlanders on Friday night. Genia was superb in a man-of-the-match display at Suncorp Stadium as the Reds ended their worst losing streak since 2007 with a Jake Schatz try after the full-time hooter.
The Reds went 50m in almost two minutes of "red time" with countless rumbling phases before No.8 Schatz barged over for his second try of a pulsating encounter. It was not only a win cheered on by 24,490 Brisbane fans but by a host of rival Australian and Kiwi teams as the result put a significant dent in the sixth-placed Highlanders' play-off hopes.
The Reds snap a six game losing streak to claim an after the siren victory (video available in Australia only)
Queensland appeared to have the match parcelled up at 28-7 when they bagged a four-try bonus point in the 48th minute with Schatz scoring his first five-pointer from a pushover scrum. They were also leading 31-17 with five minutes left before Ben Lucas, filling in for the injured Quade Cooper, gave Patrick Osborne an 80m intercept try to close the gap to seven.
It appeared the Reds' rotten luck in their string of six straight losses had continued when reserve scrum-half Fumiaki Tanaka dived over with a minute left. But the final result thoroughly deserved for Queensland - who dominated the set pieces - and Genia especially.
Under fire this season for shelving his running game, the 55-Test halfback was at his roaming best from the outset to the delight of the home crowd. Not only was Genia probing but his kicking was a feature of Queensland's superb first half. It was his right boot which created a 21-0 half-time lead with kicks that resulted in tries to wingers Rod Davies and Dom Shipperley.
The Highlanders showed their intent early with a high-octane attacking game but the Reds' scrambling defence and their superior work at the breakdown got them out of jail. Queensland's lineout also saved them under pressure in their own half with Wallabies lock Rob Simmons standing tall a week out from the opening Test against France.
With Genia and Lucas combining well, the Reds also showed enterprise in attack in a pulsating first half. Three times fullback Mike Harris was put into holes out wide. On the third he set up position for a patient attack on the line that flanker Curtis Browning finally finished by ploughing over under the posts.
Harris' radar boot was key for the Reds as he kicked five from five while the Highlanders were left to rue a controversial TMO decision disallowing a Ben Smith try.
Reds fullback Mike Harris put in a strong display © Getty Images
Communication error please reload the page.
Glasgow hammer bottom side Zebre to go top of the Guiness PRO12 as Cardiff Blues secure a last-gasp victory at home to Connacht in Friday's evening fixtures
Bath recorded their first Aviva Premiership victory for almost two months as they moved second in the table behind runaway leaders Northampton after subduing Recreation Ground visitors Sale 12-3
James Ward has beaten John Isner 6-7(4) 5-7 6-3 7-6(3) 15-13 to give Great Britain a 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup match against the United States
Manchester United defender Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to spitting at Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse and will have his case heard on Friday night
Katarina Johnson-Thompson broke Jessica Ennis-Hill's British record, but fell agonisingly short of the world record as she claimed pentathlon gold at the European Indoor Championships in Prague on Friday
Where does Anthony Davidson's record of 24 Grands Prix without a point rank him?
ESPN talks to Marcus Ericsson about the "pay driver" label, aiming for his first career points and what life was really like as a rookie during Caterham's chaotic final season
Gareth Bale says he has to be sharp in training or the other Real Madrid galacticos will quickly be on his case
Amid the glitz and glamour of modern grand prix racing it can be all too easy to forget about the men and women that keep the wheels turning. The Grand Prix Trust makes sure that's not the case
A spitting contest. Just what football needs to improve its reputation. You can always rely on football to stoop that little bit lower than you expected. Papiss Cisse of Newcastle United and Jonny Evans of Manchester United, who later protested his innoce
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has claimed that "someone doesn't like [him]" in a cryptic social media post
Amir Khan is unlikely to face Kell Brook this summer as he looks to negotiate a fight with Miguel Cotto in America
Jose Mourinho has praised his Chelsea team's "warrior" spirit and challenged them to fill their pockets with trophies
Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud have the "mental strength" to spearhead Arsenal's charge for Champions League qualification, according to Arsene Wenger
Luis Suarez is to return to Anfield to play in a charity match arranged by Liverpool
After Nemanja Matic twisted his ankle celebrating Chelsea's League Cup win, ESPN runs down some of the game's most ludicrous injuries
Eight years ago, Steve Bunce was offered the chance of buying a 'share' in Tyson Fury, and it would have been a shrewd investment if he had the money
Who was the 100th man to win a world championship Grand Prix?
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
Paul Butler tells Inside Boxing he turned down the chance of a trial with Liverpool in order to focus on boxing - and it was the right choice