The St.George Queensland Reds have been defeated 43-14 by the Hurricanes in Wellington in their final game of the 2021 Harvey Norman Super Rugby Trans-Tasman season.
A gritty, seesawing opening forty minutes saw the Hurricanes head to the sheds with a 10-7 lead at the half-time break, before the hosts ran in four unanswered tries in the final 20-minutes to claim a 29-point win.
Brothers product Hudson Creighton earnt his Queensland and Super Rugby debut in the loss, while Tate McDermott and Brandon Paenga-Amosa crossed for the Reds’ two tries at Sky Stadium.
Head coach Brad Thorn said: “Wearing a Queensland jersey, it means everything, the guys left it all out there.
“I feel for the lads, I don’t think that scoreline represented what they brought and what they’ve been bringing all season.
“We’ve got to wear it, and well done to the Hurricanes.
“We’re a team that three years ago were last in Australia.
“We had a goal to get the trophy [Super Rugby AU] this year and we did that.
“It’s been an ongoing thing over the past few years, the guys have been growing and getting experience and improving their game.
“There’s still a lot more, individually and as a team, that we can do, so there’s a lot of positives out of this year.”
It was a dream start for the home side, after Ngani Laumape busted through the Queensland defence to score in the third minute.
Both sides were denied tries by the TMO in an error riddled opening half in Wellington, before Hurricanes prop Tyrel Lomax was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle in the 25th minute.
McDermott quickly capitalised, a show and go from the scrumhalf beating the defence from the base of a scrum, before he showcased his sheer pace to score under the posts. Bryce Hegarty added the extras to even he scores at 7-all in the 27th minute.
A 40-metre Jordie Barrett penalty goal saw the hosts regain their lead in the 35th minute, going into the break with a 10-7 advantage.
Filipo Daugunu was yellow carded early in the second stanza, giving Hurricanes flyhalf Ruben Love the space he needed to find the line for his side’s second try. Barrett added his second conversion of the night to stretch the home side’s lead to 17-7 in the 46th minute.
Despite their one-man disadvantage, Queensland hit back with their second try minutes later, Paenga-Amosa burrowing his way through the defence from close range to score. Hegarty made no mistake with the conversion to bring the score to 17-14 with half an hour to play.
A stunning Barrett effort set the home side up for their next try, the fullback breaking the line before eventually linking with Dane Coles who dove over out wide.
A penalty try saw the hosts stretch their lead to 29-14 in the 64th minute, with Hegarty also yellow-carded in the sequence.
Devan Flanders had his side’s fifth five-pointer in the 71st minute, with Coles second try of the night putting the final score out to 43-14 in the final minutes.