The Crusaders have ended the Queensland Reds’ 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign with a 37-15 win in Christchurch.
The hosts scored four tries to two in a polished quarterfinal display, although a gallant Queensland side remained in the contest for much of the clash.
Fijian flyers FIlipo Daugunu and Suliasi Vunivalu both crossed for tries as Queensland wrapped up their 2022 season.
Lawson Creighton drew first blood with a penalty in the fifth minute, before the hosts equalised with three-points of their own courtesy of the boot of Richie Mo’unga.
All Blacks fullback Will Jordan had the first try of the night soon after, as the home side claimed a 10-3 lead by the 15th minute of play.
Queensland replied with their first five-pointer in the 25th minute, Jordan Petaia breaking through the defence and sending Vunivalu streaking down the sideline to score his first try of 2022. Creighton missed the difficult conversion chance from the righthand sideline to keep the scores at 10-8.
Mo’unga extended his side’s advantage with a pair of penalties in the final minutes of the opening half, the Crusaders securing a 16-8 lead at the break.
Queensland struck early in the second stanza through Filipo Daugunu who finished a sizzling backline set play. After a Hamish Stewart 50-22 put the Reds into prime field position, Daugunu outpaced the chasing Crusaders defence off the back of a series of slick passes. Creighton slotted the conversion to cut Queensland’s deficit to 16-15 in the 43rd minute.
Tries to Mo’unga and Sevu Reece saw the hosts regain the momentum and stretch their lead to 30-15 by the 64th minute.
Replacement prop Finlay Brewis put the Crusaders into an unassailable 37-15 lead with a try in the 75th minute as the Canterbury based outfit progressed to the competition semi-finals.
Queensland Reds 15
Tries: Vunivalu, Daugunu
Tries: Jordan, Mo’unga, Reece, Brewis
Conversions: Mo’unga 4
Penalties: Mo’unga 3