Reds beaten by Brumbies in Super Rugby Women's

Sat, Mar 30, 2024, 8:30 AM
Reds Media Unit
by Reds Media Unit

A robust run to the tryline from Liz Patu was the highlight moment for the Queensland Reds when beaten 31-14 by the ACT Brumbies in Buildcorp Super Rugby Women’s.

It was fitting memory for the milestone prop on a Saturday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium where the Reds found little other joy in a disappointing result.

The Reds were down 17-0 approaching half-time when Patu, 34, uncorked a vintage play which has been productive for her since she first represented Queensland in 2013.

After a good ball-carry from non-stop lock Lucy Thorpe, Patu seized the ball for a quick pick-and-go and rattled over from more than 15m out.

What it meant to Patu and the Reds was obvious as her teammates swamped her with bearhugs and smiles.

Closing the gap to 17-7 was the chance the Reds needed and their determination in defence built on it when Patu wrenched the ball free to save a try on half-time.

Her kick to touch in-goal to end the half came up short. Helping the ball into touch with her hands earned teenage winger Shalom Sauaso an unfortunate yellow card which the Brumbies turned into a seven-point play for 24-7.

The Reds never stopping trying. It wasn’t just for themselves but to honour Patu and winger Ivania Wong in the right way.

The two stalwarts were both playing their 35th game for Queensland, a shared all-time cap record since Queensland first fielded a women’s side in 1996.

“It’s a pleasure to get to 35 caps alongside Ivania,” said Patu, carrying flowers and a bottle of champagne from a post-match presentation.

“It is rugby. You win some, you lose some. We couldn’t execute what we needed to do.”

Of her ninth try for Queensland, Patu managed a smile.

“It was a team effort to get to that point. It was very far,” Patu laughed of extending the range of standard 5m pick-and-drive charges.

Wong had a tear in her eye post-match. She didn’t have as much to do in attack as she would have liked but she made several strong tackles and earned a penalty when latching onto a Brumbies’ ball midway through the first half.

“It was a tough night for us,” she said.

“I’m really proud to be standing here with 35 caps in this jersey that I love so much.

“It’s disappointing we couldn’t back things up.

“Patu has done so much for the game. We had chats all week about the game and it’s special to share it with her.”

Prop Maletina Brown opened the game strongly with a powerful 10m run and several strong tackles.

Centres Cecilia Smith and Alana Elisaia tackled stoutly all match. Replacement halfback Nat Wright and Elisaia produced a try-saving tackle early in the second half and Caitlyn Urwin did again late in the game.

The Brumbies deserved their win with two-try winger Jemima McCalman enjoying the spoils of work done infield by her pack.

Ill-timed handling errors stifled momentum for the Reds.

When they did get it right, they were sharp. Wright engineered a shortside raid from a scrum which put young speedster Dianne Waight into space in the second half.

Late in the game, some passing interplay enabled flyhalf Carys Dallinger to dash ahead. Every-present flanker Carola Kreis seized the ball and scooted over for the try.

ACT Brumbies: 31, Tries: Jemima McCalman 2, Sally Fuesaina, Siokapesi Palu, Tabua Tuinakauvadra, Conversions: Faitala Moleka 3, Defeated Queensland Reds 14, Tries: Liz Patu, Carola Kreis, Conversion: Lori Cramer 2

At Suncorp Stadium

Half-time: 24-7 Brumbies

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