Chiefs beat Reds 27-25, Blues hold out Force in Super Rugby
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — The Chiefs held on to pip the Queensland Reds 27-25 for their third win in a row in Super Rugby Pacific on Friday.
It was 13-13 at halftime before tries to Cortez Ratima and Samisoni Taukei’aho put the Chiefs into a commanding position.
Reds and Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou limped off with a calf injury in the first half.
The red-carding of Chiefs substitute Samipeni Finau gave the Reds a chance for a comeback.
Hunter Paisami scored a try with four minutes left, a minute after Finau was sent off. A Chiefs knock on from the scrum offered the Reds one last opportunity after the siren, only for them to be penalized for another ruck infringement.
The loss was the 22nd in 24 games against New Zealand opposition for the Reds, who are the Australian domestic champions.
The Reds, with seven wins in 10 matches, dropped out of Super Rugby Pacific’s top four.
The Chiefs, with an identical record, moved ahead of the Reds on percentage in the race for a home match in the playoffs.
Scrums, mauls and the breakdown were dominated by the Chiefs, who enjoyed a 15-8 penalty count in their favor.
The Blues held out the Western Force 22-18 in a dramatic finish in Perth.
Sam Darry, Akira Ioane and AJ Lam scored in a brilliant 15-minute spell for the Blues to overturn a deficit go into halftime up 22-8. But the Blues were otherwise poorly disciplined and error-ridden and failed to score in the second half.
The Force came back with tries to Jeremy Thrush and Bo Abra, but crucially didn’t convert any of their three. They drew a late penalty and threw everything into achieving their first home win of the year, but after 26 phases the attack failed and the Blues were relieved.
The defending champion Blues top the league with nine wins in 10 games. The Force are eighth.
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