Queensland Reds overcame Tuaina Taii Tualima’s first half sending off to hand the ACT Brumbies a 21-7 loss in Brisbane on Saturday as Brad Thorn’s side moved into a share of top spot in the Super Rugby standings. Tualima was shown the red card six minutes before half time for dangerous play when he drove his shoulder into James Slipper’s head with the Brumbies leading by a point.
James O’Connor inspired the home side to score 15 unanswered points, with the Wallabies playmaker scoring 11 points and setting up Filipo Daugunu to cross for the final try 13 minutes from time as the Brumbies lost for the first time this season. “We’ve won the game by a decent margin so I probably sound a bit grumpy, but there’s a lot left out there,” an unsatisfied Thorn told reporters.
“Where we want to go, what we want to do, it’s important that we take those opportunities. “It’s not (Super Rugby) AU this year, it’s not some little thing between us and the Brumbies. This is trans-Tasman and we want to compete.”
The Reds and Brumbies are level on 26 points from their opening seven games against Australia-based opposition so far, with the Canterbury Crusaders in third, three points further adrift. Scott Robertson’s team notched up a narrow 17-14 win over the Otago Highlanders, with Leicester Fainga’anuku’s 30th minute try the difference between the teams.
Auckland Blues sit in fourth following their 46-16 demolition of the Moana Pasifika on Saturday, which came as Kurt Eklund scored three of his team’s seven tries. That victory was the second in five days for the Blues over Moana Pasifika after securing a 32-19 win against the tournament newcomers on Tuesday.
New South Wales Waratahs capitalised on Nemani Nagusa’s sending off to hand the Fijian Drua a 38-14 loss, with the captain dismissed in the 27th minute after catching Tane Edmed around the neck with a flailing arm. The Waratahs went on to score six tries and sit in fifth place on 20 points, two behind the Blues.
Waikato Chiefs hung on to record a 30-29 win on Sunday over Wellington Hurricanes despite a late push by the hosts at Wellington Regional Stadium. TJ Perenara gave the Hurricanes the perfect start with a try after just over a minute but Anton Lienert-Brown levelled the scoring two minutes later in a frantic opening.
Further converted tries from Kaylum Boshier and Chase Taitia and three penalties from Josh Ioane proved to be the difference between the teams as the Chiefs moved up to sixth.
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