Lowly Reds drop fourth straight to Chiefs

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The worst first half of the Queensland season has seen them slide to a fourth straight loss, falling 36-12 to a Chiefs outfit that was in no mood to take any prisoners.

It was an historic night for Queensland, their 1000th capped game, but it will long be a night they would rather forget.

The Reds were wretched in the first half.

Basic skill errors and a complete absence of defensive initiative invited the Chiefs to run all over them and that's exactly what the visitors did.

Tries to Tyler Ardron, Charle Ngatai and Brodie Retallick opened up a 24-0 half time lead but there were also two more five pointers disallowed by the TMO due to Chiefs blunders and in truth, the on field deficit between the two sides was far greater.Izack Rodda and the Reds couldn't keep up with the Chiefs. Photo: Getty ImagesIn the first half alone the Chiefs amassed 340 run metres to the Reds' 140 and created six line breaks to nil but even that did not sum up the deficit.

The gap in skill level was wider than the Grand Canyon and the final play of the first term typified the difference between the two sides.

As Queensland finally made some inroads with ball in hand after 40 painful minutes, Aidan Toua and Izaia Perese found themselves in a two-on-one situation.

But as Toua threw a no look pass to where he thought Perese was the Reds flyer cut back inside - the ball meekly rolling into the advertising boards as 14,002 Reds fans around Suncorp Stadium put their heads in their hands.

Solomon Alaimalo and the Chiefs ran all over the Reds. Photo: Getty ImagesThe second half picked up where the first left off when Liam Polwart strolled through a meek Reds line to make it 31 unanswered points before Samu Kerevi finally gave the fans something to cheer about, slicing the line down the blindside and diving over to close the gap to 31-7 with 30 to play.

Johnny Fa'auli had been one of the destroyers in the Chiefs backline and he absolutely rocked Caleb Timu two minutes later, again highlighting the difference in intensity between the two sides.

The scrum was going backwards, the attack stale and it took 65 minutes before the Reds pieced any significant attacking sets together.

The difference in those minutes was the work of Moses Sorovi at the base of the breakdown in place of Ben Lucas, the former far quicker to the breakdown - his pass also carrying extra zip.

The Sorovi led resurgence eventuated in a deserved Kerevi double to save some face but the damage had all been done in the first half and it was far too little, far too late, as the Reds dropped their fourth straight match.

It's also the 35th straight match Australian sides have lost to Kiwi opponents.

RESULT

Reds 12

Tries: Kerevi 2

Cons: Lance

Pens:

Chiefs 36

Tries:
Ardron, Ngatai, Retallick, Polwart, Taukei'aho

Cons: D McKenzie 2, M McKenzie 2

Pens: McKenzie