Reds stun Lions in Saturday afternoon thriller

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Reds have shocked the world on a sunny Saturday afternoon, upsetting the Lions with a titanic 27-22 win at Suncorp Stadium.

Queensland's first half had to be seen to be believed.

Having put three poor performances together on the trot, they looked a completely different side from the outset.

Gone was the defence which leaked almost 120 points through their last last three starts, replaced with the defence first platform which guided the Reds to their scintillating start to the season.

Bone crunching hits from Kane Douglas, Angus Scott-Young, Chris Feauai-Sautia and Taniela Tupou had the Lions second guessing their attack, forcing rushed kicks and desperate passes which did not go to hand.

The Reds, in contrast, had a sense of freshness about their attack.The Reds defence was outstanding. Photo: Getty ImagesThat had plenty to do with Hamish Stewart at flyhalf, who straightened things up and was a constant threat for the Lions defence.

He attacked the line, consistently threw smart passes to those outside him and kicked with precision in a stellar first start.

He was outstanding in defence, too, saving a certain try in the second half by throwing himself under the titanic frame of Malcolm Marx.

Outside Stewart, both Jordan Petaia and Filipo Daugunu proved unlikely forces at the defensive breakdown, following the lead of Tupou.

He was Queensland's best, forcing two penalties at the breakdown, thumping every Lions runner that dared to go his way and brushing tackles with his tree trunk legs.

The match couldn't have started on a better note for the 12,369 fans at Suncorp Stadium.

In the opening minute, a deft Samu Kerevi kick and a Daugunu tackle won the Reds a lineout five out from the Lions line and 30 seconds later, JP Smith fell over the line.Filipo Daugunu starred for the Reds. Photo: Getty ImagesIt was 10-0 just 10 minutes later, when Caleb Timu picked off a Dillon Smit pass from the base of a breakdown and ran 45 metres to score, beating Elton Jantjies to the line.

The momentum was all Queensland's way and Stewart then capitalised at the 27th minute, leaving Jantjies for dead with a deft right foot step and sprinting 40 metres, only to be pulled down by a desperate Franco Mostert.

The Reds scrambled, Caleb Timu squirting the ball out the back of the breakdown for Brandon Paenga-Amosa, who picked the ball up and fell over the line.

A pair of hardy defensive stands followed before Queensland added their fourth on the half time siren, a superb Adam Korczyk flick off the back of a dominant scrum finding George Smith.

A 24-0 half time lead stunned all parties and the Lions responded, taking control of possession, territory and playing some bully ball en route to two Malcolm Marx rolling maul tries.

That had nails being bitten as the Reds defended a 27-12 lead for the final 20 minutes and they did that with vigour that will keep fans coming back to Suncorp Stadium.

Two late, consolation tries for Marnus Schoeman was all they could muster, desperate Reds defence securing an incredible upset.

This was a line in the sand result - one Reds fans will long remember.

RESULT

Reds 27

Tries: JP Smith, Timu, Paenga-Amosa, G Smith

Cons: Daugunu 2

Pens: Daugunu

Lions 22

Tries:Marx 2, Schoeman 2

Cons: Jantjies

Pens: