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Injury scare as Beauden Barrett limps off during Blues’ win over Reds

By AAP
(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Beauden Barrett spun a web around the Queensland Reds before limping off as the Blues inflicted a 45-26 win in Brad Thorn’s last game as coach at Suncorp Stadium.

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The Reds were the first team to beat the Chiefs all season last week, ending a 10-year losing streak in New Zealand behind dogged defence and disciplined attack.

But that disappeared in Brisbane on Friday, the Reds missing 31 tackles as the Blues ran in six tries to four and moved into fourth on the Super Rugby Pacific ladder.

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It left the Reds in seventh and in danger of missing finals in Thorn’s last season in charge, games away to the Highlanders and Fijian Drua to finish the regular season potentially both must-wins for them to remain in the frame.

Barrett’s terrific short ball to Cameron Suafoa led to fullback Zarn Sullivan’s first try and the No.10 scored the second himself.

The hosts couldn’t bend the Blues’ defensive line in the first half but were still right in it when Sef Fa’agase scored to make it a three-point game at the break.

Fraser McReight was then metres from the line when he knocked on looking to dive over, flying winger Mark Telea running 60m and grubbering for Barrett.

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Barrett couldn’t ground it and then limped off with a sore foot, the All Blacks talent joining five other Blues Test stars already on the sidelines as part of designated World Cup rest.

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It didn’t disrupt the Blues, Patrick Tuipulotu barging over from the next play to create the crucial buffer.

Fullback Sullivan took over the playmaking duties with aplomb to set up Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens.

Harry Wilson stretched out to score and make it 31-19 with 11 minutes to play but Telea had the reply from the restart to snuff out any hopes of a comeback.

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Liam Wilson continued his good form to set up Josh Flook’s first try but the Reds’ set piece lacked punch and halfback Tate McDermott and fullback Jock Campbell were without the sparkle they showed in New Plymouth a week earlier.

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