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McDermott, McReight see red as Queensland upset by Moana Pasifika

By AAP
Red cards for Fraser McReight of the Queensland Reds (CR) and Tate McDermott of the Queensland Reds (CL) during the round eight Super Rugby Pacific match between Moana Pasifika and Queensland Reds at Semenoff Stadium, on April 12, 2024, in Whangarei, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Poor discipline from Wallabies halfback and Queensland Reds captain Tate McDermott has cost his side badly in a 17-14 loss to Moana Pasifika.

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McDermott was red-carded for a shocking swinging arm on Moana flanker Irie Papuni in the second half in Whangarei, and had to watch from the sidelines when five-eighth William Havili scored a match-winning try just a minute from time.

The Reds produced a sub-par opening and were down 10-0 at half-time.

They found an avenue into the game with a try soon after the break, before McDermott’s strike left them a man down.

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Queensland still wrestled their way to the lead when winger Jordan Petaia crossed on 71 minutes, and looked likely to snap a two-game losing streak.

But vital flanker Fraser McReight also received a red card seven minutes from time for a high shot and the Pasifika outfit made the most of it, with Havili finding the space to cross in the 80th minute.

McDermott faces the prospect of a lengthy stint on the sidelines for his strike, swinging at Papuni while dragging him to the ground in a tackle.

The incident was initially graded a yellow card offence before being upgraded to red, the same fate that met McReight for his shot.

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Queensland made five handling errors in the first half-hour and kicked the ball out on the full several times, with the uncharacteristic mistakes costing them a chance to get into the game.

Match Summary

1
Penalty Goals
0
2
Tries
2
2
Conversions
2
0
Drop Goals
0
98
Carries
131
4
Line Breaks
2
18
Turnovers Lost
18
5
Turnovers Won
8

Reeling from three straight losses by a combined 134 points, the Pasifika outfit played with serious grit early and could have even led by more than they did at halftime.

The competition’s record try-scorer Julian Savea was the only player to cross in the first period, with a powerful effort from close to the line that flattened multiple Reds.

Some odd decision-making and a strong Queensland defence meant Moana Pasifika only netted three points from winning three penalties deep in opposition territory.

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And the Reds swung the contest instantly after halftime, prop Peni Ravai lifting them back to 10-7.

Centre Josh Flook looked to have scored and given Queensland the lead, but McDermott’s indiscretion led to that try being chalked off, though his side lifted without him and almost did enough for a famous win.

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Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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