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Reds player ratings vs Crusaders | Super Rugby Trans-Tasman

By Alex McLeod

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A week after being thumped by the Highlanders in Dunedin, the Reds had the unenviable task of having to return back across the ditch to host the almighty Crusaders in Brisbane.

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The match was billed as a clash of the titans as it pitted the Super Rugby AU champions with the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions, but it was the men from Christchurch who tore the script up as they romped to a 63-28 victory.

It was a disappointing evening for Brad Thorn’s side, so with that in mind, here’s how they rated.

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1. Dane Zander – 5

Guilty of angling in at a scrum just after his side had worked so hard to win the ball back from a dominant Crusaders forward pack in the 28th minute. Barely sighted beyond that. Off in the 51st minute.

2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – 6

Not his most amazing first half in Queensland colours. Didn’t do a lot wrong, but was largely ineffective. Opened the second half in positive fashion with a turnover to stunt a promising Crusaders attack. Off in the 51st minute. Returned 11 minutes later and crashed over from a pick-and-go to score on full-time.

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3. Taniela Tupou – 6.5

Unrelenting aggression with ball in hand. Up there as one of the most damaging ball carriers for the Queenslanders. Off in the 73rd minute.

4. Ryan Smith – 6

Ran hard and straight all match long, although not with quite with the same devastating effect as some of his teammates. Off in the 54th minute.

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5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – 6.5

Showed plenty of physicality early on and was busy throughout. Can’t be faulted for his effort.

6. Liam Wright – 7

Superb work to shut down a rolling maul and win a turnover while his side were back peddling close to their own line. Followed that up with a terrific steal at the breakdown just before half-time. One of the most influential Queensland players.

7. Fraser McReight – 5

Quiet compared to his usual self. Spilt the ball that led to Richie Mo’unga’s first try, which was particularly sloppy for someone of his quality.

8. Harry Wilson – 8

Made a charging run from the match’s first goal line drop out that was akin to an NRL prop. Maintained that energy with ball in hand throughout the contest. On par with Tupou for impact with ball in hand. Cracking 50m individual try where he sold Will Jordan with an outrageous dummy. Followed that up with an intercept and an exceptional over-the-head offload to set Suliasi Vunivalu up for a try. Off in the 70th minute.

9. Tate McDermott – 7

Lively start. Unlucky to be held up over the line from a quick tap penalty in the second minute. Equally as unfortunate to have not scored again in the 35th minute. Was eventually rewarded for his sniping around the fringes with a typically sneaky try two minutes later. One of the better Queensland players. Off in the 70th minute.

10. James O’Connor – 5

Hardly got a look with ball in hand in the first half. Left in the dust as Mo’unga strolled on in for his third try. Good covering effort to deny Leicester Fainga’anuku a second half try.

11. Jock Campbell

Flailing defensive effort on Cullen Grace in the lead-up to the No 8’s try. Was largely restricted to engaging in a kicking battle with the opposition back three. Off in the 68th minute.

12. Hamish Stewart – 4

Got bowled over by Fainga’anuku late in the first half. Flung an audacious offload into touch in his first involvement in the second half. Off in the 56th minute.

13. Hunter Paisami – 5

Kept very quiet upon his return from a fractured cheekbone. Ran with vigour but wasn’t able to impact the game as much as he’d have liked.

14. Suliasi Vunivalu – 6.5

Tried hard to get involved but couldn’t muster much for his side. Eventually showed his prowess when he made Jordan and Whetukamokamo Douglas look silly with his strength and agility in the lead-up to his try.

15. Bryce Hegarty – 4.5

Caught badly out of position defensively in the lead-up to Richie Mo’unga’s second try. Kicked well when called upon. Had a bad case of butter fingers just as the Reds were building a promising attack inside opposition territory. Not his finest outing.

Reserves:

16. Alex Mafi – N/A

On in the 51st minute. Off in the 62nd.

17. Harry Hoopert – 4

On in the 51st minute. Sin binned just eight minutes later for collapsing a maul that led to a penalty try. Not the impact Brad Thorn would have wanted from his bench.

18. Feao Fotuaika – N/A

On in the 73rd minute. Not enough time on the park to do anything.

19. Seru Uru – 6

On in the 54th minute. Busy defensively.

20. Angus Scott-Young – 6

On in the 70th minute. Did as much as he could in the little time he had.

21. Kalani Thomas – 6

On in the 70th minute. Picked up where McDermott left off.

22. Isaac Henry – N/A

On in the 56th minute. Barely caught the eye.

23. Filipo Daugunu – N/A

On in the 68th minute. Didn’t really get involved during his time on the field.

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Reds player ratings vs Crusaders | Super Rugby Trans-Tasman

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