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Reds defy Drua's late charge to win Super Rugby thriller

By AAP
(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The Queensland Reds have defied another fast Fijian Drua finish, hanging on for a 27-24 Super Rugby Pacific win in Brisbane.

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The Reds led 24-3 midway through the second half, but in a replay of last season’s Suncorp Stadium clash, had to withstand a late Drua flurry and somehow hung on.

Josh Flook should have had a first-half hat-trick, dropping a brilliant short kick from James O’Connor as the line beckoned after already crossing twice.

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And Taj Annan was slick in his starting debut at No.12, setting up two tries in the second half and defending well in place of concussed Wallabies centre Hunter Paisami.

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Those slick moments were few and far between in a sloppy Sunday afternoon performance that featured 32 penalties blown by referee Reuben Keane.

Still, Queensland seemed to be cruising when Annan’s cut-out pass put Suliasi Vulivanu over for a 21-point lead.

But the Drua, relishing the steamy conditions, found some space and Leone Rotuisolia and Kalaveti Ravouvou raced over.

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They looked destined to roll through the Reds again for a match-winner, before try-scorer Harry Wilson dragged down a defender and winger Filipo Daugunu became the unlikely man to steal possession with a game-winning defensive play.

The result leaves both teams at 2-2, with the Reds’ next task in Melbourne against the Rebels.

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