The Queensland Reds have gone down fighting in the final of Super Rugby AU, losing 28-23 to the Brumbies in Canberra.
Here’s the Reds player ratings:
1. JP Smith – 6/10
Smith did his job against the Brumbies, playing his part in the Reds dominant scrum during the first half.
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – 5.5/10
The Reds earlier season lineout woes came back to haunt them in the Final, with Paenga-Amosa missing pivotal throws throughout the contest. The Reds struggled to gain any ascendancy in the forwards as a result. The 24-year-old also only had one carry, and made just four tackles in the decider.
3. Taniela Tupou – 7.5/10
Tupou was a standout for the Reds in the Final, just as he has been all season. The Tongan Thor was dominant in the scrum, getting the better of Wallaby Scott Sio to earn his side a few penalties in the first half. He was also tough to bring down when he got his chances in attack, running for 30 metres off six carries.
4. Angus Blyth – 6.5/10
Not sure about his haircut, but Blyth capped off a great campaign with another promising display. The 22-year-old showed glimpses of his potential even with the Reds lineout struggling. Blyth also managed to cross for a try late that got his side to within touching distance of the lead.
5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – 5/10
Salakaia-Loto struggled to make an impact, finishing the match with one carry and one tackle. Went off early in the second-half after a nasty head clash, but was good to see the 24-year-old walk off.
6. Liam Wright – 6.5/10
It was a tough night for the Reds skipper, who showed plenty of heart, but couldn’t influence the game with his efforts. Wright applied plenty of pressure on the Brumbies lineout, especially later in the game.
7. Fraser McReight – 6.5/10
It was a quiet night for the 21-year-old, who was uncharacteristically ineffective around the breakdown. McReight was penalties a few times at the breakdown, instead making his mark in attack. Especially later in the match, the flanker looked dangerous down the left-hand side.
8. Harry Wilson – 7/10
In a losing side, Wilson was a shining light for the Queensland Reds, with his work rate impressing once again. The 20-year-old finished with a turnover and made the most tackles of any Reds forward. He also crossed for a try in the 31st minute, running in support of a rampant Jordan Petaia.
9. Tate McDermott – 7/10
With only 39% of possession in the first-half, McDermott couldn’t make his usual impact with the ball in hand. He did get more lively as the game went on, with his highlight play coming with 15 minutes to play. Showing fantastic footwork, the scrumhalf managed to break through the Brumbies defence and lay the ball back for Blyth to cross over.
10. James O’Connor – 7/10
O’Connor’s leadership and organisation guided a young Queensland Reds side to the Final, but it wasn’t enough to get them over the line against the Brumbies. He ran the ball well when he had to, but was also very deep which kept his side on the back foot. O’Connor also kicked plenty of ball away without finding the grass. He did finish with 13 points to his name though, and the Reds wouldn’t have come so close to silverware without his experience.
11. Filipo Daugunu – 5.5/10
Daugunu has arguably been the form winger of Super Rugby AU, but he didn’t have his best performance in the decider. The winger was yellow carded 50 minutes in for a tip tackle, in what was an otherwise quiet night. He made no tackles and only had three carries.
12. Hamish Stewart – 6.5/10
Was once again solid in defence, making the most tackles of any Reds player with nine without missing any. But Stewart did struggle to make an impact in attack, only having a limited amount of opportunities.
13. Hunter Paisami – 7/10
Paisami was a bolter in Dave Rennie’s first Wallabies squad, but reminded everyone why he’s gunning for the gold 13 jersey with a brutal display in attack. He was constantly bumping off defenders, proving very hard to bring down, even when he had little to no room to move. Great work rate as well.
14. Jordan Petaia – 6.5/10
Only got half a game, but Petaia showed once again, that he’s truly a special talent. The up-and-comer made something out of nothing to set up Harry Wilson, running through a broken Brumbies defence before laying the ball off to his teammate with a flick pass.
15. Jock Campbell – 6.5/10
A frustrating night for the fullback, who showed glimpses of his threat but struggled to make a genuine impact. He’ll be disappointed with his final contribution from the Final, dropping the ball cold as the Reds looked to mount a final attack from deep.
16. Josh Nasser
17. Harry Hoopert 6/10
18. Ruan Smith
19. Tuaina Taii Tualima
20. Angus Scott-Young 6/10
21. Moses Sorovi 6/10
22. Bryce Hegarty6.5/10
23. Jack Hardy – N/A
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