Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World



Billy Twelvetrees: 'Ed started pre-season with us and and nine months on he’s really struggling. Jesus Christ.'

The former England and Lions centre, leaves Kingsholm a legend after over a decade's service, and in that time he has matured into a man

RugbyPass+ Home

‘They wanted it a lot’: What went wrong for Chiefs in loss to Reds

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Andy Jackson/Getty Images)

The Queensland Reds shocked the rugby world on Friday night when they defeated the previously unbeaten Chiefs 25-22 at New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium.


Playing their first Super Rugby fixture in Taranaki since 2017, the Chiefs got off to a relatively idyllic start when winger Etene Nanai-Seturo crossed for the first try of the night in the sixth minute.

While the Reds levelled the scores at 5-all shortly after, the hosts went into the sheds at half-time up by seven points after another try to Nanai-Seturo.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

Up at the break, most rugby fans would’ve expected the ladder-leading Chiefs to run away with it in the second 40.

But clearly, the Reds didn’t get the memo.

Against the odds, the Reds scored three second half tries – which gave them an imposing lead as the clock continued to tick ever close to the full-time siren.

The Chiefs levelled the scores at 22-all with six minutes to play, but a late Tom Lynagh penalty gave the visitors a three-point advantage at the death.

Famously, that’s how the scores remained. The Reds held on for their first win over the Chiefs in New Zealand since 2013.


Speaking with Joe Wheeler after the match, captain Luke Jacobson was both frustrated and disappointed as he reflected on the Chiefs’ first loss of the season.

“We knew the Reds were going to come out and give it their all,” Jacobson said postgame on Sky Sport.

“We came out strong to start with… they wanted it a lot and no discredit to us but we just took a little bit long to get into our phase shape sometimes, get into what we were good at.

“We sort of got into that at the end there but it was a little bit too little too late.

“Nobody likes losing, do they? It’s frustrating. I think we’ve got a deep care for this team, every one of us so when we do lose it bloody hurts and I think any team should be like that.”


Other than the early try to Nanai-Seturo, nothing seemed to go to script for the ladder-leading Chiefs.

Without some of their All Blacks stars, including co-captains Sam Cane and Brad Weber, the hosts struggled to develop any momentum – or certainly failed to capitalise on the scoreboard.

The Reds played their best game of the season, and were rightfully joyous after the match – erupting into a frenzy as referee Paul Williams blew the full-time whistle.

“I think we probably came out in the second half and didn’t start how we wanted to,” he added.

“Obviously the first half, probably, we weren’t perfect, but if we came out in the second half strong with a good start, we probably could’ve solved a lot of problems but we didn’t.

“They scored first and it was a bit of a snowball effect from there.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom for the Chiefs, far from it in fact.

They’re still first on the Super Rugby Pacific standings, but they have a tough run home.

Up next, the Chiefs are set to host the Hurricanes in Hamilton before heading across the ditch to face the Brumbies and Force.


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
RUGBYPASS+ Australian rugby is its own worst enemy Australian rugby is its own worst enemy