Queensland Reds vs Bulls – Report – Super Rugby 2018 – 10 Mar, 2018


The Queensland Reds have scored back-to-back Super Rugby wins for the first team in almost four years, coming back to beat the Bulls 20-14.

Proving last week’s breakthrough victory over the Brumbies was no fluke, the Reds clawed back from 14-3 down in a pulsating clash on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium to continue their Brad Thorn-led, youth-fuelled revival.

Again, their scrum held up against one of the competition’s finest set-piece sides but, this time, there was the attacking prowess to match it.

Caleb Timu and Aidan Toua scored tries, while a late Jono Lance penalty from almost 50m out gave them some handy breathing space with five minutes to go – but it was still a nervy finish as the South Africans rallied for a winner until well after the final siren.

Replacement hooker Alex Mafi sealed it for Queensland with a tackle that dispossessed Springbok lock Lood de Jager, who was closing in just six metres out from the line.

Not since the Reds prevailed over the Melbourne Rebels and Highlanders in late 2014 under Richard Graham had they banked positive results in consecutive weeks.

The Bulls were wearing a striking yellow jersey, inspired by the Mamelodi Sundowns – Pretoria’s soccer team, who are nicknamed the Brazilians.

Indeed, there was more than a hint of ‘joga bonito’ in their new, expansive style, introduced by former All Blacks coach John Mitchell, which proved effectively early.

They stormed to a 14-3 lead after fullback Warrick Gelant’s opener and a scintillating 70m move finished off by winger Travis Ismael.

Their second try stunned the Reds, who had only a James Tuttle penalty to show for their 60 per cent share of possession in the first half.

But four minutes from the break, they crossed for their first try since the opening round when Taniela Tupou’s hot hands put Timu into space out wide.

The Reds took a 17-14 lead when Filipo Daugunu, in his maiden Super Rugby start, split two defenders and stood up through another tackle to spark a stunning counter-attack that ended with Toua touching down next to the posts.

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