The St.George Queensland Reds have suffered a 36-12 loss to the Chiefs in Round 10 of Vodafone Super Rugby at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
Reds centre Samu Kerevi notched two second half tries, but the Chiefs outscored the Reds five tries to two, while Damien and Marty McKenzie scored 11 points between them through from the boot.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “The first 30 minutes really cost us. We made too many mistakes and you can’t start like that if you want to win at this level. We really struggled, it was highly frustrating.
“After a tough start, we started to show some fight, but the Chiefs are a good team. It was a tough tussle in the second half.
“We can be better than that and we need to be better than that.”
Damien McKenzie opened up the scoring with a penalty in the opening exchanges, before converting Tyler Ardron’s try in the 12th minute to give the visitors a 10-0 lead.
Charlie Ngatai crossed for the Chiefs second try four minutes later, and again McKenzie slotted the conversion to extend his side’s lead to 17-0.
Damian McKenzie was replaced by his brother Marty in the 19th minute following a head knock injury and Marty picked up where his brother left off, converting Brodie Retallick’s try, giving the visitors a 24-0 lead heading into half-time.
Chiefs hooker Liam Polwart opened up the scoring in the second half with a try in the left corner, before Kerevi crossed for the first of his two tries in the 47th minute, diving over from close range off a Ben Lucas pass. Jono Lance slotted the conversion to narrow the margin to 31-7.
The Reds fought back in the second half, holding possession for extended periods and building phases in attack.
In the 68th minute it looked as though Caleb Timu had scored the Reds’ second try of the night, reaching out to place the ball on the post pads, but review from the TMO ruled that he had knocked the ball on.
Kerevi crossed for his second try in the 74th minute, splitting the defensive line with speed off the mark. Lance missed the conversion with the ball bouncing off the upright, leaving the score at 31-12 with six minutes left to play.
The match ran five minutes into injury time, and a try through reserve hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho off a lineout maul in the 85th minute sealed the 36-12 win.
St.George Queensland Reds 12 (Samu Kerevi 2 tries; Jonno Lance 1 conv) defeated by Chiefs 36 (Tyler Ardron, Charlie Ngatai, Brodie Retallick, Liam Polwart, Samisoni Taukei’aho tries; Damien McKenzie 2, Marty McKenzie 2 conv; Damien McKenzie 1 pen goal) at Suncorp Stadium on 21 April 2018.