Super Rugby: Queensland Reds beat Crusaders

Queensland winger Tim Ryan continued his brilliant start to his Super Rugby career as the Reds ended a 25-year Christchurch drought with a 33-28 win over the Crusaders on Saturday.

Having scored three tries in his first Super Rugby Pacific appearance last Saturday, Ryan crossed for two more five-pointers as the Reds claimed a historic win at Apollo Projects Stadium.

The Queenslanders hadn’t tasted victory in Christchurch since a 36-23 defeat of the Crusaders in March 1999 with a team containing a host of Wallabies including Tim Horan, Ben Tune, Toutai Kefu, Chris Latham, Daniel Herbert and David Wilson.

However, the long wait between drinks at Christchurch came to a deserved end thanks to a gutsy five-try performance that also included five-pointers from forwards Fraser McReight, Jeff Toomaga-Allen and Harry Wilson.

Reds captain Liam Wright hailed his side’s “massive” victory, which gave the Queenslanders three wins over Kiwi teams in a single season for the first time since 2013.

“We did a great job to hold on,” Wright said after Queensland’s fifth victory of the season.

“There were some big moments there from key players which is what we spoke about during the week, just owning our moments.

“It’s a great feeling. We just trusted in each other. We knew it would come.”

It took 22 minutes for the first points of the game to be scored and they came courtesy of a try from returning Reds star McReight.

Back in the side after serving a two-match suspension, McReight forced his way over the tryline from close range to score a five-pointer whose origins came from a weaving run from Queensland fullback Jock Campbell.

With their tails up, the Reds scored again five minutes later when Ryan crossed to complete a sweeping move that started inside Queensland’s half on the opposite side of the field.

Flyhalf Lawson Creighton’s second conversion from two attempts lifted the visitors to a 14-0 lead.

“We started the game brilliantly,” Reds assistant coach Brad Davis said.

However, the Crusaders dragged themselves back into the contest two minutes before half-time with a Dallas McLeod try that was converted scored just before half-time through centre Dallas McLeod that was converted by Welsh great Leigh Halfpenny, who was making his first Super Rugby appearance at the age of 35.

With the scores locked at 21-21 in the 62nd minute, Reds No.8 Wilson charged down a clearing kick from Crusaders flyhalf David Havili, regathered and scored next to the posts.

Creighton’s conversion gave the Queenslanders a seven-point lead.

Ryan’s second try of the match gave the Reds enough of a buffer despite Crusaders winger Sevu Reece scoring the final try of the match in the 74th minute.

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