Reds turn on the style
Queensland run in five tries as Chiefs are beaten
Last Updated: 13/05/12 10:56am
Queensland kept their Super Rugby championship defence alive with a rousing 42-27 win over the New Zealand Conference-leading Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium.
Three first-half tries in just eight minutes had the Chiefs leading 22-15 at the interval, but the hosts hit back in similarly stunning fashion as a hat-trick from the Reds in the first 10 minutes of the second half put them on course for victory.
A thrilling, fast-flowing spectacle - watched by a season-high 36,479 fans - ended with the Reds securing their first attacking bonus point of the season.
The win takes Queensland to ninth overall on the Super Rugby ladder, while the Chiefs stay top of the New Zealand Conference.
Teenage openside flanker Liam Gill was immense for the home side, stealing possession time and again and leading a determined effort from the defending champions to provide quick ball for the back line.
Inside centre Mike Harris was again instrumental with the boot for the Reds, nailing seven from eight in a combination of conversions, penalties and a drop-goal.
The Reds got off to a flying start with Harris intercepting, drawing three in a run to the line and offloading for Dom Shipperley to score in the corner.
Chiefs centre Sonny Bill Williams - brilliant in a losing side - produced offloads, turnovers and trademark big hits and notched the visitors' first try in the 30th minute, running over untouched as the hosts scrambled in disarray following a left-side breakaway.
Clicked into top gear
Sparked into life by that opening try, the Chiefs clicked into top gear as the the home side's concentration waned.
They quickly ran in another two tries through Liam Messam and Sona Taumalolo, turning a three-point deficit into a 14-point lead in the blink of an eye.
Queensland looked dead and buried in the shadows of half-time, but a courageous decision to kick for touch rather than at the posts with 30 seconds remaining yielded a vital try after the siren, Ben Lucas eventually going over out wide to narrow the margin to 22-15.
The Reds drew level immediately after half-time, putting on 15 pick-and-drive phases for Scott Higginbotham to crash over.
Will Genia made it two tries in the first five minutes of the second half to reclaim the lead, showing trademark skill to ghost 30 metres from the back of the scrum, splitting defenders before turning on the after-burners to beat Lelia Masaga to the left-hand corner.
Having secured their first four-point bonus try of the season, the hosts took just moments to add a fifth, this time interchange hooker Saia Faingaa grounding the ball from close range the Chiefs had been turned around at a scrum.
The Chiefs responded when full-back Andrew Horrell laid on a try for winger Asaeli Tikoirotuma for a try just before the hour mark, but the Reds responded with a crafty drop-goal from Harris in the 64th minute.
It proved a controversial finale, however, as the officials did not penalise a tip-tackle by Luke Morahan on Williams after failing to spot the Reds full-back's number.
The offence would normally have resulted in an automatic yellow card, but Morahan stayed on the field and two try-saving tackles in the last 10 minutes as the Reds held on for a pulsating win.