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Reds beat Crusaders, Chiefs crush Force

rugby04 May 2024 13:00| Ā© AFP
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Tim Ryan @ getty Images

Dynamic winger Tim Ryan scored two tries as the Reds beat the Crusaders 33-28 on Saturday to land their first Super Rugby win in Christchurch for 25 years.

In another blow to the Crusaders' hopes of defending their title, the Australian visitors scored five tries to four, including the double to 20-year-old Ryan.

His second propelled the Reds 12 points clear entering the final quarter and the Crusaders couldn't haul them back, despite a late try to winger Sevu Reece.

Ryan, who scored a hat-trick on debut in last week's 41-34 loss to the Blues, was dangerous throughout as the Reds climbed to fifth in the standings.

"It's massive, the boys really banded together after a season full of close losses," said Reds captain Liam Wright.

"We did a great job to hold on, there were some big moments there by key players."

The first loss at home to Queensland since 1999 was also the eighth defeat of the season for the Crusaders, who languish in 10th place with four rounds remaining.

They again paid for a high error count and untimely injuries, with All Blacks loose forward Ethan Blackadder ruled out before kickoff and captain Scott Barrett not lasting long.

Outstanding flanker Fraser McReight and Ryan crossed early for the Reds before Dallas McLeod reduced the scoreline to 14-7 at the interval.

The home side levelled at 21-21 following tries to forwards Corey Kellow and Quinten Strange, but the Reds led again when Harry Wilson charged down a clearance from fly-half David Havili and scored.

Long-serving Wales test fullback Leigh Halfpenny made a low-key competition debut for the Crusaders and was replaced soon after halftime.

HIGHLANDERS BEST MOANA

Moana Pasifika couldn't rise to the occasion in the first-ever Super Rugby game played in Tonga, losing 28-17 to the Highlanders.

Heavy rain and a sodden ground dampened the atmosphere in Nuku'alofa, along with the hard-working visitors, who scored three tries to two.

All the tries came in the first half as the Highlanders built a 19-17 lead, and the New Zealand side pulled clear after the interval through three penalty goals to fly-half Cameron Millar.

The win ensured the Highlanders stayed just inside the top eight, while Moana are ninth.

In Hamilton, a merciless Chiefs crushed Western Force 56-7 in a new low for the Perth team which remains anchored to the bottom of the table.

The Chiefs took the lead inside two minutes and never let up in a nine-tries-to-one thrashing, with winger Daniel Rona the biggest beneficiary with an impressive hat-trick.

"I think we were our own worst enemy with our discipline, they capitalised on it," said Force captain Jeremy Williams, whose side conceded seven penalties in the opening 25 minutes.

The Chiefs stay fourth, two points behind the Brumbies who ground past Fijian Drua 28-20 in Canberra with Wallabies Len Ikitau and Allan Alaalatoa among the try scorers.

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