Canes run Reds close

Liam Gill guided the Reds to a first victory over the Hurricanes in six years.

The Reds beat the Hurricanes 18 – 12 after leading 11 – 9 at half time.

The match started evenly with penalties being exchanged, before Digby Ioane scored his first try at the Suncorp Stadium in more than 600 days. Rob Simmons, playing in his 50th match, scored on the other side of half time to stretch the Reds’ lead to 9 points.

Beauden Barrett scored the Canes points with four penalties but he missed with three as well.

The Reds’ loose trio lookes the most balanced in the competition, with Liam Gill again impressive.

The Hurricanes finished the stronger and Julian Savea and Conrad Smith combined to come close to scoring in the final minute.

The Canes also had a try denied by the TMO, who ruled a knock on two phases back.

Smith clashed several times with referee Steve Walsh and afterwards described the match as one of the strangest he had played. He said he did not understand a lot of the referee interpretations but did not blame that for the defeat.

He felt the Canes would score and the points would come and was as frustrated in the inability to convert chances into points, as he was with Walsh’s officiating.

Reds captain James Slipper credited the spirit within the squad for the courageous defence to deny the Canes in the final five minutes.

By Richard Ferguson