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Reds lose to Chiefs in quarterfinals 43:21

The Queensland Reds were defeated 43-21 in Hamilton tonight as they faced a precise performance from the Chiefs in the Super Rugby Pacific quarter-finals.

The Reds fought bravely to the end and scored three tries in the second half, but the damage had already been done.

The Chiefs surprised the Reds in the opening period with a whirlwind of physicality, superiority and attacking timing, taking a 28-0 lead in the 24th minute.

Reds co-captain Liam Wright had high praise for the Chiefs after the game and also spoke about the progress of his own Queensland team in 2024.

“The Chiefs came out really strong and pulled away from us. We're very proud of this jersey. We fought back really well, but it was too little, too late,” Wright told Sky Sports in New Zealand on the sidelines.

“The Chiefs were outstanding in the breakdown, where we probably let ourselves down a little bit.”

When asked about a season in which the Reds set a record for a Super Rugby season with 69 tries and which featured numerous standout players and successes for the team, Wright was optimistic despite the pain he felt.

“There's a lot we like. We wanted to accomplish everything this year, like every team wants to,” Wright said.

“We've brought out some really good guys. We've built a good combination with new coaches and we're excited about what this team can continue to do. We're going to keep working hard to be better in these moments.”

One of the players singled out was 21-year-old backrower John Bryant. In his first Super Rugby season, he stormed forward with 13 ball runs and 10 tackles in almost 70 minutes.

Former All Blacks prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen had one of his best games for the Reds, capped by a canter with the ball and a beautiful inside pass to Fraser McReight.

Substitutes Lawson Creighton and Taj Annan both played strong roles in the second-half comeback.

Lock Seru Uru led the team to his 50th game as Red in clear conditions.

The tank-like physique of Chiefs hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho snatched two of the first attempts, lunging forward on the first attempt and preventing a quick pass on the second.

The Reds played sporadically in the first half due to the pressure and when they came close, they were thwarted.

Hooker Matt Faessler took the ball over the goal line, only to be ruled a second time out for a push to the line after he was on his knees. Likewise, McReight seemed certain to score late in the first half, but a Chiefs leg blocked his point.

The Reds came into the game strongly in the second half. In the 43rd minute, winger Mac Grealy got within inches of the line. The alert halfback Tate McDermott scored the try on the shortside.

Wright took a pass from Creighton and made a 20-yard run in the lead-up to McDermott's second attempt. Late in the game, Creighton was rewarded with its own five-pointer.

The Reds will regroup for a key match against Wales at Suncorp Stadium on July 19 before their international schedule continues with a game in Tonga on July 26.

CHIEFS 43: Trys: Samisoni Taukei'aho 2, Emoni Narawa, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Anton Lienert-Brown, Bradley Slater, Conversions: Damian McKenzie 5, Penalty Goal: Damian McKenzie

Defeated

QUEENSLAND REDS 21: Try: Tate McDermott 2, Lawson Creighton, Conversions: Lawson Creighton 2, Tom Lynagh

Halftime: Chiefs 31-Reds 0

At FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton