Super Rugby: Chiefs scrape past Reds in pre-season clash

Tyler Ardron of the Chiefs
Tyler Ardron of the Chiefs. Photo credit: Getty

Three tries from kicks have helped the Chiefs sink the Queensland Reds in their final pre-season match ahead of the 2019 Super Rugby season.

The Hamilton-based side held off a second-half fightback from the Reds to win 21-19 at Ballymore in Queensland on Friday night.

The Chiefs fielded just five members of the side that lost a tight Super Rugby quarter-final to the Hurricanes last season.   

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But they were the far-sharper outfit early, exposing the Reds twice inside the first 10 minutes with kicks to build a 14-0 lead.   

First Shaun Stevenson ran onto a long kick to score in the right corner after an innocuous spilt Reds ball on halfway.   

Bailyn Sullivan then added a second for the Chiefs, jumping on a simple grubber that found new Reds fullback Bryce Hegarty out of position.  

Brad Thorn's men levelled the match at 14-14 when both Harry Hoopert and Tate McDermott finished probing sequences for the hosts.   

Tyler Campbell ran onto a cross-field bomb to put the Chiefs ahead again before Ruan Smith scored for the Reds, with a missed Filipo Daugunu conversion from the left touchline the difference.   

There was no shortage of scrum practice at least, with the Reds holding sway in that department and drawing a yellow card after repeated offences by the visitors.   

But repeated dropped ball meant the Reds couldn't capitalise on the numerical advantage.   

The Chiefs open their Super Rugby campaign next Friday against the Highlanders in Hamilton, while the Reds have a first-round bye, but will also play the Highlanders away in their opener on February 22.