McDermott, McReight sent off in shock Queensland loss

Alex Mitchell
AAP
2 Min Read
Tate McDermott's red card helped consign Queensland to a 17-14 defeat against Moana Pasifika. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)
Tate McDermott's red card helped consign Queensland to a 17-14 defeat against Moana Pasifika. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Poor discipline from Wallabies halfback and Queensland Reds captain Tate McDermott has cost his side badly in a 17-14 loss to Moana Pasifika.

McDermott was red-carded for a shocking swinging arm on Moana flanker Irie Papuni in the second half in Whangarei, and had to watch from the sidelines when five-eighth William Havili scored a match-winning try just a minute from time.

The Reds produced a sub-par opening and were down 10-0 at half-time.

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They found an avenue into the game with a try soon after the break, before McDermott’s strike left them a man down.

Queensland still wrestled their way to the lead when winger Jordan Petaia crossed on 71 minutes, and looked likely to snap a two-game losing streak.

But vital flanker Fraser McReight also received a red card seven minutes from time for a high shot and the Pasifika outfit made the most of it, with Havili finding the space to cross in the 80th minute.

McDermott faces the prospect of a lengthy stint on the sidelines for his strike, swinging at Papuni while dragging him to the ground in a tackle.

The incident was initially graded a yellow card offence before being upgraded to red, the same fate that met McReight for his shot.

Queensland made five handling errors in the first half-hour and kicked the ball out on the full several times, with the uncharacteristic mistakes costing them a chance to get into the game.

Reeling from three straight losses by a combined 134 points, the Pasifika outfit played with serious grit early and could have even led by more than they did at halftime.

The competition’s record try-scorer Julian Savea was the only player to cross in the first period, with a powerful effort from close to the line that flattened multiple Reds.

Some odd decision-making and strong Queensland defence meant Moana Pasifika only netted three points from winning three penalties deep in opposition territory.

And the Reds swung the contest instantly after halftime, prop Peni Ravai lifting them back to 10-7.

Centre Josh Flook looked to have scored and given Queensland the lead, but McDermott’s indiscretion led to that try being chalked off, though his side lifted without him and almost did enough for a famous win.

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