Barnstorming No.8 Sione Lauaki scored a 50-metre intercept try to break the hearts of the Queensland Reds and give the Chiefs a 12-point win in Hamilton last night.
Down 24-3 at half-time, the Reds scored three tries in 12 minutes in the second half to trail the home side just 27-20 before Lauaki pounced. He latched onto a Quade Cooper pass, shrugged off attempted tackles by Clinton Schifcofske and James Horwill and raced away to score.
RugbyHeaven Aus reports that Waikato scored four tries to grab a bonus-point win against a Queensland side that played expansive and high-risk rugby.
Chiefs winger Lelia Masaga scored two tries for the home side and Morgan Turinui grabbed a double for the Reds.
“We defended a lot in the first half and we scored points when we needed to, so thankfully we got there in the end,” Chiefs captain Mils Muliaina said.
The Chiefs scored after five minutes when five-eighth Stephen Donald kicked ahead and regathered to score under the posts. Masaga then crossed for his first try and Donald converted to give the Chiefs a 14-0 lead.
A Berrick Barnes drop goal 15 minutes into the match put the Reds on the board, but Donald restored the deficit with a 30th-minute penalty.
Queensland suffered a huge blow when Schifcofske was sin-binned for a professional foul, though Chiefs winger Sitiveni Sivivatu was fortunate to escape a similar fate earlier.
Things got worse for the Reds when the television match official awarded a try to Masaga despite the Chiefs winger appearing to put a hand into touch.
The Reds began their comeback with two tries to Turinui and one to replacement winger Digby Ioane.
Both sides threw the ball around in the closing stages before Lauaki sealed the match.
CHIEFS 32 (Lelia Masaga 2 Stephen Donald Sione Lauaki tries; Donald 3 cons 2 pens)
QUEENSLAND REDS 20 (Morgan Turinui 2 Digby Ioane tries; Clinton Schifcofske con Berrick Barnes field goal) at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton.
Referee: Craig Joubert (RSA).