A rejuvenated Queensland Reds yesterday staved off a powerful Golden Lions finish to claim their Super Rugby clash 27-22 in Brisbane, while the Jaguares beat the Blues for their first ever win over a New Zealand side.
The Reds, coming off four losses, set up their shock win with a rousing four-try first half to lead 24-0 at halftime and battled hard to hold on in the second half.
The Jaguares, full of confidence after beating the ACT Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels in the past two weeks, came from behind in Auckland to beat the Blues 20-13.
The Reds, coached by former All Black lock Brad Thorn, jumped to third in the Australian conference with four wins in nine games, while the Lions, with six wins from 10, remain top in South Africa.
“Last week you could tell quite early we weren’t quite there, but this afternoon that first try in the first five minutes was indicative of how we wanted to play, be aggressive in the contact area,” Reds veteran flanker George Smith said. “We came out well for that first 10 minutes of the second half and we were holding on in the last 30.”
Jean-Pierre Smith, Caleb Timu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Smith all scored for the Reds in the first half.
The spluttering Lions finally scored through their outstanding hooker Malcolm Marx to trail 27-5 after 55 minutes. Marx powered over once more and replacement Marnus Schoeman added two further tries before the Lions revival ran out of time and they had to settle for a losing bonus point.
The Jaguares and Blues battled away in persistent rain in Auckland, which detracted from a spectacle that was not helped by 24 penalties, 15 of them by the Blues.
The Jaguares scored first with an Agustin Creevy try, while the Blues were down to 14 men with Akira Ioane in the sin bin.
The Blues replied with tries to Tumua Manu and Matt Duffie, with a penalty by Stephen Perofeta to lead 13-5 at the end of an extended first half.
It continued for an extra seven minutes, as the Jaguares took repeated scrums from five consecutive penalties on the Blues line, but they were unable to score and the referee saw no need for another yellow card nor a penalty try.
The Argentinians stepped up the pressure as they demolished the Blues pack in the second half and were rewarded with tries to Emiliano Boffelli and Tomas Lezana with a conversion and penalty by Nicolas Sanchez.
The win moved the Jaguares into the top eight to the delight of captain Joaquin Tuculet.
“We are very happy,” he said. “In the second half we played very well and we won the game. The forwards, their work was amazing and the scrum and lineout, so our win is for them.”
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
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