Rugby: Hurricanes go down in comedy of errors

Coach Mark Hammett. Photo / Getty Images
Coach Mark Hammett. Photo / Getty Images

Digby Ioane and Rob Simmons both ended very different try-scoring droughts for Queensland to finally crack their Super Rugby bogey side, the Hurricanes, at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

It certainly wasn't pretty by the Reds, in fact a real comedy of errors, but they somehow held on for a valuable 18-12 victory - their first win over the Wellington side since 2007.

Both teams are renowned as two of the competition's most vibrant, attacking outfits but neither were able to handle the greasy conditions in a stop-start encounter.

Neither will they want to watch a tape of the match which was dominated by the whistle of referee Steve Walsh who frustrated both teams at key moments.

Wallabies winger Ioane scored his first try at Suncorp Stadium since the 2011 Super Rugby final triumph, while lock Simmons scored the first of his 51-match career by burrowing over for an 18-9 lead with half an hour to play.

But the Reds were unable to return to the Hurricanes half for the rest of the match as they were tormented by a litany of mistakes.

It was only the visitors' inability to retain possession themselves, cruelling a number of late try-scoring chances, that saved them in front of 30,995 fans.

"It was one of the strangest games I've ever played,'' said disbelieving Hurricanes skipper Conrad Smith. ``We don't know what was going on and we didn't understand.''

The Hurricanes were just one of two teams the Reds hadn't beaten since Ewen McKenzie took charge in 2010.

But the victory kept McKenzie's perfect record over Kiwi teams at Suncorp Stadium and gives them 23 wins from 26 matches at the venue.

Ioane ended his home ground drought in the 23rd minute, dashing over in the left corner from a swift scoot to the blind and pass by halfback Ben Lucas, in the only genuine highlight of a scrappy first 40 minutes.

Queensland attempted to limit the Hurricanes' opportunities with the ball by keeping possession tight around their forward pack but their hands let them down out wide.

The Hurricanes rued three missed kickable penalty attempts by Beauden Barrett which could have reversed the result but Barrett did show glimpses of class, along with All Blacks winger Julian Savea.

Flanker Liam Gill was again among the Reds' best, although a 79th minute kick out of his quarter almost ended disastrously, while playmaker Quade Cooper had a game he'd rather forget.

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