Rugby: Reds edge Kings in high-scoring encounter

The Reds celebrate a try during their win over the Southern Kings. Photo / AAP
The Reds celebrate a try during their win over the Southern Kings. Photo / AAP

George Smith capped his 150th Super Rugby appearance with a try in the Queensland Reds' 47-34 victory over the Kings on Saturday.

Eto Nabuli, Karmichael Hunt and Izaia Perese all scored doubles for the Reds while Makazole Mapimpi (two), Chris Cloete, Louis Schreuder and Masixole Bande went over for the Kings in front of a crowd of 11,336 at Suncorp Stadium.

The Reds took the lead after six minutes when, after winning a scrum against the feed, the ball reached stand-in captain Samu Kerevi who picked the ball off his boots and passed to Nabuli to dive over in the corner.

The Kings replied in the 23rd minute when Yaw Penxe produced an intelligent kick inside from the right wing and flanker Cloete beat Quade Cooper to the ball over the tryline.

Hunt dived over from close range to restore the Reds' lead 11 minutes before the break.

The hosts came out firing after the interval scoring two tries in the first eight minutes, despite being a man down due to Duncan Paia'aua's yellow card.

The first came in the 43rd minute when milestone man Smith, who forced three turnovers in the first half, received a lineout from Rob Simmons and cut through the Kings defence before exchanging passes with Scott Higginbotham to get over the line at the second attempt.

Five minutes later, Hendrik Tui burrowed over Penxe before passing the ball to Nabuli who raced over untouched for his second try of the game.

Schreuder then dived over from close range for the Kings in the 51st minute but it was a brief respite as Hunt collected Cooper's kick three minutes later and raced under the posts for another five pointer.

Perese scored his first try in Super Rugby when Reds fullback Hunt took on James Tuttle's pass and drew the last man before feeding the young winger.

Three minutes later Perese had his second after Hunt collected Cooper's cross- field penalty from inside his own 22 and ran to the halfway line before feeding the Reds' No.14 to run untouched under the posts.

This was not the end of the scoring as three tries in eight minutes made the scoreline respectable for the visitors and gave the Reds a scare.

-AAP

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