After last week's drubbing by the Sunwolves, it was hard to imagine the Reds testing the Hurricanes. Yet, here we are, plesantly surprised after what was a relatively competitive game of footy.
The Hurricanes taking the 38-34 win was hardly a shock to the system, but Reds managing to claim a bonus point should please coach Brad Thorn.
The side were embarrassed 63-28 against the bottom side in the competition in their last game. Only a week removed, the Queenslanders put on easily their best showing in recent weeks to test one of the league leaders.
And yes, the Reds have to take little victories like that out of their loss in Wellington. New Zealand sides have toppled their Australian counterparts in 40 straight Super Rugby matches now, while the Hurricanes claimed their 10th win in a row – their only loss coming at the hands of the Bulls in their opening match.
The Reds showed their hand inside the opening five minutes when first five-eighth Jono Lance opened the scoring from the tee. If they got a penalty within range – they were going to take the points.
Their three-point lead lasted all of four minutes before Beauden Barrett crashed over for the opening try of the match. Lance hit back almost immediately – again from the tee – but the Reds went further behind when winger Ben Lam stormed through some soft defence to score in the corner.
With the Hurricanes ahead 14-6 after 15 minutes, it was clear there were plenty of points on offer. The sides combined to score 44 points in the opening 40 minutes as the hosts went into the break ahead 24-20.
An second try early in the second half from Lam gave the Hurricanes some breathing room. His second try of the night was his 14th for the season, which puts him one away from tying the competition record for most tries scored by an individual in a single season.
While the Hurricanes kept pushing ahead, the Queenslanders refused to die. Winger Jordan Petaia crossed four minutes after Lam, and Lance's conversion closed the gap back up.
It was a pattern of the half as the Hurricanes just weren't able to finish the Reds off. The sides again traded tries – first Hurricanes lock Sam Lousi crashed over before Reds centre Samu Kerevi hit back.
With five minutes remaining, it was a four-point game. That's how it stayed as the Hurricanes held on to secure the win.
The Reds will be buoyed after a gritty performance saw them challenge one of the toughest teams in the competition, however the loss puts another dent in their hopes of securing a spot in the playoffs.
For the Hurricanes, it wasn't always convincing but the result came.
Hurricanes 38 (Ben Lam 2, Beauden Barrett, Blade Thompson, Sam Lousi tries; B. Barrett 5 cons, pen)
Reds 34 (Taniela Tupou, Filipo Daugunu, Jordan Petaia, Samu Kerevi tries; Jono Lance 4 cons, 2 pens)