After conceding 3 unanswered tries successful the archetypal half, the Reds scored 2 of their ain successful the 2nd fractional but it proved to beryllium a lawsuit of excessively little, excessively precocious arsenic the Crusaders ran retired 28-15 winners successful slippery conditions.
It was a brutal commencement to the contention for the Queenslanders, who mislaid hooker Matt Faessler successful the 5th infinitesimal aft helium suffered a caput wounded portion attempting to tackle Cullen Grace.
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Faessler dropped down debased successful his effort to tackle the on-rushing Grace, but his enactment resulted successful his caput colliding with Grace's hip, leaving him flattened.
The play was stopped soon aft the incidental arsenic Faessler was tended to by the Reds' aesculapian staff, earlier helium was taken disconnected the tract for a HIA, 1 that would regularisation him retired for the remainder of the contest.
Tries to Fergus Burke (13th minute), Will Jordan (16') and Brodie McAllister (37') gave the Crusaders a commanding half-time pb earlier Richie Asiata struck the archetypal stroke of the 2nd fractional with a 57th infinitesimal effort of his own.
Tom Christie scored the match-sealing effort successful the 72nd minute, rendering Harry Wilson's effort 3 minutes aboriginal a specified consolation arsenic the Crusaders held connected for a scratchy win.
The Reds were without Wallabies prima James O'Connor, and the void near by the seasoned was wide successful the archetypal half, with skipper Tate McDermott lamenting the missed opportunity.
"We came retired a small spot shellshocked and if we're giving immoderate team, peculiarly the Crusaders, a 21-point head-start it's evidently not ideal," helium said aft the match.
"Really arrogant of however we managed to claw our mode backmost into it and we'll instrumentality that guardant moving forward.
"It was conscionable arsenic elemental arsenic holding the ball. When we stuck unneurotic arsenic a team, we worked hard and we enactment phases connected phases together, we looked truly good. It's conscionable astir doing that for longer periods of time.
"Once we fixed our kicking game, we applied unit and held the shot and looked truly good."
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Reds manager Brad Thorn besides lamented his side's deficiency of composure during the disjointed first-half.
"The guys showed plentifulness of fight, but we've got to beryllium smarter," helium said.
"We've got immoderate enactment to do. The guys were retired determination competing hard and that's what I inquire for."