Reds

Ex-Melbourne Storm NRL winner Suliasi Vunivalu misses Super Rugby debut for Reds over pub incident

The champion NRL winger had arrived at Ballymore fresh off a premiership with the Melbourne Storm as Rugby Australia's big-ticket item.

But on Tuesday the winger copped a club-imposed A$10,000 (NZ$10,74) fine alongside suspension from Friday's season opener at Suncorp Stadium against the NSW Waratahs.

The matter is before the court and will be reviewed by RA and Queensland Rugby Union once it is resolved.

It is understood the security guard was not injured during the incident, which was considered minor and occurred earlier this month.

Highlanders and Reds to kick off Super Rugby Trans-Tasman

The draw has been finalised for the five-week competition.

The Highlanders and Crusaders will be at home in round one with the Hurricanes, Blues and Chiefs heading to Australia for the start of a tournament that pits New Zealand's five Super Rugby against the Reds, NSW Waratahs, Brumbies, Melbourne Rebels and Western Force.

The final between the two top-placed teams on the combined competition table is scheduled for Saturday, 19 June.

Vunivalu set to talk to manager over Reds move

Star Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu says he will seek reassurance about his contract ahead of his code switch to financially-stricken rugby union and try to remain with the Storm if it falls through.

Vunivalu is set to depart Melbourne at the end of the NRL season after signing a deal with Queensland Reds and Rugby Australia late last year he described as “too good to refuse”.

But since then Rugby Australia has fallen into a financial black hole, with a number of players looking to shift overseas as they seek some job security.

Newly Wallabies-eligible winger signs bumper deal with Reds

24-year-old Filipo Daugunu has signed a four-year deal with the Queensland team which could see him press his case for selection in the Wallabies.

Daugunu is finally eligible for the national side after moving to Australia three years ago and signing on with the Reds gives the former football goal-keeper a straightforward run to the Wallabies.

“I’m very happy to stay at Queensland,” Daugunu has said of his new contract.

Blues out of playoff race

The fitting farewell for loose forward Scott Higginbotham and captain Samu Kerevi looked unlikely with the Reds trailing 21-5 after 23 minutes following a sluggish start.

But the hosts clawed back the deficit and secured just their sixth win of the season.

Higginbotham's first-half try, following good work by Kerevi and winger Jock Campbell, made him the first forward to notch 40 Super Rugby tries.

His effort came either side of tries to Blues' pair Tanielu Tele'a and Augustine Pulu after captain Blake Gibson opened the scoring after just three minutes.

Chiefs hold off the Reds

Pita Sowakula, Atu Moli and Etene Nanai-Seturo scored first half tries for the Chiefs, who spent virtually all of the second spell defending as the Reds controlled the ball but were unable to breach the home side's impressive defensive line.

Taniela Tupou scored the only points of the second half with a try from a sustained buildup as the visitors hammered at the Chiefs' line.

The visitors forced the Chiefs to make 240 tackles in the game.

The Reds made less than 90.

Kerevi keeps lid on future, says Reds can win title

Kerevi has long been earmarked as a future captain of the club and while he may only be contracted until the end of 2019, Queensland fans will be hoping he is their leader for many years to come.

The star centre will replace Scott Higginbotham as skipper.

It’s understood the veteran back rower will still form part of an extended leadership group.

The captaincy armband is not completely foreign to Kerevi, who has already led the team on seven separate occasions while one of James Slipper or Higginbotham have been absent.

Hunt recommits to Wallabies, Reds

The code-hopper has played five Tests for the Wallabies since making his debut against Fiji in June.

Hunt, 31, represented Australia and Queensland in rugby league and played Australian rules football before settling into union with the Reds in 2015, having also featured in the 15-man code six years earlier.

"It's been a big year for me personally, obviously making my Wallabies debut was a huge honour but I really enjoyed getting some really solid minutes up in Queensland with Reds," he said.

Highlanders dispatch Reds

All they can do now is sit back and wait to see if they have to travel to Johannesburg to play the Lions or to Christchurch to play the Crusaders in the quarterfinals, something they might not know until about 5am on Sunday morning. 

Highlanders coach Tony Brown has maintained all week he'd rather play the unbeaten Crusaders, meaning he will be keeping a close eye on Saturday night's match between the Hurricanes and Crusaders in Wellington.

Smiths rested for Highlanders

However, eight-Test flanker Liam Squire returns from injury to boost the Highlanders, who are fourth in the New Zealand conference and set to meet either South Africa's high-flying Lions or competition-leading countrymen the Crusaders in the quarter-finals.

Halfback Aaron Smith is rested after playing every match in the All Blacks' drawn Test series with the British and Irish Lions, while influential fullback Smith has been given another week off after vertigo kept him out of the final two tests.