Reds smash Highlanders but suffer fresh blow with Petaia’s season in jeopardy


Wallaby Jordie Petaia is in doubt for the rest of the Super Rugby season, and potentially Australia’s Test series against Wales, after suffering a shoulder dislocation in the Queensland Reds’ 31-0 win over the Highlanders in Brisbane.

Petaia was hurt when he attempted to tackle Highlanders winger Timoci Tavatavanawai, 33 minutes into the match at Suncorp Stadium and he fell badly.

Jordan Petaia of the Reds is taken from the field injured. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

On the Stan Sport coverage Morgan Turinui said: “the word out of the Reds change room is he dislocated his shoulder and Reds medical staff had to help him get that back in. [It is] minimum 4-6 weeks to rehab that, if not worse. He’s in the changerooms with an arm in a sling. Not great news for Jordan Petaia and the Reds.

Tim Horan added: “Or for the Wallabies. You can rehab it for 6-8 weeks and see if it heals but the worst case scenario is an operation, and a reconstruction.”

The Super Rugby finals start on June 7.

The blow comes at a time when the Reds ranks are stretched thin. Petaia was having a rare start at No.13 in the absence of injured Josh Flook, while Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight were sidelined with bans suffered in the loss to Moana Pasifika last week. Seru Uru was also missing.

The Reds get an early lead just under 3 minutes in ????

↳ Super Rugby Pacific. Reds v Highlanders, live now. Every Match. Ad-free. Live & On Demand on the Home of Rugby, Stan Sport.#StanSportAU #SuperRugbyPacific #REDvHIG

— Stan Sport Rugby (@StanSportRugby) April 19, 2024

Petaia started well against the Highlanders, as Queensland were attempting to beat the Kiwis for the first time since 2016, while his centre teammate Hunter Paisami crossed for a try within two minutes of the start.

Kalani Thomas impressed as a replacement for McDermott, as the home side went to a 17-0 halftime lead with lock Ryan Smith scoring in his 50th appearance after 19 phases of buildup.

Horan described the Queenslanders’ first half display as “clunky” and while there were clearly issues in the linking of Tom Lynagh and his outside backs, it was night and day from a week earlier when the Reds were stunned by Moana Pasifika.

Thomas was busy behind a dominant pack, and the Highlanders barely fired a shot. They spent one phase inside the Reds 22 in the first 40 minutes.

Queensland spurned two great chances to extend their lead before the break but loose handling kept the scoreline interesting.

There was a slight improvement from the Kiwi team after the break but they too squandered a clear opening and the Reds held on. Lawson Creighton added a third try and Paisami’s delecious chip after the siren gave Suliasi Vunivalu an easy score to finish the game.

While the win was far from sparkling, it was comprehensive enough and the bonus point could prove key.

“They’ve struggled throughout the game to get a rhythm in their pattens of play, they’ve looked disjointed,” Horan said of the Highlanders, who had not been held scoreless since 2019 against the Crusaders.

The Reds’ win came after three straight losses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.