Rugby league convert Will Chambers scored a second-half try as the Queensland Reds beat South Africa’s Stormers 16-13 in Super 14 rugby on Friday.
After Quade Cooper gave the Reds the lead in the 43rd minute with a penalty goal, Chambers scored five minutes later and the resurgent Reds relied on tight defense to hold on to the lead and remain in a semifinal position among the top four.
The win broke the Reds’ three-game losing streak at home against the Stormers and snapped a six-game losing streak overall against the Cape Town-based team.
More than 30,000 fans packed Suncorp Stadium on Friday for the match.
The Stormers led 7-6 at halftime with lock Andries Bekker’s third-minute try off a poor Queensland lineout. The conversion by Peter Grant gave the visitors a 7-0 lead before Cooper penalties in the 23rd and 31st minute pulled the Reds to within a point at the break.
Grant kicked two penalties in the second half after Chambers’ try, which turned out to be the final scoring in the match. Reds captain Will Genia had a try disallowed with two minutes left when television replays determined he hadn’t touched down.
Stormers captain Schalk Burger said the match was one that “got away.”
“It was one of those game where we couldn’t really get anything going,” Burger said.
“They’ve been a dangerous side this year, but the conditions were pretty slippery, and we couldn’t get the ball through the hands very easily.”
The Stormers finished an Australasian road trip with two wins and two losses.
“We’re reasonably happy, but three wins would have been nice,” Burger said. “We’re looking forward to getting back to Cape Town.
We should have a full house there next week.”
The Stormers play another semifinal contender, seven-time champions Canterbury from New Zealand, next Friday.
Genia said the Reds were pleased to have escaped with the close win.
“We are playing good footy,” Genia said. “It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win.”
Queensland 16 (Will Chambers try; Quade Cooper conversion, 3 penalties).
Stormers 13 (Andries Bekker try; Peter Grant conversion, 2 penalties). HT: 6-7.