Heartbreaker for Reds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Heartbreaker for Reds

By Greg Davis 04/04/2003 10:27:25 PM Comments (0)

Queensland lost star fullback Chris Latham to a serious ankle injury and any hopes of reaching the Super 12 semi-final when it suffered a nail-biting 26-23 loss at the hands of the Hurricanes at Ballymore.

Queensland fought back from a seemingly insurmountable 23-6 deficit with 30 minutes remaining to trail 26-23 in the dying minutes of the match.

The Reds declined three shots at penalty goal, which would have drawn the match, to push for a much needed win however the Hurricanes defence was up to the task and held on to give the visitors their fifth straight victory and hand the homeside its fifth loss from six starts.

Latham was forced off at the 15 minute mark after his right ankle was wrenched back in a heavy tackle.

The near capacity Ballymore crowd fell silent as the Wallaby custodian was carried from the field and rushed to hospital for x-rays.

For the first quarter of an hour, the Brisbane crowd was breathless for the right reasons as as Latham looked dangerous every time he went near the ball.

He was a constant threat to the Hurricanes defence and with the help of Wendell Sailor gave Queensland a dominant field position.

With Latham off the field, the Reds continued to pound the Hurricanes line, Steve Kefu and Ben Tune going within a whisker of crossing for five-pointers.

However, the Hurricanes gained the ascendancy in the closing stages of the first stanza when Reds halfback Josh Valentine was sent to the sin bin after a second late tackle.

With Valentine cooling his heels, Tana Umaga scored for the Wellington-based side to help his team take a 13-6 advantage into the break after the scored were locked at 3-3 when Latham was injured.

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