Second-half comeback delivers Reds victory in Tokyo
A SECOND-half comeback has driven the Queensland Reds to a thrilling 34-31 Super Rugby win over the Sunwolves in Tokyo.
Trailing 21-5 at half-time and staring down the barrel of a fourth-straight loss this season, the Reds overwhelmed the home team in the second half thanks to spark off the bench by Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Harry Hoopert and Tate McDermott.
All three substitutes scored in the second half, with Paenga-Amosa grabbing a double and McDermott pouncing on a Harry Hockings charge-down in the dying minutes.
Fullback Hamish Stewart, who had missed a conversion attempt that would have put the Reds ahead after McDermott's try, sealed the win with a penalty with less than two minutes to go.
Victory looked unlikely after a poor first half by Brad Thorn's men, with the Sunwolves running in three tries to one to hold a 16-point lead at the break.
Liam Wright's try after a 20m drive from a maul was all the Reds had to show as Jamie Booth, Rahboni Vasayco and Dan Pryor all scored for the Sunwolves.
Needing to score first after the break, the Reds did just that with Paenga-Amosa and Hoopert scoring to reduce the margin to two before Paenga-Amosa's second put the Reds ahead for the first time in the 66th minute.
From the kick-off, however, the Reds handed the initiative back to the Japanese team, as rookie five-eighth Isaac Lucas collided with winger Chris Feauai-Sautia and knocked the ball on.
The Sunwolves made the most of the error to hit the front through a try to substitute halfback Keisuke Uchida, before a Hayden Parker penalty extended the margin to five.
Rather than dwell on allowing the Sunwolves back in, the Reds finished with a wet sail as McDermott's 76th minute try and Stewart's penalty sealed a vital win.
Queensland face the Brumbies in Brisbane next Sunday and the Sunwolves host the Lions next Saturday.