Two tries from the departing Scott Higginbotham helped the Reds snatch a 29-28 home win over the Blues in Super Rugby on Friday.
Higginbotham, who will be leaving Queensland at the end of the season to continue his career in France, bowed out in style in his last match at Suncorp Stadium.
The visiting Blues, who led 14-0 midway through the first half thanks to tries from Blake Gibson and Tanielu Tele’a, looked to have seen off their hosts in the closing stages, only to be dramatically denied.
Higginbotham had crossed in response to the early deficit and, although Augustine Pulu went over at the other end, a try from Taniela Tupou and Bryce Hegarty’s 40th-minute penalty kept the hosts in touch.
Hegarty then crossed himself shortly after the break, but Pulu went through again and despite a yellow card for Dalton Papalii, Blues looked set to hold on.
Higginbotham was not to be denied, though, and his try three minutes from time was followed by the conversion from Hegarty to steal victory.
Reds v Blues | Super Rugby 2019 Rd 17 Highlights
In his last appearance at Suncorp Stadium, Scott Higginbotham came up with the goods to earn @Reds_Rugby a stunning 29-28 win over @BluesRugbyTeam. #SuperRugby #REDvBLU pic.twitter.com/uYkzKKiPaI
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) June 7, 2019
Elsewhere, the Bulls also mustered a late effort to draw for the second week running, this time battling out a 24-24 tie at the Highlanders.
Josh McKay and Waisake Naholo each crossed twice for the Dunedin-based Highlanders, though they were unable to shake off their opponents in an eventful game.
Divan Rossouw and Jason Jenkins crossed in the first half and thanks to Handre Pollard’s skill with the boot, the visitors stayed in touch.
They duly drew level in the closing minutes when Jaco Visagie went over, Pollard on target with the conversion to earn a share of the spoils.
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