Reds hold out Force in Super AU tussle

Queensland have held out Western Force 31-24 on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium to continue their unbeaten start to Super Rugby AU.

JAMES O'CONNOR.
JAMES O'CONNOR. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

Queensland's unblemished start to Super Rugby AU has continued after holding out the Western Force 31-24 in a Friday night thriller at Suncorp Stadium.

A drop goal in the 78th by Reds five-eighth James O'Connor gave his team some breathing space with the Force unable to find a converted try to take the match into Super Time in Brisbane.

For the first time since 2013 the Reds have been unbeaten for four successive games as they beat the Bulls before the regular competition was shut down in March before two wins plus last round's draw with Melbourne since the restart.

Queensland skipper Liam Wright described the match as a "try-fest" and said they had to fight until fulltime.

"The Force ran from everywhere and made us play right until the end, they just didn't let up," Wright told Fox Sports.

"But our guys love fighting for each other and were brilliant."

Force playmaker Jono Lance lamented two missed conversions which would ave kept the pressure on - one was charged down by Reds winger Filipo Daugunu and the other hit a post.

The Force again got off to a flying start, repeating their effort against the Waratahs last week by rushing to a 14-0 lead.

Young fullback Jack McGregor was first across before another former Queensland schoolboy Byron Ralston crossed for the first of two tries for the night.

But three tries within 20 minutes got the home side back in the fight, with the Force also losing skipper Ian Prior midway through the first half to a shoulder stinger.

O'Connor found Reds hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa was lurking out wide to get their score ticking over.

Fullback Jock Campbell made the most of a Hunter Paisami break and then prop Taniela Tupou rumbled over from a lineout after an O'Connor 50-22 kick.

That gave Queensland a 21-14 lead, and advantage they looked like they would take into halftime before Ralston intercepted and ran 80m to touch down.

Daugunu crossed five minutes into the second half but Paisami was then yellow-carded for a tip tackle leaving his team a man down.

The Force took advantage with Andrew Ready crossing in the 69th minute to set up a nail-biting finish but they again fell short.

Prior said he was proud of his team's effort.

"It was a great spectacle with both teams going at it hammer and tongs," he said.

"It was disappointing we didn't come away with the result but we're building from last week and we're really happy."

The Reds have the bye next week while the Force host the Brumbies at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney.