Ryan flies, Reds hit top gear in Force rout

Murray Wenzel |

Tim Ryan has become the first Reds player to score two Super Rugby Pacific hat-tricks.
Tim Ryan has become the first Reds player to score two Super Rugby Pacific hat-tricks.

Tim Ryan’s stocks have soared to historic heights as the Queensland Reds hit top gear in a 46-point thumping to all but end the Western Force’s Super Rugby Pacific season.

The 20-year-old winger made Reds history with his second hat-trick of the season in Saturday’s 59-13 win at Suncorp Stadium, returning five-eighth Tom Lynagh also impressing as the Reds piled on nine tries to one.

Ryan out-jumped his rival winger to score in the fourth minute, then had a second try rubbed out minutes later when an earlier pass was called forward.

He found space immediately after the break, Ryan pinning his ears back from 40 metres out to finish a brilliant counter-attack.

Ryan then hit a gap and defied cramp to stumble over in the 75th minute and become the first Reds player to notch multiple hat-tricks.

He now has nine tries in just four career starts and seven appearances in total.

Already boasting his own fan club in the stands, Ryan’s form is demanding Test consideration ahead of Wales’ tour of Australia in July.

Lynagh, back from a hamstring complaint, pushed his case too as he ran hard at the line and found gaps with short passes to slice up the visitors.

The Force beat the Reds 40-31 in Perth earlier this season but barely threatened the Reds’ line in the rematch to the delight of 12,321 appreciative fans.

The Reds (7-6) starved them of possession and defended stoutly to lock in a quarter-final in Hamilton against the Chiefs with one regular-season game remaining.

The result left the Force (4-9) in ninth, needing to beat the Brumbies in Perth next week and hope the eighth-placed Fijian Drua – and equal-ninth Crusaders – lose their remaining games.

Flanker Fraser McReight also scored twice, his second another beautiful full-field shift featuring a brilliant show-and-go from 50-game centre Josh Flook.

Their win came a week after a sapping away loss to Fiji, the Reds the first of six teams to achieve that feat this season.

AAP