Reds 'not dead yet' as Thorn savours historic NZ win

·2-min read

Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn has declared they're "not dead yet" after a historic upset in New Zealand rescued their season.

A 25-22 win in New Plymouth on Friday night was the Reds' first in New Zealand since 2013.

It ended a 21-game Super Rugby losing streak in the country and the Chiefs' 10-game unbeaten run to begin this season.

The Reds defended 27 phases as the Chiefs searched for a match-winning try well beyond the 80th minute, but were eventually held up over the line by a rabid defensive unit.

"That's what the Queensland jersey's all about, that's what rugby's about and what we've been about," Thorn said.

"This year that hasn't quite been there and then tonight it came out.

"We've been close before ... got the job done tonight but it took everything and we're not dead yet."

The Reds (5-6) have jumped back to sixth, a huge boost after a loss to the NSW Waratahs last week left them in genuine danger of missing the eight-team finals series.

They are now two wins clear of the Melbourne Rebels with a tough run home against the Blues (7-3) in Brisbane, then the Highlanders and Fijian Drua away.

Thorn won't coach the side next year but hopes they'll finish with a flourish after rediscovering their mojo.

"I played under Wayne (Bennett, for Brisbane in the NRL) for 10 years, learnt a few things," he said.

"Finals footy, what does it take ... a low injury rate and momentum.

"I'm hoping tonight builds some of that because it was a flat week last week.

"You take that feeling ... and see if we can take it forward because in seven day it's all going to happen again against the Blues."

The Reds won't have the services of Jordan Petaia (wrist) for the rest of the season, but are hopeful centres Josh Flook and Hunter Paisami will return shortly.