Digby Ioane scores a hat-trick to secure Reds come-from-behind winA DAVID Pocock hat-trick and a 19-0 lead wasn't enough for the Western Force as a Digby Ioane-inspired Queensland stormed to a 22-19 Super 14 trial win at Ballymore.
It was a case of 'anything you can do I can do better' for Ioane who watched Australia teammate Pocock cross for three tries in 42 minutes before ripping the game away from the Force.
The dynamic winger scored his own hat-trick in a 17-minute period for the Reds to escape with an unlikely comeback victory to the delight of the 5,632-strong Brisbane crowd.
After giving Queensland the lead for the first time with a 74th-minute try off a superb Will Genia inside ball, Ioane snuffed out a gilt-edged Force counter-attack by marking a Haig Sare chip near the line.
In an entertaining but sometimes mistake-riddled match, both sides showed some of their best and worst but Force coach John Mitchell won't be too concerned by the defeat as the Reds turnaround came after he substituted Pocock, skipper Nathan Sharpe and playmaker Matt Giteau.
The Force lost half-back Josh Valentine on game day when they opted against risking a lingering hamstring strain, promoting teenage third-stringer Justin Turner.
It didn't take Turner long to make an impression, scooting off just the third ruck of the match, slicing through the thin defence and drawing a last defender to send Pocock over in the corner.
Pocock made it two within a quarter-hour by crossing with a powerful solo effort after receiving the ball virtually flat-footed 15m out.
The Zimbabwe-born, Queensland-raised forward, who the Reds last year chased hard to return to Brisbane, almost had a first-half hat-trick when fellow flanker Tamaiti Horua barged through slack defence but his inside ball travelled forward to Pocock.
He didn't have to wait long in the second half though, with a turnover from Quade Cooper proving terribly costly for the Reds as the Force quickly punished with Giteau and Junior Pelesasa sending Pocock over with ease.
The Reds finally got on the board in the 50th minute when young lock Rob Simmons dived over from a rolling maul.
The ball was slippery on a typically balmy Brisbane night but neither coach would have been pleased by the ball-handling on show, with even Giteau dropping a couple cold.
In the set pieces, the Force's superior line-out consistently frustrated the Reds' attacking throws but after a shaky start Queensland's scrum scored a marginal points victory. LINK
Only a trial match, although this win should give the Reds some confidence heading into the 09 season.