Digby Ioane has come back to haunt the Queensland Reds, marking his return to Suncorp Stadium with a terrific try at the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens.
With just first touch of the tournament in his first official appearance for the Crusaders, the 31-year-old former Wallaby turned back the clock to beat four Reds defenders on a stunning 40m run.
It opened the scoring for the New Zealand side, who went on to record a cruisy 28-0 win over Queensland – the most one-sided result of the tens so far.
“He’s done that plenty of times at Suncorp Stadium so nothing new to him,” Reds captain James Slipper said.
“He’s a class player, it’s actually really good to see him back in Super Rugby.”
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said it was the “perfect” start to life in red and black for Ioane, who has signed for the franchise as a replacement for departed Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo.
His performance suggests he’ll have no problem adapting to the Crusaders’ slick, attacking style, which was on full display against the Reds.
“He’s a quiet assassin, actually,” Robertson said.
“He’s starting to get to know the boys, hasn’t danced yet.
“The way he played and the explosiveness – I think people realise he has still got it, but he’s still feeling his way in Christchurch and so far, so good.”
The other key highlight of the match was from another old Reds favourite, wildcard Radike Samo, who showed he has lost none of his power since retiring with a bone-rattling tackle on Seta Tamanivalu.
“It was a good hit, wasn’t it? It was all fair, all above board,” Robertson said.