Sport Taniela Tupou's tearful Mother's Day tribute after Super Rugby epic

06:05  09 may  2021
06:05  09 may  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Taniela Tupou could barely hold back his tears as he spoke with Sonny Bill Williams following his Queensland Reds side's epic Super Rugby Au final win over the Brumbies on Saturday night.

The tighthead prop put in a mountain of work as the Reds stole a 19-16 win after five minutes of injury time in front of 42,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium.

Tupou went agonisingly close to scoring the match-winner from close range, before flyhalf and captain James O'Connor slid over the line moments later.

The Brad-Thorn coached side was beaten 28-23 by the Brumbies in last year's decider, before rebounding to claim the Reds' first Super Rugby title in 10-years.

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The win is extra special for Tupou. The ninth of 11 kids, the 24-year-old hasn't seen his family in two years due to COVID-related travel restrictions.

"Last time I saw my family was back in 2019," an emotional Tupou said.

"This is for you, mum. It's Mother's Day tomorrow, so happy Mother's Day."

Tupou, whose father died when he was nine, regularly sends money back to his family and speaks to his mum, Loisi, almost every day.

Born in Tonga, Tupou went to school in Auckland before being signed by the Reds. He made his Super Rugby debut in 2016, earned a Wallabies start a year later and has developed into one of the best players in Australia over the past four years.

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Tupou put in a huge performance in Saturday's win, nearly powering over for the match-winner at the death.

The Brumbies were down to 13 men after Darcy Swain and Luke Reimer were sent to the sin bin.

Despite being forced to pack two scrums with just six players, the Brumbies held strong, before O'Connor dived over for the winner in the 85th minute.

Asked about the two late yellow cards, a shattered Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said plenty, without saying much at all.

"I can't say too much to be honest," he said.

"Just as long as everyone's accountable for their performance out there tonight.

"I know the players are and the coaches are so that's my only hope.

"I thought when we held the guy up, there was no advantage but then there was a penalty, so that's another crack.

"In the end it just became incredibly tough for us to hold them out, and our boys were exhausted ... an interesting game to watch."

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