Injuries to Wallabies pair Samu Kerevi and Lukhan Tui have compounded Queensland's Super Rugby misery after a heartbreaking 34-29 loss to the Blues in Samoa.
Kerevi was forced off with a left ankle injury in the 10th minute of the historic clash at Apia Park, while second-rower Tui hurt his left shoulder just minutes into the second half.
It is a double blow for Australian coach Michael Cheika, who picked them both in his 34-man squad for June's trio of Tests.
Tui, 20, looked shattered as he trudged off just a few days after his shock call-up.
Kerevi, who was born in Fiji and desperate to play them next weekend in Melbourne, also cut a disconsolate figure as he spent most of the night with his ankle on ice.
His injury was the last thing the Reds needed after making a disastrous start, with the Blues scoring two easy tries inside the opening seven minutes through Rene Ranger and Rieko Ioane.
Instead of capitulating, the Reds fought back manfully in a second-half rollercoaster - but in the story of their season, they couldn't finish the job.
They went into halftime down 20-12 but piled on 10 unanswered points to take the lead - and, although they let it slip, they took it back instantly through Taniela Tupou's second try of the night.
Their resistance was finally broken with Stephen Perofeta's runaway effort in the 74th minute.
It continues Australia's miserable losing run against New Zealand franchises, which stands at 27 consecutive defeats.
However, Reds coach Nick Stiles will take heart from the performance after their embarrassing display at home last week against the Western Force, which ended their finals' hopes.
Stiles looked to youth as he made four changes to his starting side to try to provoke a response and two of the players he promoted, Tupou and Andrew Ready, scored tries.
Flanker Adam Korzcyk also came off the bench to cross in the 52nd minute, while Quade Cooper converted three tries and kicked one penalty.