Cooper stars as Reds thump Force

Date published: May 30 2015

The Western Force look destined for the Super Rugby Wooden Spoon in 2015 after going 32-10 against the Reds in Perth on Saturday.

Quade Cooper and Lachie Turner scored two tries each in the basement battle as the Reds clinched a rare bonus-point win, just a fourth victory this year for the 2011 champions.

Cooper, in his first game back after a long injury layoff, was the star of the show, scoring a try and creating one for Turner in the first half before following his team-mate's example by bagging a brace in the second half.

One this kind of form, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika will find it very hard to leave Cooper out of his World Cup squad after the fly-half and Will Genia showed some of the form that once made them the most dangerous half-back combination in Super Rugby.

A lot of credit must also go to the Reds back, who continued the improvements shown in recent weeks and made life particularly difficult for the Force at the breakdown.

The result represents the most points the Reds have ever scored in Perth and goes a long way to ensuring they won't finish bottom of the Australian conference.

A try from Force full-back Dane Haylett-Petty just before the break meant the hosts were still in the contest with the Reds leading 17-10 at the interval.

But the Reds never looked like losing, completely shutting the Force out in the second half as they continued to dominate both territory and possession.

The Force started well and Sias Ebersohn opened the scoring early on with a penalty, but the Reds took control of the game near the end of the first quarter. Genia took a quick tap, Samu Kerevi drew the defence before offloading to Cooper, who crossed in the corner, before adding the touchline conversion. 

Cooper added another penalty before his pass behind his back put Turner over the corner. Another excellent conversion took the scores out to 17-3.

Haylett-Petty looked to have been held up over the line under a pile of bodies after another quick tap but the try was awarded with Ebersohn's conversion cutting the gap to seven points.

The Reds put the result to bed shortly after the restart though. Chris Feauai-Sautia drew the last defender before finding Turner on his outside for the winger's second try.

Genia then sliced through a gap before giving it to Cooper on his shoulder for a classic try to secure the bonus point around the hour mark. 

Cooper's third conversion ended the scoring in a well-deserved victory for the Reds. 

The scorers:

For Western Force:
Try: Haylett-Petty
Con: Ebersohn
Pen: Ebersohn

For Reds:
Tries: Cooper 2, Turner 2
Cons: Cooper 3
Pens: Cooper 2

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Sam Wykes, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Patrick Dellit

Reds: 15 James O’Connor, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Karmichael Hunt, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Lachie Turner, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper (c).
Replacements (one to be omitted): Andrew Ready, Pettowa Paraka, Sam Talakai, Ed O’Donoghue, Beau Robinson, Nick Frisby, Jake McIntyre, Ben Tapuai , Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Referee: Matt O'Brien
Assistant Referees: Damien Mitchelmore, Michael Hogan
TMO: Peter Marshall