After the Bulls and Crusaders, the Reds claimed another Super 14 scalp on Friday, toppling the Stormers 16-13 in Brisbane.
After the Bulls and Crusaders, the Reds claimed another major Super 14 scalp on Friday, toppling the Stormers 16-13 in Brisbane.
The result provisionally puts the Reds and Stormers joint top of the Super 14 standings.
Unfortunately the protagonists were unable to sustain the pace of an exciting opening twenty minutes as a slippery surface and two well-organised defences meant the all-out attack wasn't a real option.
There was only one team in it in the opening ten minutes as the Stormers showed their clear intention to move the ball around.
Andries Bekker has had a barnstorming season so far and he got the scoreboard ticking after just three minutes, stretching out an arm to score under the posts off turnover ball and deft pass from Duane Vermeulen.
Of course it didn't take long for the Reds to have a go themselves, but Quade Cooper was off target with two penalty attempts to leave the score at 7-0 the end of the first quarter.
The penalty count was decidedly against the visitors and Cooper eventually found his range with his third and fourth efforts to narrow the gap to one point on the half-hour mark.
Peter Grant had a chance to extend the lead just before the break after Will Chambers' shoulder charge challenge on Bryan Habana but the fly-half's effort was just wide meaning the teams headed for the sheds with the Stormers leading 7-6.
Cooper put the hosts in front from the kicking tee shortly after the restart before kicking ahead for Chambers to chase and score in the corner. The Reds fly-half then landed a great conversion to give the Reds a 16-7 lead.
The Stormers struck back almost immediately though as Grant split the uprights twice in the space of a few minutes to make it a three-point game.
A scrappy last quarter so no points scored although Will Genia was unlucky to be denied a try by the TMO in the dying minutes.
The losing bonus point means the Stormers join the Reds, Bulls and Crusaders at the top of the table on 34 points. But the Reds look good for a home semi-final with their three co-leaders having to face each other in the final weeks.
Man of the match: Hats off to the whole Reds pack, who stood up to a far larger South African pack. We'll give our gong to loosehead Ben Daley for his tireless graft in the tight loose and some solid scrummaging.
For the Reds:
Pens: Cooper 3
For the Stormers:
Pens: Grant 2
Reds: 15 Peter Hynes, 14 Brando Va'aulu, 13 Will Chambers, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (c), 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Adam Byrnes, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Jack Kennedy, 19 Ezra Taylor, 20 Jake Schatz, 21 Ben Lucas, 22 Luke Morahan.
Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Sireli Naqelevuki, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan De Jongh, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 JC Kritzinger.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 JD Moller, 18 Anton Van Zyl, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Willem De Waal, 22 Tim Whitehead.
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)