Planet Rugby

Reds too good for limp Lions

10th April 2010 20:23

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Saia Faingaa

Easy does it!: Hooker Saia Faingaa scores for the Reds

The Reds impressive run in the Super 14 continued against the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday, after the visitors left South Africa with a 41-26 win.

The result at Coca-Cola Park leaves the Lions still in search of their first victory of the season after they were comfortably beaten by a Reds outfit that ran their hosts ragged.

Rod Davies scored twice either side of tries from Quade Cooper and Saia Faingaa in a 17-minute burst to hand the visitors a flying start.

The home side hit back through Michael Killian, Franco van der Merwe and Herkie Kruger, but further scores from Peter Hynes and Ezra Taylor sealed what proved to be a straightforward win for the Australian semi-final hopefuls.

Killian grabbed a late consolation try to earn a bonus point for his side, who remain rooted to the bottom of the table after an eighth loss in succession.

They did not do themselves any favours at the start, conceding two tries inside the first five minutes.

The first of those came within 60 seconds when at least three tackles were missed before Cooper's grubber kick to the corner was expertly dotted down by Davies.

Cooper converted the try and then himself crossed the line after all the good work was done by Hynes, whose burst of pace from his own half carved open the home defence - this time the visiting fly-half missing the conversion.

Carlos Spencer had a chance to get the hosts on the board but missed a 50-metre penalty, and the Australian side fully capitalised with another try in the 10th minute.

Hynes was again involved - his pass putting Will Genia away on a run down the left touchline and the Reds captain in turn picked out Saia Faingaa, who held off one tackle to score.

Then came the bonus-point try, set up this time by Anthony Faingaa after his run was stopped less than a metre short, allowing Genia to set up Davies to dive in.

It was 24-0 at that stage and the Lions finally had their first points after 24 minutes when a strong passage of play eventually led to the ball being spread wide for Killian to score.

Spencer hit the upright with his conversion as the score remained 24-5 at the half-time break.

Straight after the restart, Spencer missed the chance to cut into the lead when he put his third kick of the night wide, while Cooper made no mistake when he was presented the opportunity.

The home side then began an attempted fightback with Franco van der Merwe going over - the try coming after 15 phases in the build-up.

Substitute Kruger, who took over the kicking duties from the Spencer, added the extras, before Saia Faingaa was sent to the sin-bin for tackling in the air.

That spurred the home side on even further with Kruger himself going over and adding the conversion to cut the gap to just eight points.

But another lapse from the home side opened up space for Cooper to set up Hynes for a fifth try and another successful kick from the Reds number 10 added further daylight between the two sides.

With time running out, Taylor picked up at the base of the ruck and dived over - the conversion completing a 16-point haul for Cooper - before Killian grabbed his second of the game on the stroke of full-time.

The scorers:

For Lions:
Tries: Killian 2, F van der Merwe, Kruger
Cons: Kruger 3

For Reds:
Tries: Davies 2, Cooper, S Faingaa, Hynes, Taylor
Cons: Cooper 4
Pen: Cooper

Yellow card: S Faingaa, 59th minute (Reds, dangerous tackle)

Lions: 15 Michael Killian, 14 Wigan Pekeur, 13 Walter Venter, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Wandile Mjekevu, 10 Carlos Spencer, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Derick Minnie, 7 Wikus van Heerden, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar (c), 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Nico Luus, 3 Gert Muller, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Hans van Dyk, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Willem Stoltz, 19 Todd Clever, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Herkie Kruger, 22 Marius Delport.

Reds: 15 Peter Hynes, 14 Rod Davies, 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 Van Humphries, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Ezra Taylor, 19 Jake Schatz, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Ben Tapuai, 22 Luke Morahan.

Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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