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Reds get the job done

19th May 2012 09:53

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quade cooper reds v lions

Winning return: Quade Cooper

The Reds were made to work for their Super Rugby victory but got the job done in beating the Lions 34-20 in Brisbane on Saturday.

The defending champions held a slender 13-6 lead at half-time, but managed to pull away after the break courtesy of three second-half tries that also resulted in the hosts bagging their all-important bonus point.

Whilst it wasn't the most convincing of wins for the home side, it certainly was a crucial one as Queensland continue to build some much-needed momentum ahead of their showdown with the Brumbies next weekend.

It was the Reds' second win on the trot while the Lions have now registered ten losses in a row and remain rock-bottom. Ewen McKenzie's side moves to 36 points, temporarily level in the last wildcard spot with the Sharks.

Fly-half Quade Cooper made a positive return from injury after a seven month layoff and played the entirety of the first half, showing flashes of his attacking best.

Defending at full-back, Cooper made a couple of midfield breaks and his combination with scrum-half Will Genia showed little rust however some of the more unpredictable plays failed to come off.

Mike Harris enjoyed another perfect night with the boot, kicking four conversions and two penalties.

In-form teenage flanker Liam Gill crossed for the first try of the match, while Lions pivot Elton Jantjies kept his team in the hunt with two first-half penalties.

The Reds broke free after the break though with tries to hooker Saia Faingaa, debutant winger Chris F'Sautia and a trademark long range effort from Genia to secure the bonus point.

Coach Ewen McKenzie gave the bench a run with 20 mins to play and the Lions staged a mini comeback scoring two tries through their reserves Martin Buzuidenhout and Jaco Kriel.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Gill, S Faingaa, Feauai-Sautia, Genia
Cons: Harris 4
Pens: Harris 2

For Lions:
Try: Bezuidenhout, Kriel
Cons: Jantjies 2
Pens: Jantjies 2

Reds: 15 Ben Lucas, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia; 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Jake Schatz, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: James Hanson, Ben Daley, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Eddie Quirk, Nick Frisby, Chris F'sautia, Luke Morahan.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Joshua Strauss (c), 7 Grant Hattingh, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Franco van der Merwe, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 CJ Van der Linde, 18 Cobus Grobbelaar, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Ruan Combrinck, 22 James Kamana.

Referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand)

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Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Sharks831
2Brumbies825
3Chiefs825
4Waratahs824
5Western Force823
6Crusaders822
7Hurricanes821
8Highlanders719
9Bulls919
10Lions916
11Blues816
12Reds816
13Melbourne Rebels816
14Stormers810
15Cheetahs99