Planet Rugby

Super Cooper sinks the 'Saders

19th February 2010 09:18

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Quade Cooper reds 2010 strip

Quade Cooper: A new record for the Reds

Fly-half Quade Cooper scored 31 points as Reds demolished the Crusaders 41- 20 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Friday.

It didn't take long for the 2010 Super 14 to dish up an upset, and what an upset it turned out to be as the Reds scored their first win over the tournament favourites in eleven years.

And the thoroughly deserved it.

The Reds dominated all the stats, especially in terms of possession as they ran in four tries to two to grab a bonus point.

Cooper's 31 points in a game is new record for the Reds and if continues in his current form, the boys from Brisbane will surprise a few more teams this year.

The Crusaders error-count will have coach Todd Blackadder worried while his opposite number Ewen McKenzie will be delighted with his team's fantastic display both on attack and defence.

The Crusaders uncharacteristically gave away two penalties at rucks within minutes of the kick-off. Quade Cooper missed the first but made no such mistake with the second to give the Reds an early lead.

Referee Craig Joubert was allowing no leeway at breakdown and Dan Carter was able to level the scores on the ten-minute mark. Carter then kicked a wonderful penalty from the touchline to put the 'Saders head after a quarter-of-an-hour.

There was no lack of initiative from the Reds, but the visitors' flat defence was giving them no room to work with.

The Crusaders however had given away as many penalties in the first 25 minutes as they did in the whole game last week, and Cooper was able to pop another three-pointer over to make to 6-6 as Owen Franks was sent to the bin for his deliberate ruck infringement.

The Reds numerical advantage would tell with half time looming as Morgan Turinui broke through and put Rod Davies into space. The winger was stopped just short of the line, but Peter Hynes and Cooper were up quickly and the full-back's pass saw the fly-half dive over to round of a fabulous try.

It was one-way traffic from then on.

The fly-half added another penalty before the break and the Reds were good value for their 14-6 half-time lead.

The second period started the way the first had ended with Cooper extending the lead to fourteen from the kicking tee with two more penalties.

The Reds continued to make the running and moved further ahead when Digby Ioane ran onto Anthony Faingaa's chip for the second try.

The Crusaders weren't done and when Andy Ellis scored from close range after Reds lock Adam Byrnes was sent to the bin, a comeback seemed inevitable.

But the home side would strike straight back as Turinui broke clear on the counter attack before Davies used his speed to run around the Crusaders cover defence for the Reds' third try.

Cooper sealed the deal with an intercept try with handful of minutes to play, securing the bonus point in the process.

A late try for Brad Thorn will be scant consolation for a Crusaders team that was totally outplayed.

Man of the match: No surprises here, Quade Cooper gets our vote for the second week in a row.

The Scorers

For the Reds:
Tries:
Cooper 2, Ioane, Davies
Cons: Cooper 3
Pens: Cooper 5

For the Crusaders:
Tries:
Ellis, Thorn
Cons:Carter 2
Pens: Carter 2

Yellow cards: O. Franks (Crusaders - 24th min - repeated ruck infringement); Byrnes (Reds - 61st min - hands in ruck)

Reds: 15 Peter Hynes, 14 Digby Ioane, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Rod Davies, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Jake Schatz, 5 James Horwill, 4 Adam Byrnes, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Robert Simmons, 19 Leroy Houston, 20 Richard Kingi, 21 Tim Walsh, 22 Will Chambers.

Crusaders: 15 Colin Slade, 14 Jared Payne, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 George Whitelock, 6 Kieran Read (c), 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ti'i Paulo, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Brad Thorn, 19 Jonathan Poff, 20 Kahn Fotuali'i, 21 Adam Whitelock, 22 Sean Maitland.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), Damian Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)

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