Planet Rugby

Reds smash-and-grab in Hamilton

05th March 2010 08:19

Share:

Daniel Braid v Chiefs

Sterling effort: Man of the match Daniel Braid

The Reds travelled to Hamilton with few hopes, conceded three tries in the first 20 minutes, but beat the Chiefs 23-18 on Friday.

Quade Cooper's kicking precision, in direct contrast to opposite number Stephen Donald's awful night, made a significant difference as the fly-half finally won a game in the town where he grew up.

The Chiefs' coaching staff had voiced their irritation at being forced to play on a Friday after a three-week tour spanning eleven time zones from which many players had only returned on Monday, citing understandable concerns over fatigue.

They looked at times to be justified claims, with the Chiefs forwards slow to react at times and the backs becoming more and more ragged with their handling, meaning the Reds began to get back into the game despite a desperate opening.

Within ten minutes the Chiefs looked to be cruising. Three minutes in Sitiveni Sivivatu had powered through some tackles that showed just how rabbit-in-headlights the young Reds back three were at the game's outset.

Six minutes later Sivivatu sparked a sweeping counter-attack down the left which covered half the field, before the ball was swung right for a typically racy finish from Lelia Masaga - dancing feet celebration and all.

Stephen Donald couldn't convert either of the tries, nor the third, scored by Sona Taumalolo, but at least it was his scorching break that led to the ruck 5m out from which Taumalolo was able to barge over. Out wide, the Chiefs were rampant.

They may have struggled out wide, but the Reds puts up plenty of fight in the forwards and when Sivivatu was given offside chasing up a kick, the solid Reds scrum gave a platform from which Quade Cooper was able to pop a delicious little pass to Will Chambers off his wing, off Cooper's shoulder, and under the posts.

Donald finally found his radar just after the half-hour with a penalty, after Brando Va'aulu was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle on Sivivatu but still the forward pressure from the Reds kept the Chiefs frustrated, enough to win two penalties for Cooper to land and reduce the gap to 18-13 even when down to 14 men.

Mistakes had crept into the Chiefs' game by then and they looked even more sluggish after the break.

Cooper missed a penalty which would have made the game a two-pointer and Chiefs coach Ian foster reacted to the bullying his pack was suffering by bringing on front row replacements.

Almost immediately they won a penalty, but Donald again put his kick to the right. He left the field shortly afterwards. On 57 minutes, Cooper landed his third to make it 18-16 and the home side looked hangdog.

More Chiefs ball was spilled in the centre and Luke Morahan hacked ahead before displaying blistering speed to beat Muliaina to the ball, hack ahead once more and get the bounce, just as Masaga caught up. But Morahan had enough momentum to get over the line by the posts and Cooper's conversion made it 23-18 to the visitors.

Cue the Chiefs' arousal from their slumber. Masaga danced down the right and found Aled de Malmanche inside but the Chiefs then went right again when they should have gone left and lost the ball.

With the backs misfiring the forwards took the job on for the final quarter-hour. They had no fewer than thirteen plugs at the Reds' line at one point but then Daniel Braid rounded off some fabulous Reds defence by catching Liam Messam holding onto the ball.

Then, after Morahan had again hacked a spilled ball downfield, it was the Chiefs' turn to defend grittily for ten phases, with Messam's tackle on Chambers proving the key moment. Eight minutes to go.

Turinui broke some limp midfield tackling to set up more field position and the Reds would surely have wrapped it up had Chambers managed to hold on to Turinui's scoring pass two phases later.

But despite a fraught final two minutes, which included a botched Chiefs line-out on their own line, the Reds clung on.

Man of the match: A close call, as both Will Genia and Quade Cooper did so well with all the scrappy ball that came their way. But when a win is based on such sterling forward effort you look to the pack and nobody did more than Daniel Braid.

The scorers:

For the Chiefs:
Tries: Sivivatu, Masaga, Taumalolo
Pen: Donald

For the Reds:
Tries: Chambers, Morahan
Cons: Cooper 2
Pens: Cooper 3

Chiefs: 15 Mils Muliaina (c), 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Callum Bruce, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Colin Bourke, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Culum Retallick, 4 Romana Graham, 3 Nathan White, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Toby Smith, 18 Jarrad Hoeata, 19 Luke Braid, 20 Junior Poluleuligaga, 21 Mike Delany, 22 Dwayne Sweeney.

Reds: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Will Chambers, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Brando Va'aulu, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (c), 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Van Humphries, 4 Adam Byrnes, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Robert Simmons, 19 Jake Schatz, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Ben Tapuai, 22 Blair Connor.

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821