Planet Rugby

Early blitz gets job done for Reds

14th March 2010 05:13

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Reds celebrate score against Force

Party time: Plenty of head pats for inside centre Anthony Faingaa

Rampant running rugby from the Reds kept Western Force firmly rooted to the foot of the Super 14 table after an impressive 50-10 win on Sunday.

The damage was done in the first-half in Brisbane as the home crowd enjoyed a superb five-try masterclass. Ewen McKenzie must have been a more than content coach in the dressing room as his in-form charges jogged in with their tails up.

Quade Cooper was once again influential for the Queenslanders, but the dynamism of his two centres - Anthony Faingaa and Digby Ioane - ultimately stole the show with a brace apiece. The duo fed well on whatever their pack served up in the opening 40 minutes. It was quite a banquet.

On an international sidenote before getting to the game itself and it will be very encouraging for Australia coach Robbie Deans that he now seems to have plenty of options in the 10, 12, 13 positions to mull over this coming year.

That aforementioned trio may, apart from an assured-looking pivot Cooper, struggle to start many of the bigger Tests but the back-up it seems is there.

And so to the game which began with what is looking like a glaring concern for Australian franchises this season, as yet another kick-off was butchered by the recipient. Dean Mumm and the Waratahs, you are not alone it seems.

One trend that did not change however was form with the Reds coming out of the blocks firing with two scores by the first eleven minutes. Questions must be raised over the dedication of Western Force's defenders though, as their line seemed flimsy at best.

First up it was decent continuity from the home side that ultimately came down the left side and with centre Faingaa taking the ball flat and hard; he managed to cross for the opener. The Reds' second was soon to follow thanks once again to the same trend, poor first-up tackling coupled with good options being taken. Luke Morahan's crossing made it 12-0.

Matters got much, much worse for the visitors in the next ten. Fly-half Cooper continued to enjoy his new-found confidence since the Wallaby end-of-year tour and once again chose the right option in his 22. The Reds ten chose to chip over to his left wing where Digby Ioane was waiting and from then on it was a foot-race that only had one winner really.

A Cooper penalty soon after took them further clear at 22-3.

The Force were not helping themselves and five lineouts going astray in the opening half-hour hurt them. Add ten missed tackles to that and you get the picture of their woes early on.

On the back of their impressive victory in Hamilton, it looked like the bonus point was on its way and so it proved as they secured it before the interval. Ioane and Faingaa it was again with the pair crossing for their respective braces thanks to their commander Cooper.

The second-half was far from a thrilling a spectacle as the first and remained at seven-all with just four minutes remaining. That was until flank Scott Higginbotham went over for his own brace after an earlier crossing in the 55th minute. It was all over at that point however.

John Mitchell's only five-point success came via wing Nick Cummins wide out but there was little to take from Brisbane as their losing run continues. Next up for them are the Waratahs.

Man of the match: A toss-up between Digby Ioane, Will Genia and Quade Cooper and we have gone for the centre who is now, if he wasn't already, firmly on Robbie Deans' radar. Versatile, powerful and very quick, Ioane was well worth his two scores in Brisbane.

The scorers:

For the Reds:
Tries: A Faingaa 2, Morahan, Ioane 2, Higginbotham 2
Con: Cooper 5, Lucas
Pen: Cooper

For Western Force:
Tries: Cummins
Pen: O'Connor

Reds: 15 Peter Hynes, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Digby Ioane, 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 Rob Simmons, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Adam Byrnes, 19 Jake Schatz, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Morgan Turinui, 22 Will Chambers.

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Scott Staniforth, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 James O'Connor, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 David Hill, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Richard Stanford, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Ben McCalman, 5 Nathan Sharpe (c), 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Tim Fairbrother, 2 Ryan Tyrrell, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Pek Cowan, 17 Matt Dunning, 18 Tom Hockings, 19 Jono Jenkins, 20 Chris O'Young, 21 Sam Harris, 22 Mitch Inman.

Referee: Ian Smith (Australia)
Assistant referees: Paul Marks (Australia), Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

By Adam Kyriacou

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