Planet Rugby

Reds clinch Brisbane nail-biter

15th May 2010 12:33

Share:

Peter Hynes Reds

Reds: Win 11-try thriller over Highlanders

The Reds edged the Highlanders 38-36 in an enthralling Super 14 clash that went down to the wire at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday.

Trailing by six points and with two minutes left on the clock, Reds' replacement Poutasi Luafutu crossed for his second try of the match which was converted by Quade Cooper to win the game for Queensland.

The Highlanders had a chance to snatch victory after the full-time siren, but full-back Israel Dagg's long-range penalty attempt fell short.

The hosts led their visitors 24-3 at half-time, but the Highlanders hit back with five tries after the break in an inspirational second-half fightback that deserved more.

In one of the most topsy-turvy matches in Super Rugby history, the Reds showed their intent from kick-off with in-form winger Digby Ioane scoring after just 38 seconds.

Cooper put on a show as he produced an outstanding first half by scoring one try and setting up the three others to Ioane, Radike Samo and Peter Hynes - all of them exhilarating five-pointers.

The home side's first-half momentum disappeared with the sin-binning of veteran lock Van Humphries following an all-in brawl just before half-time. Humphries was yellow-carded after reacting to a facial from Highlanders scrum-half Jimmy Cowan with an open-handed strike which sparked an ugly melee.

The signs didn't look good after the restart with Dagg swivelling out of a lazy Ioane tackle and chipping over the top of Cooper to score inside 60 seconds.

Soft tries to prop Chris King and explosive winger Fetu'u Vainikolo saw the Reds big lead disappear and at 24-22, the Brisbane fans were worried. Their fears were realised in the 63rd minute when Vainikolo brushed off Ioane for his second try and a five-point advantage.

With the Reds down 29-24 late in the game, it was Cooper who popped up by combining with Hynes from a kick return to put super sub Luafutu over for his first try of the match.

Highlanders hooker Jason Rutledge stole the lead back but Luafutu's second try from a driving maul with one minute left levelled the scores at 36-all.

Cooper then stepped up again to land the conversion from near touch to send the 26,700 crowd into hysterics.

The result moves the Reds up to their final placing at fifth which is an extraordinary improvement from their 2009 season where they finished thirteenth.

It was a fitting end for the Reds' season, and Ewen McKenzie deserves most of the plaudits for inspiring the Queenslanders and also providing a blueprint for success.

Man of the match: A razzle-dazzle display from Reds pivot Quade Cooper, that included setting up four of his side's tries and scoring one himself makes him a worthy winner of this award. Oh, and he kicked a match-winning conversion.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Ioane, Hynes Cooper, Luafutu 2
Cons: Cooper 4

For Highlanders:
Tries: Dagg, King, Vainikolo, Rutledge
Cons: Dagg 4
Pen: Dagg

Reds: 15 Ben Lucas, 14 Peter Hynes, 13 Will Chambers, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (c), 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Jake Schatz, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Van Humphries, 4 Radike Samo, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Sean Hardman, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Jack Kennedy, 18 Ezra Taylor, 19 Poutasi Luafutu, 20 Ed Quirk, 21 Brando Va'aulu, 22 Richard Kingi.

Highlanders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Kenny Lynn, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Mat Berquist, 9 Jimmy Cowan (c), 8 Steven Setephano, 7 Alando Soakai, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Bronson Murray, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Chris King.
Replacements: 16 Peter Mirrielees, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Joe Tuineau, 19 John Hardie, 20 Scott Cowan, 21 Robbie Robinson, 22 James Paterson.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs Crusaders19:40
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00