Planet Rugby

Six in a row for Reds

16th April 2011 09:54

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radike samo reds v bulls

Rampant: Reds try-scorer Radike Samo on the charge

The Reds made it six Super Rugby victories on the trot after beating the Bulls 39-30 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Not since 1996 have the Queenslanders achieved such a feat, as the home side ran in six tries to bank a bonus point win over the defending champions who have now suffered back-to-back defeats.

Reds full-back Luke Morahan bagged a brace in a pulsating game of rugby that saw both sides throw everything but the kitchen sink at one another.

It was a big improvement from the visitors after last week's nightmare result against the Crusaders, and managed three tries of their own. But the Reds were more creative and more clinical than the Bulls who never gave up.

Quade Cooper was immense at fly-half for the Reds, carving up the Bulls defence and drawing gasps of amazement with his bold and brilliant passing game. The only error came from his wayward goal-kicking compared to opposite number Morne Steyn who put on a brilliant performance with the boot.

It was Steyn that opened the scoring with a pinpoint-accurate 50m penalty, but the hosts hit back through a Cooper try after the Reds magician threw a dummy and strolled over untouched under the posts.

Steyn reduced the margin to one point thanks to another long-distance penalty shot, but Cooper dug deep into his bag of tricks and put over a cheeky drop-goal to give his team a 10-6 lead.

Reds flanker Radike Samo then crossed over for a converted try before the break to set up what seemed like a handy 17-6 half-time lead in the 78th minute. But the Bulls hit back straight away thanks to wing Bjorn Basson who caught the Reds napping after flying through to collect their restart and raced in for a splendid solo try.

Steyn converted and at 17-13, the Bulls were still very much in with a shout.

The Bok pivot missed another long-range chance to close within a point and then the Reds switched back on with a try from the top-shelf to Morahan.

Given quick ball from a scrum near half-way, Cooper hit the speedster with a pin-point cut-out pass and Morahan raced 40m untouched for a 22-13 lead.

Reds wing Rod Davies was later pinged for a supposed high tackle on Francois Hougaard, and the Bulls clawed to within six points with 30 minutes left to play on the back of another 50m effort from Steyn.

However, any thoughts of a Bulls comeback was cancelled out after Morahan was celebrating his brace in the 59th minute to secure the four-try bonus point.

The Bulls' chances really took a turn for the worst when a turnover allowed Digby Ioane to toe the ball downfield, win the race, and leap over the try-line, before breaking into a spot of break-dancing.

Replacement Bulls lock Danie Rossouw gave his team a lift when he powered over with 10 minutes to play, but then the Queenslanders hit back when skipper James Horwill flopped over for a well-deserved try.

But the Bulls had the last laugh when Basson capped off a great performance in a losing side by scoring his second try with less than two minutes remaining.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Cooper, Samo, Morahan 2, Ioane, Horwill
Cons: Cooper 3
Drop: Cooper

For Bulls:
Tries: Basson 2, Rossouw
Cons: Steyn 3
Pens: Steyn 3

Reds: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Radike Samo, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons,3 James Slipper, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Liam Gill, 20 Leroy Houston, 21 Ben Lucas, 22 Will Chambers.

Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Stephan Dippenaar, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Derick Kuün, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Danie Rossouw, 19 Deon Stegmann, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Akona Ndungane.

Referee: Bryce Lawrence

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