Planet Rugby

Two on the trot for Reds

03rd March 2012 07:51

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reds celebrate v force

Reds: Brush aside the Force

Reds pivot Mike Harris kicked seven penalties and two conversions to help his team see off the Force 35-20 in Brisbane on Saturday.

Harris was once again instrumental with the boot and has yet to miss a kick this season. He had a chance to equal John Eales' Queensland record for most penalty kicks in a match (eight) on full-time, but Will Genia went for a quick-tap instead which led to zero points being scored in the end.

What looked to be an easy win for the hosts, turned out to be a tough day at the office in their first game at Suncorp Stadium this season, with the Force fighting back from being 23-6 down at the break to 26-20 after the interval.

However, ill-discipline by the visitors was punished by the dead-eye goal-kicking Harris.

The torrential rain at the Suncorp Stadium made handling difficult but it was the Reds who adapted the better to the conditions.

Harris opened his account on nine minutes, with the Reds fly-half making no mistake from close range. And the Reds fans were on their feet after 21 minutes following a superb finish from centre Ben Tapuai. The outside centre held off two tackles as he charged down the flank to score in the corner.

The Force, though, regrouped well and two penalties in quick succession from James Stannard brought them back into the game.

However Harris slotted over a penalty and then converted Radike Samo's interception try - with the number eight snaffling Stannard's pace before outpacing the Force defence.

And another Harris penalty meant the Reds entered the break with a 23-6 lead. The advantage was increased by three immediately after the restart, with Harris on target once again.

However the Force hit back on 50 minutes with David Pocock breaking the tackle of Beau Robinson to score from Stannard's quick-tap. And the Reds were left on the ropes as more weak tackling saw Stannard danced his way over - with the half-back converting his own try.

Harris steadied the nerves with a beautifully struck penalty from out wide, giving the Reds a 29-20 lead.

Reds lock Rob Simmons should have put the game beyond doubt but he knocked on with the line at his mercy - but the boot of Harris gave the home side some breathing space.

And with time running out, Harris landed his ninth successive kick to seal the win.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Tapuai, Samo
Cons: Harris 2
Pens: Harris 7

For Western Force:
Tries: Pocock, Stannard
Cons: Stannard 2
Pens: Stannard 2

Reds: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Jono Lance, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Will Genia, 8 Radike Samo, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Jake Schatz, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 Albert Anae, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Van Humphries, 19 Eddie Quirk, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Ben Lucas, 22 Rod Davies.

Western Force: 15 Alfie Mafi, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Patrick Dellit, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 James Stannard, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock (c), 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Kieran Longbottom, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Angus Cottrell, 20 Ben Seymour, 21 Rory Sidey, 22 Sam Wara.

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