Planet Rugby

Reds keep pressure on Brumbies

06th July 2012 09:17

Share:

The Reds kept the heat on Australian conference pace-setters the Brumbies after holding off the Highlanders 19-13 at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.

Defeat means that the Forsyth Barr Stadium outfit once again have to assess how they fell away so badly in the second half of a Super Rugby term.

Jamie Joseph's side began the year so well with five wins from six but ended 2012 with only two successes in their final six competition fixtures.

Meanwhile, the Reds are now just one step away from defending their title in the qualifying rounds as look to finish the regular-season job against the Waratahs next week on home soil. Should the Brumbies slip up in their final two games then it seems the Reds are set to jump on the summit.

It could have been so different, however, as the Highlanders came close to taking a critical victory into the final round, which is in fact their bye week.

But in the end fourteen points from the boot of Mike Harris and a try from James Slipper proved sufficient in winning the game in response to the away side's tries from Adam Thomson and Chris King.

It was tit-for-tat in the opening ten minutes as Mike Delany and Harris traded shots at goal. Despite the Highlanders' early drive to go for a try, they did not follow through with calls to plump for scrums and quick-taps as Jamie Mackintosh eventually pointed to the posts.

Harris replied three minutes later with a leveller from the kicking tee after the visitors were penalised by South African referee Jonathan Kaplan for having hands in a ruck.

What was apparent was the shadow of denting hopes of making the final six. Granted the visitors had less of a chance of making the play-offs after their season had somewhat unravelled following what was once again a promising start from the Dunedin franchise.

Consequently there was to be no further score until the 32nd minute as caution hampered what was expected to be a good game between two teams that like to play. Those who had been treated to the Chiefs and Crusaders moments before were no doubt feeling cheated.

Both coaches made changes at the break as Joseph threw on All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith for Jimmy Cowan and King for captain Mackintosh. Meanwhile, Ewen McKenzie opted for Radike Samo to replace Beau Robinson, with Scott Higginbotham moving to the flank.

Harris' third shot of the game on 48 minutes did help open up breathing space and when Slipper was unmarked on the right wing to go in for a key try, the hosts had a 16-3 cushion.

The Reds looked on course for the win but when Thomson wrestled his way to the ground in the in-goal area and then King replied to three more Harris points, the comeback was on.

But despite the Highlanders' best efforts, it was a decision from their captain Mackintosh to go alone for the line that backfired and the prop was ultimately penalised for being isolated.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Try: Slipper
Con: Harris
Pen: Harris 4

For Highlanders:
Tries: Thomson, King
Pen: Delany

Reds: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Chris F'Sautia, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Jake Schatz, 5 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Radike Samo, 19 Jarrad Butler, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Ben Tapuai, 22 Nick Frisby.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Siale Piutau, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 James Haskell, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Nick Crosswell, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (capt).
Replacements: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Chris King, 18 Jarrad Hoeata, 19 Tim Boys, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Chris Noakes, 22 Kenny Lynn.

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
Television match official: Steve Lesczcynski (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615