Planet Rugby

Reds triumph in Australian arm-wrestle

01st June 2013 09:57

Share:

The Reds kept their play-off hopes alive with a hard-fought 33-20 win over the Rebels in Brisbane on Saturday.

A much-improved second-half showing from the home side saw them take the honours in what was a slugfest of a derby.

In a match that was billed as a duel between the two number tens, Quade Cooper and James O'Connor, it was the Rebels man who took the early advantage with a penalty in the third minute to open the scoring. Cooper responded in kind 11 minutes later as the two teams looked to find a foothold in the match.

After a strong start from the Rebels, the Reds enjoyed the better of the first quarter but were dealt a blow in the 21st minute when flanker Beau Robinson was sent to the sin bin for an unnecessary cheap shot at Scott Fuglistaller. The flanker can consider himself lucky to have spent just 10 minutes off the park, with multiple blows unleashed.

From the resulting penalty Cadeyrn Neville was held up after a strong drive. The Rebels then found themselves camped metres from the Reds line as twice the hosts were penalised at scrum time and twice Scott Higginbotham elected to scrum once more.

When the ball eventually moved to the backs the ball was coughed up and the Reds cleared. Almost as important as keeping their visitors out was that much of Robinson's time off the park had been eaten away.

Matters would get worse for the Rebels as after having so much of the play, Luke Morahan picked up the first try of the match as he intercepted a flat pass from Rory Sidey to race home unopposed.

The Rebels responded almost immediately though as Cooper made the first of a number of missteps as he failed to see Fuglistaller racing up on his blindside as he prepared to make a clearing kick. The flanker charged down the kick and was able to gather and dive over for the five-pointer.

With the scores level at 10-10, a Cooper drop goal two minutes before the break looked to have given the Reds the lead heading into the half, but the fly-half would soon be left red-faced once more.

Again it was a clearing kick that proved his downfall as he hammered the ball into Nic Henderson in front of him, with Sidey on hand to claim the rebound. An O'Connor conversion put the Rebels 17-13 up at the interval.

Cooper and O'Connor traded penalties early in the second forty before the Rebels were dealt a hammer blow in the 51st minute when Higginbotham was forced off the field with a shoulder injury.

The loss of their captain coincided with a marked increase in tempo as the Reds took control of both territory and possession in the final half hour.

With his pack on the front foot, Cooper began to pull the strings with aplomb.

The Reds were rewarded for some attacking intent when Jake Schatz dived over from a maul after the home side had declined the change to take three points, instead setting up an attacking line-out.

Cooper extended the home side's lead with a penalty and made amends for earlier errors as he somehow managed to stretch out an arm and dot down in the 68th minute after a strong run into traffic - certainly not a trademark move.

The game had got away from the Rebels and it was a matter of damage limitation for the Rebels, but they couldn't prevent the Reds from picking up the bonus-point try as Ben Lucas crossed for the fourth try in the final play of the match.

The scorers:

For the Reds:
Tries: Morahan, Schatz, Cooper, Lucas
Con: Cooper, Harris
Pen: Cooper 2
Drop goal: Cooper

For the Rebels:
Tries: Fuglistaller, Sidey
Con: O'Connor 2
Pen: O'Connor 2

Reds: 15 Ben Lucas, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Ed Quirk, 5 James Horwill (capt), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson,1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Ed O'Donoghue,19 Radike Samo, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Mike Harris.

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom English, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Lachlan Mitchell, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Jarrod Saffy, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Cadeyrn Neville, 19 Gareth Delve, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Bryce Hegarty, 22 Kimami Sitauti.

Referee: James Leckie

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821