News24

Reds clinch top log spot

2011-06-18 09:09

Hamilton - The Reds secured top spot in the Super Rugby standings and home advantage throughout the playoffs with a controlled 19-11 victory over the Chiefs in the Hamilton rain on Saturday.

With an unassailable 66 points from their 16 regular season games, the Reds will now have a week off before hosting a semi-final in Brisbane and, if they get through that, their first Super Rugby final on July 9.

There were few of the Quade Cooper-inspired fireworks that have characterised Reds' performances this year but Will Genia, the other member of their world class halfback partnership, marshalled his forwards superbly to secure a hard-fought win.

The Reds spoiled the Chiefs' lineout and repeatedly stole ball at the breakdown in the first hour, while Cooper punished any infringements with four penalties and moved to 210 points for the season.

"To finish the season as number one is a massive effort," Reds skipper James Horwill said in a televised pitchside interview.

"It shows the consistency we've been building towards and I'm really proud of that. But the finals is a whole different ball game and we'll have a week off now to prepare well."

Teenage flank Liam Gill, who scored the Reds' sole try, and centre Ben Tapuai were only two of several stand-ins to have impressive games, mitigating the absence through injury of a string of first-choice players.

Their semi-final opponents will take heart from the pressure the Chiefs were able exert late in the game but not from the fact that the Reds defence repelled the New Zealanders time and again from close range.

Number eight Fritz Lee did manage to bulldoze over two minutes from time but there was to be no winning farewell for Chiefs coach Ian Foster or captain Mils Muliaina, who is moving to Japan after the Rugby World Cup.

"It was a sad way to finish," said Muliaina. "We came back well but it was a quality side we were playing out there."

It was the Reds forwards who got the first points on the board, capitalising on a catch and drive from a lineout when 19-year-old Gill burrowed over from close range in the seventh minute.

Cooper converted from wide out and added a penalty 10 minutes later after Chiefs lock Romana Graham was sin-binned as the Reds got reward for their dominance up front.

The Chiefs held on to come through the first half hour without any further damage to the scoreline and inched their way back to a 10-6 deficit at halftime through two Stephen Donald penalties.

The home side were back in the contest but the Reds kept up the pressure at the breakdown and three Cooper penalties in nine minutes up to the hour-mark gave them the breathing room they needed in the last 20 minutes.

Teams:

Chiefs:

15 Mils Muliaina (captain), 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Save Tokula, 12 Dwayne Sweeney, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Romana Graham, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Nathan White, 2 Aled de Malmanche, 1 Ben May

Substitutes: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 Matt Vant Leven, 20 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 21 Tim Nanai-Williams, 22 Jackson Willison

Reds:
15 Jono Lance, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Will Chambers, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Dom Shipperley, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Ben Daley

Substitutes: 16 James Hanson, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Dallan Murphy, 22 Caleb Ralph

Reuters

Comments
  • Ace Ventura - 2011-06-18 09:19

    No home final for Stormers = No cup. There's always next year. He he he.

      sparkies - 2011-06-18 09:25

      No more S15 for the Bulls= embarrassment!!

      Kok - 2011-06-18 09:31

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even a woman has two cups, but the stormers, none. Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!

      sparkies - 2011-06-18 09:38

      Bye Bye Bulls, all the best for next year.

      Ace Ventura - 2011-06-18 09:46

      Sparkies, presumption is the mother of all f-ups.

      sparkies - 2011-06-18 09:49

      Bye,bye Vic,bye bye Bakkies, bye bye fourie du preez i think im a gonna cry bye bye bye bulls good bye!!

      sparkies - 2011-06-18 09:51

      Ace, are you having fun with Kok? He completes you!!

      Luckybugger - 2011-06-18 10:00

      If the Bulls win tonight, chances are they will go all the way, go the REDS

      PureAwesomeness - 2011-06-18 12:38

      So the Stormers are going to be in the final!! Oh, nice one Ace thanks. Always knew you secretly backed the Stormers

      Andy49 - 2011-06-18 17:30

      @Luckybugger IF I get 5 numbers & Power-ball correct on Tuesday I can retire happy. IF the Bulls lose then thank goodness we won't have to read these repetitive, immature insults any longer this year.

  • Zion - 2011-06-18 09:21

    Atta-boy Reds, You are untouchable for this round. Carry on manne.

  • wolverine - 2011-06-18 09:55

    ANDERS AS DIE FLOU BULLE ,WEET DIE STORMERS OM OORSEE TE WEN-EK WEET NET NIE WAT DIE BULLE GAAN DOEN AS HULLE VOLGENDE WEEK TEEN DIE CRUSADERS MOET SPEEL NIE,DAN IS DIT SEKER WEER NULLE VIR DIE BULLE. DIE BULLE IS NET SULKE GROOTBEKKE SOOS JULIUS MALEMME

      Ace Ventura - 2011-06-18 10:27

      Dis net jammer julle weet nie hoe om by die huis te wen nie. Drie games by die huis verloor as ek reg onthou.

      Kok - 2011-06-18 11:55

      Lekker Ace aka Lloyd.

      Carl Muller - 2011-06-18 13:57

      Jy moet nie oorsee kan wen nie, jy moet die finaal wen en net die Bulle weet iets daarvan af op die oomblik......

  • G8 - 2011-06-18 10:35

    Its almost embarrassing to say I support the same team as some of the 'forum regulars'. You have a complete lack of class and grace, no wonder so many people hate Stormer fans!

  • wolverine - 2011-06-18 13:51

    die stormers het meer as genoeg games by die huis gewen-julle maak die kapenaars so sleg maar as dit nie vir kapenaars was nie dan het julle blou dose nooit geweet het hoe lyk bekers nie,waar die wp rugby skool het ,het julle wie kan die die grootste praat skool en julius malemma is die afrigter

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