Vodacom Super 14

Bulls crash to Reds defeat

2010-04-17 14:30
Reds No 10 Quade Cooper (File)
Brisbane - The Reds produced one of their finest fighting displays to topple Super 14 defending champions Bulls 19-12 in a frenetic clash on Saturday.

The rejuvenated Reds, who have finished in the bottom three for the past six southern hemisphere provincial campaigns, stormed into the top four for the first time this season with a committed performance that had the Bulls under constant pressure.

The Bulls could only come out of the torrid contest with a losing bonus point to relinquish the competition lead to the seven-time champions Crusaders on points difference.

But it was a magnificent night for the Reds, who backed themselves in attack and matched the big Bulls' forward pack with their ferocious commitment.

"Being young the team is open to new ideas and we are trying new things every week because we haven't got the experience to play the same way as the Bulls," Reds' coach Ewen McKenzie said.

"We have to be more creative than that and tonight was another good example and it's a testament to the players that they actually listen and implement it."

The Reds, inspired by Wallaby halves Quade Cooper and Will Genia kept the Bulls under pressure with their willingness to run the ball and refusal to kick the ball out and play to the Bulls' strength of Springbok lineout ace Victor Matfield.

The Bulls scored the opening converted try in the sixth minute when blindside flanker Derick Kuun finished off a withering 70-metre counter-attack, but they were not to score again for another 63 minutes.

In that time the Reds, roared on by their 26 000 home crowd, dominated possession and territory and scored long-range tries through flanker Scott Higginbotham and winger Rod Davies.

Higginbotham won a 60-metre chase after a Genia kick to score in the 29th minute and Davies finished off a slick backline passing move after the Reds won the ball on a Bulls' lineout throw in the 58th minute.

The Reds led 19-7 after Davies' try, but they had to withstand a concerted late surge from the South Africans, who pulled to within a converted try when replacement backrower Pedrie Wannenburg scored with 11 minutes left.

But the Reds dug deep to withstand the Bulls' onslaught on their try-line and Genia kicked the ball out of play after the final siren to claim a significant victory.

Yet again after 14 years the Bulls have still to win the final match of an Australasian tour.

"It was a great game and both teams carried the ball a fair bit," Bulls' skipper Matfield said.

"We couldn't get our hands on the ball for 20 minutes after half-time, they kept the ball well and they tested our defence, but then again we kept them out for quite a few phases, well done to them."


15. Peter Hynes, 14. Rod Davies, 13. Will Chambers, 12. Anthony Faingaa, 11. Digby Ioane, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia (captain), 8. Leroy Houston, 7. Daniel Braid, 6. Scott Higginbotham, 5. Van Humphries, 4. Rob Simmons, 3. Laurie Weeks, 2. Saia Faingaa, 1. Ben Daley

Substitutes: 16. Sean Hardman, 17. Greg Holmes, 18. Jack Kennedy, 19. Ezra Taylor, 20. Jake Schatz, 21. Ben Lucas, 22. Brando Va'aulu

15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Gerhard van der Heever, 13. Stephan Dippenaar, 12. Wynand Olivier, 11. Francois Hougaard, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Fourie du Preez, 8. Pierre Spies, 7. Dewald Potgieter, 6. Derick Kuun, 5. Victor Matfield (captain), 4. Danie Rossouw, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Gary Botha, 1. Gurthrö Steenkamp

Substitutes: 16. Bandise Maku, 17. Bees Roux, 18. Flip van der Merwe, 19. Deon Stegmann, 20. Heini Adams, 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22. Pedrie Wannenberg


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