Brisbane - Quade Cooper set a franchise point-scoring record to steer the Reds to a high-scoring 43-33 Super Rugby win over the Cheetahs here on Friday.As it happened: Reds v Cheetahs
The Wallaby playmaker kicked 18 points from three conversions and four penalty goals as the Reds bounced back from their heavy 32-5 loss to the Waratahs to claim a bonus point victory.
The Reds scored five tries to three with Cooper becoming the Reds' highest points scorer with 638 career points, eclipsing Elton Flatley's 629.
Although the Reds were largely dominant throughout the match they needed a Cooper penalty after the siren to deny the men from Bloemfontein a losing bonus point for finishing within seven points.
Chris Feauai-Sautia, switched to the centres, scored two tries and could have bagged a hat-trick as Rayno Benjamin kicked the ball out of his hands over the tryline. A penalty try was awarded, with Benjamin subsequently yellow carded in the opening two minutes.
Both teams exchanged converted tries to be locked at 14-14 after 11 breathless minutes before the Reds gained the edge through further tries to Feauai-Sautia and hooker James Hanson to lead 29-20 at half-time.
The Cheetahs looked out on their feet in an expansive second half and Feauai-Sautia scored his second try off a Cooper grubber kick to lead 34-23 after 54 minutes.
But the South Africans got back to trail 40-33 with seven minutes left when replacement Elgar Watts trailed a Sarel Pretorious line-break to score near the posts.
But Cooper kicked his fourth penalty after the full-time siren to give the Reds a 10-point winning margin and leave them unbeaten in four encounters with the Cheetahs in Brisbane.
It was the Reds' second win of the season to close to within one point of the Waratahs in the Australian Conference.
"It was good to get a win at home, especially with a bonus point," said Reds skipper James Horwill.
"We probably let them back into the game with our errors and we know that's the sort of team they are, they feed off your mistakes and we gave them too much good ball and they capitalised on it.
"We wanted to play a bit more field position and put them under pressure at the right end of the park especially when we had that lead and they got back into the game."
It was more disappointment for the Cheetahs, who have now lost three of their opening four games and head to New Zealand where they take on the Hurricanes in Wellington next weekend.
"At times we played a bit better than last weekend, but there's still a lot to work on and we're very disappointed," said Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss
The Reds now head to South Africa where they face the Sharks in Durban next weekend.
Tries: Penalty try, Chris Feauai-Sautia (2), Rod Davies, James Hanson
Conversions: Quade Cooper (3)
Penalties: Cooper (4) Cheetahs:
Tries: Francois Venter, Boom Prinsloo, Elgar Watts
Conversions: Johan Goosen (2), Watts
Penalties: Goosen (4)
15 Aidan Toua, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Mike Harris, 11
Dom Shipperley, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam
Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2
James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley
Substitutes: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Ed
O'Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Anthony Fainga’a, 23
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno
Benjamin, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Willie le Roux, 10
Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter
, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies
Labuschagné, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Maks
van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss
(captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Ligtoring
Landman, 20 Jean Cook
, 21 Sarel Pretorius
, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Cornal