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Graham praises Reds character against Stormers

Reds head coach Richard Graham praised his team's character

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Article Published: Sunday 30 March 2014|

Reds head coach Richard Graham has said that their 22-17 Super Rugby victory over the Stormers at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday is particularly pleasing due to the short turnaround from South Africa.

The Reds lost their tour matches in South Africa - against the Sharks and Lions - and traveled back to Brisbane to face the Stormers who were already on the East coast of Australia as they played the Brumbies in Round 6.

The Reds were once again led in the scoring by an outstanding performance from flyhalf Quade Cooper, who landed 17 points, including a long range drop goal, to make the game safe late in the second half. Lock Rob Simmons scored the Reds only try.

Heavy rain during the week meant conditions were slippery underfoot at Suncorp with the temperature a humid 27 degrees at kick off.

But despite the conditions the Reds were determined, as always, to keep the ball in hand and played open, enterprising Rugby right from the whistle.

"It was a great win, it was outstanding. On the back of the travel and the shortened week I thought we showed a lot of character, " said Graham.

"I'm just really proud of the group. "

The Stormers struggled with their line out throughout the match which prevented the game from flowing as several not straight line throws meant a high number of scrums in the contest.

The Reds led the Stormers 13-10 at half time and then slowly edged ahead in the second half to lead by 12 points.

The Stormers however finally got a lineout right and Sikhumbuzo Notshe forced his way over from five metres out after a Duane Vermuelen take.

Demetri Catrakilis, on for Peter Grant, converted from the touchline to make it 22-17 and set up a grandstand finish with only five minutes remaining.

The Stormers attacked desperately in the final minutes but the Reds defended resolutely to take out a well-deserved 22-17 victory.

The Reds now face the high-flying Western Force at Suncorp Stadium next Saturday in a crucial Australian Conference derby.

Graham said he was looking forward to another match at home on the back of a full week of preparation.

"We'll recover really well and prepare well, but I guess the challenge for us is to continue improving each week in the way we want to play.

"Next week will be a good opportunity for us, having had a full week of preparation. "

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