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Reds smash Bulls to remain Super rugby leaders

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Article Published: Saturday 16 April 2011






The Reds took their record to six wins in a row when they smashed last year's Super Rugby champions the Bulls 39-30 in Brisbane.

The Reds outscored the Bulls by six tries to three and dominated the match throughout. The Bulls third try by Bjorn Basson two minutes from time made the match look a lot closer than the reality.

The Bulls were a vastly improved team to the one that lost 27-0 to the Crusaders last weekend but were again outplayed by the pace of the Reds as they were last year in the same fixture.

Morne Steyn kicked six of his seven attempts at goal while his opposite number Quade Cooper had an off night with the boot but hardly put a foot wrong in the match as he directed the Reds back line.

The chances of the Bulls defending their title now look highly unlikely as they trail the Reds and Crusaders by 14 points and the Stormers and Sharks in their own conference by 8 points although the Stormers still have a match to play this round.

The Bulls have playd eight matches and won four for a 50 % return in 2011. They face the Force in Perth next weekend before returning home to South Africa.

Conversely in Brisbane the Reds are enjoying their best season and it is clear that Ewen McKenzie is building something special with the Reds who have beaten last year's finalists for two year's running.

The Reds have played eight matches in 2011 and have only lost once. That loss was to the Waratahs who beat them in Sydney and next week the Waratahs travel to Brisbane for the return match.

The result equals the Reds longest winning streak in the professional era and was the Reds ninth in a row at Suncorp Stadium.

Only once in the professional rugby era, in 1996, have the Reds reached the six game milestone.

The Reds produced an enthralling first half of football to lead 17-13 before turning on the afterburners to pile on four second half tries, two to flyer Luke Morahan.

Morahan was one of many standouts but it was again flyhalf Quade Cooper who gained Man of the Match honours with the talented playmaker bringing both maturity and razzle-dazzle.

The 2010 Super Rugby champion Bulls craft their trade on their ability at set-piece, led by captain Victor Matfield, although it was the Reds who won the battle up front with lock Rob Simmons a handful in the lineout and props James Slipper and Ben Daley dominant in the scrums.

The platform was set in the opening half with tries to Cooper and flanker Radike Samo although the Reds were unlucky not to lead by more due to some desperate and enthusiastic Bulls defence.

Morahan almost produced a stunning solo length of the field try where he received the ball near his own line, kicked downfield and regathered, before being pulled down just short.

Faingaa went within inches but was denied with a desperate tackle over the tryline forcing the ball loose.

A frantic final 10 minutes leading into halftime saw tries to Reds flanker Samo and Bulls winger Bjorn Basson, along with a Cooper drop goal and Steyn penalty.

Samo's five pointer came from a Cooper surge down the left flank, before playmaking partner Will Genia switched the attack with a beautiful long ball to Faingaa and eventually the large Fijian.

Morahan scored both five-pointers from well constructed scrum plays while Digby Ioane gave the Reds a comfortable second half lead before producing the electric "turtle" post-try celebration, much to the delight of all those in the crowd who braved the wet conditions.

Skipper James Horwill capped off the memorable and historic evening when he crashed over from close range.

Final Score Reds 39 Bulls 30

Scorers

Reds
Tries - Q Cooper, R Samo, L Morahan 2, Ioane, J Horwill
Pen -
Con - Q Cooper 3 
Drop - Q Cooper
Cards -

Bulls
Tries - B Basson 2, D Rossouw
Pen -M Steyn 3
Con - M Steyn 3
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ian Smith (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
Television match official: Steve Lesczcynski (Australia)

Teams

Reds: Luke Morahan, Rod Davies, Anthony Faingaa, Mike Harris, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Scott Higginbotham, Beau Robinson, Radike Samo, James Horwill (c), Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Saia Faingaa, Ben Daley.

Reserves: James Hanson, Greg Holmes, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Liam Gill, Jake Schatz, Ben Lucas, Will Chambers.

Bulls :Zane Kirchner, Gerhard van den Heever , Stephan Dippenaar , Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Morne Steyn , Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies , Dewald Potgieter , Derick Kuun , Victor Matfield (c), Bakkies Botha , Werner Kruger , Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling.

Replacements: Gary Botha, Rossouw de Klerk , Danie Rossouw, Deon Stegmann , Fourie du Preez, Francois Brummer, Akona Ndungane.

 
 
 
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