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Reds hold on to beat Chiefs and stay on top

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Article Published: Saturday 18 June 2011|

The Reds finished the regular season on top of the Super Rugby standings after they beat the Chiefs 11-19 in Hamilton.

The result means that the Reds will host the 2011 Super Rugby final if they get through the second round of play offs.

The Reds also get a bye next weekend while the teams who finish from third to sixth play each other in a knockout.

The Chiefs finish as the last placed New Zealand team with 6 wins, one draw and nine losses from the Super Rugby season.

The Reds led 6-10 at half time after an early try by Liam Gill which was converted by Quade Cooper who also added a penalty.

The Reds from Queensland were the most consistent team in the competition with 13 wins from 16 games, although captain James Horwill said form so far counted for nothing going into the knockout rounds of the competition.

"To finish the season as number one is a massive effort and it shows the constancy this team's been building towards, and I'm really proud of that, but the finals is a whole new ball game," he said.

The Reds did not have it all their own way against the Chiefs, the bottom side in the New Zealand conference, who were determined to give departing stars Mils Muliaina, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Aled de Malmanche a memorable send off.

After a slow start they produced a storming finish, dominating the final quarter but were unable to narrow the gap.

The match finished with a try apiece, and the Reds had to rely on the boot of flyhalf Quade Cooper to carry them home.

Cooper, who started the game with 196 points for the season, landed four penalties and a conversion for a match haul of 14 to become the second player behind the Bulls' Morne Steyn to top 200 points this year.

At the start of the game it was the Reds who were clearly more fired up from the kick off.

They had points on the board within five minutes when Liam Gill scored after the Queensland eight demolished the Chiefs' pack in a maul.

The 19-year-old flanker was the standout forward for the Reds in the first half with his ability to steal the ball at will off the Chiefs forwards.

But the Reds were guilty of not being able to maintain the momentum as the game progressed and were unable to generate the points their dominant supply of possession suggested they should.

The Chiefs never seriously threatened the try line in the first half but stayed in touch with the Reds through two penalties by Stephen Donald and at halftime they trailed 6-10.

The Reds regained control when play resumed and spent nearly 20 minutes camped deep inside the Chiefs' territory.

Their best try scoring opportunity was lost when Will Chambers knocked on when Cooper put him into a gap close to the line, but the points kept coming as Cooper landed three more penalties to put the Reds ahead 19-6.

In the final quarter the Chiefs turned down kickable penalties in search of an elusive try but they were regularly denied by a dogged Queensland defence.

Fritz Lee eventually found the line with three minutes remaining but although the game stretched three minutes into injury time they were unable to score again.

Final Score Chiefs 11 Reds 19


Tries - F Lee
Pen - S Donald 2
Con -
Drop -
Cards - Romana Graham (17th min) Yellow

Tries - L Gill
Pen - Q Cooper 4
Con - Q Cooper
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee: Keith Brown
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson, Nick Briant
Television match official: Mike Fraser


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

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

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

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