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Reds secure first Dunedin victory over Highlanders

Will Genia has regained his past form and scored the Reds bonus point try

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Article Published: Friday 29 March 2013|

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The Reds won their first Super Rugby match in Dunedin when they beat the Highlanders 33-34 with a bonus point at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The Reds outscored their hosts the Highlanders by four tries to three with Will Genia being the only back to cross for the visitors.

The result keeps the Highlanders at the bottom of the Super Rugby standings and is their fifth consecutive loss of the season. They do however take a losing bonus point from the match.

The Reds had played the Highlanders five times previously in Dunedin and lost on all occasions.

The Reds victory moved them to within a point of the Brumbies although the Brumbies still have to play this week.

The Reds have their first bye next weekend so they are guaranteed four points while the Highlanders host tournament leaders the Brumbies.

The Highlanders decision to splash out on buying veteran internationals Tony Woodcock, Brad Thorn and Ma'a Nonu, to boost their All Blacks stocks to nine, has yet to pay dividends and they are the only team to have lost every game.

The Reds, kicking for position then ploughing to the line, led 21-16 at half-time with tries to James Hanson, Liam Gill and Jake Schatz while Will Genia added the bonus point touchdown 13 minutes into the second half.

The Highlanders, who briefly led 13-7 midway through the first half, were restricted to three tries scored by Elliot Dixon, Hosea Gear and Ma'a Nonu.

In the closing quarter they closed to within one point of the Reds but a match winning try proved elusive as both sides exchanged penalties in the dying minutes.

In the history of Super rugby, the Reds had never beaten the Highlanders in New Zealand but they made clear from the start they wanted that statistic erased from the books.

They patiently worked their way up to the Highlanders line for hooker James Hansen to cross and Quade Cooper to convert for an early 7-0 lead.

The Highlanders struck back with two penalties by Colin Slade who also converted a deft try by Aaron Smith darting around the side of a scrum, to briefly take the lead.

Although the Reds were not playing to their full potential they were making fewer mistakes than the Highlanders as they struck back with tries to Gill and Schatz, in the countdown to half-time.

A Cooper penalty and Genia's try pushed the Reds out to a 31-16 lead before the Highlanders cut back their error rate, took Colin Slade off and replaced him with Lima Sopaga who sparked their final push to close the gap.

Converted tries to Gear and Nonu brought the homeside to within one point of the lead with six minutes to play before they let themselves down again.

Given an attacking lineout close to the Reds line, the Highlanders lost their throw in allowing the Queenslanders the opportunity to kick themselves out of trouble again.

When back in Highlanders territory, Cooper landed his second penalty to push the Reds out to 34-30 before Sopoaga kicked a final penalty for the Highlanders.

Final Score Highlanders 33 (16) Reds 34 (21) 

Scorers

Highlanders
Tries - E. Dixon, H. Gear, M Nonu
Pen - C.Slade 3, L. Sopoaga
Con - C.Slade, L.Sopoaga 2
Drop -
Cards - A.Hore (yellow 28th min)

Reds
Tries - J.Hanson, L.Gill, J.Schatz, W.Genia 
Pen - Q Cooper 2
Con - Q.Cooper 4
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee:
Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri
TMO : Vinny Munro

Teams

Highlanders

1. Tony Woodcock ,2. Andrew Hore (C),3. Chris King ,4. Brad Thorn ,5. Josh Bekhuis ,6. Jarrad Hoeata ,7. John Hardie,8. Elliot Dixon ,9. Aaron Smith,10. Colin Slade ,11. Hosea Gear (VC),12. Ma'a Nonu ,13. Jason Emery ,14. Buxton Popoalii ,15. Ben Smith

Replacements :16. Liam Coltman ,17. Ma'afu Fia ,18. TJ Ioane ,19. Tim Boys ,20. Fumiaki Tanaka ,21. Lima Sopoaga ,22. Phil Burleigh

Reds

1. Greg Holmes , 2. James Hanson , 3. James Slipper , 4. Rob Simmons , 5. James Horwill (c) , 6. Eddie Quirk , 7. Liam Gill , 8. Jake Schatz , 9. Will Genia (vc) , 10. Quade Cooper , 11. Luke Morahan , 12. Ben Tapuai , 13. Anthony Faingaa , 14. Dom Shipperley , 15. Jono Lance

Replacements : 16. Albert Anae , 17. Ben Daley , 18. Ed O'Donoghue , 19. Jarrad Butler , 20. Ben Lucas , 21. Aidan Toua , 22. Rod Davies

 
 
 
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