The Reds held on to earn their second victory of the Super Rugby by beating the Cheetahs 30-17 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The Reds had lost their last two matches on tour in South Africa but were able to hold off the travel fatigue and secure the victory.
The Reds losses were away from home though so they have now earned back to backs at home for the first time since March 2014.
The victory for the Reds is the Queensland side’s third straight victory over the Cheetahs who have never won in Brisbane.
The Reds played a quarter of the match with 14 players as Anthony Fainga’a was yellow carded in the first half and Liam Gill in the final quarter which meant the Reds were under pressure in the closing stages of the match being a man down.
The two teams were locked together 10-10 at halftime and the Reds lifted in the second period to run out comfortable winners.
“It was pretty scrappy out there with the humidity, but obviously we’re pretty happy,”Reds captain James Slipper said.
“It was a slippery ball. Both teams struggled with that, but our set piece dominated tonight and we got the win.
“Overall we’re tracking in the right direction, but we just want to build some momentum now.”
Scrumhalf Nick Frisby put his hand up for Wallaby selection with an outstanding display that included two tries, while number eight Curtis Browning scored the Reds’ other five-pointer.
However, for the first 40 minutes the Cheetahs were the better team, dominating both possession and territory.
The Reds were their own worst enemies in the first half with a host of dropped balls and some ill-discipline that saw inside centre Anthony Fainga’a shown a yellow card for foul play.
After both sides traded early penalties, the Cheetahs crossed for the first try when lock Uzair Cassiem scored from a rolling maul.
The visitors looked certain to take their lead into the break but right on halftime the Reds’ dominant scrum won a tighthead on the Cheetahs’ line and Browning crashed over to level the scores.
The Reds’ ball control was far better in the second period and they hit the front six minutes after the restart when Frisby crossed in the corner following a 60-metre movement from the Queensland backs.
Jake McIntyre converted from the sideline to make it 17-10, then took the score out to 20-10 with a penalty.
Frisby then put the Reds firmly in the driver’s seat with his second try following a dart from 10 metres out.
The Cheetahs looked to be flagging in the heat and humidity, but they struck back with a try to winger Raymond Rhule in the corner.
However, McIntyre’s third penalty put the game beyond the Cheetahs’ reach.
Cheetahs captain Lood de Jager said his team had struggled with the conditions.
“Out set piece let us down tonight,” he said.
“The ball was extremely wet, it’s extremely humid here.
“I’ve never played in conditions like this, but no excuses, we need to execute better.”
The victory may have come at a cost as the Reds lost their go to man Samu Kerevi in the 64th minute with a serious looking arm injury.
Next week the Reds travel to Christchurch where they will play the Crusaders. The Cheetahs play the Waratahs in Sydney.
Final Score Reds 30 (10) Cheetahs 17 (10)
Tries – C.Browning, N.Frisby 2
Pen – J.McIntyre 3
Con – J.McIntyre 3
Cards – A.Fainga’a (28th min yellow), L.Gill (68th min yellow)
Tries – U.Cassiem, R.Rhule
Pen – F.Zeilinga
Con – F.Zeilinga 2
Cards – W. Britz (78th min yellow)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1:Will Houston
Assistant Ref 2:Nic Berry
TMO : George Ayoub
1. James Slipper (C) , 2. Andrew Ready , 3. Greg Holmes , 4. Ben Matwijow , 5. Rob Simmons , 6. Hendrik Tui , 7. Liam Gill , 8. Curtis Browning , 9. Nick Frisby , 10. Jake McIntyre , 11. Eto Nabuli , 12. Anthony Fainga’a , 13. Samu Kerevi , 14. Junior Laloifi , 15. Karmichael Hunt
Replacements : 16. Saia Fainga’a , 17. Sef Fa’agase , 18. Sam Talakai , 19. Cadeyrn Neville , 20. Michael Gunn , 21. James Tuttle , 22. Duncan Paia’aua , 23. Ayumu Goromaru
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Luan de Bruin, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Francois Uys, 20 Oupa Mohoje, 21 Willie Britz, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Niel Marais