ESPN SCRUM

/ Super Rugby 2014

/ Match Pack

Super Rugby
Reds out-duel Cheetahs in try-fest
March 7, 2014
Date/Time: Mar 7, 2014, 18:40 local, 08:40 GMT
Venue: Lang Park, Brisbane
Queensland Reds 43 - 33 Cheetahs
Half-time: 29 - 20
Tries: Davies, Feauai-Sautia 2, Hanson, Penalty
Cons: Cooper 3
Pens: Cooper 4
Tries: Prinsloo, F Venter, Watts
Cons: Goosen 2, Watts
Pens: Goosen 4
Chris Feauai-Sautia, Rod Davies and Mike Harris celebrate a try, Queensland Reds v Cheetahs, Super Rugby, Suncorp Stadium, March 7, 2014
The Reds paid tribute to their mothers wearing special pink-trimmed jerseys featuring their mums' names
© Getty Images
Enlarge

Quade Cooper became Queensland's record Super Rugby points-scorer while the Reds bagged five tries, but they still have concerns after a Jekyll-and-Hyde 43-33 win over the Cheetahs on Friday night.

Cooper finished with 18 points to break Elton Flatley's Super Rugby mark of 629 points while centre Chris Feauai-Sautia scored a brace of tries at Suncorp Stadium. Cooper also reconfirmed his commitment to eclipse Michael Lynagh's all-time Queensland record of 1166.

"I couldn't be more excited to be in the history books for Queensland rugby," Cooper said. "I've spoken about my love and passion for Queensland rugby in the past and, to have my name etched in the history books, I'm very proud of it.

"There were moments tonight where we should have shut (the game) out ... but we're heading down the right path."

It was a crucial victory for the home side, who now set off on a two-match tour of South Africa, but coach Richard Graham won't be pleased with their performance. In one of the crazier encounters in 19 Super seasons, both sides were their own worst enemy in the frenetic 76-point affair in front of 27,760 fans. It was 14-14 after 12 minutes, and six tries were scored in the first half as the Reds took a 29-20 lead into the break. Smashed 32-5 by the Waratahs last week, Queensland's attack improved but their ill-discipline and decision-making almost undid them against the freewheeling visitors.

The Reds created more chances and should have shut the tiring Cheetahs out at 40-26 with 10 minutes to play, but they invited the visitors back into the game through a flurry of flaky moments. The Cheetahs' scrum also dominated while bloodied flanker Liam Gill's night finished early due to a first-half head clash with Ed Quirk that has him in doubt for next weekend's match with the Sharks in Durban.

"We go to Africa with two wins out of three and five points tonight so [tonight] is a good result for us," Graham said. "The Cheetahs are a slippery side." But captain James Horwill accepted that the Reds had to be more clinical to score their first win against the physical Sharks in Durban in a decade.

The Reds defeated the Cheetahs in a crazy encounter in Brisbane (video available only in Australia)

Cooper's grubber kick for Feauai-Sautia's second try in the 54th minute seemed to kill off the visitors, but the Cheetahs bounced back when Sarel Pretorius kicked a grubber to setti up a late Elgar Watts try.

The scene for a frenetic night was set in the opening 90 seconds when Queensland were awarded a penalty try and Cheetahs winger Ryano Benjamin was sin-binned for kicking the ball out of Feauai-Sautia's hands as the Reds centre attempted to plant the ball on the goal-line.

But the visitors crossed twice while down to 14 men, with Willie le Roux charging down another ill-conceived Will Genia box-kick for Francois Venter to score before Cooper threw a wayward spiral pass for Boom Prinsloo to intercept and canter 50 metres to dot down under the crossbar.

Cooper redeemed himself by floating another cut-out over two defenders to hit Mike Harris, who skilfully gave the ball to Rod Davies to speed down the sideline.

Cheetahs sharpshooter Johan Goosen kicked two long-range penalty goals, but the Reds continued to test the visitors' defence and bagged two more tries late in the half for a 29-20 lead at the break.

Strauss lamented his team's poor handling and inability to finish one or two more try-scoring chances, while coach Naka Drotske was upset by his side's "soft defence" when Reds hooker James Hanson cleaned up a speculative, no-look Cooper pass with the siren already sounded and beat three defenders in a 20-metre sprint down the sideline.

Drotske said his team had to pick up at least one victory from their two games in New Zealand to stay alive in the hunt for a second consecutive finals appearance.

© AAP

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Formula 1

    Who said what after Friday practice

    ESPN rounds up all the reaction from up and down the paddock after Friday practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix

  • Formula 1

    Renault considering F1 exit

    Renault is considering its F1 future with options varying from a takeover of Toro Rosso to leaving the sport entirely

  • Football

    Scholes: Gareth Bale could make Man Utd title contenders

    Paul Scholes believes Gareth Bale would be a "perfect" signing for Manchester United and would propel them into the status of title contenders

  • Football

    Eden Hazard brands Chelsea's Champions League exit 'blessing in disguise'

    Eden Hazard has told L'Equipe that Chelsea's Champions League elimination could be a "blessing in disguise" as they look to close in on the Premier League title

  • Football

    Suarez treated 'worse than a hooligan' after World Cup bite

    Barcelona forward Luis Suarez has said he was treated "worse than if I were a hooligan" when FIFA banned him for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup

  • Rugby

    Unsavoury sledging did not end with Potgieter

    Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports

  • Rugby

    Super Rugby preview, team news, line-ups: Round 7

    Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks

  • Formula 1

    Storm clouds gather in Malaysia

    Will Mercedes dominate again? Can anybody catch up with the help of a rainstorm? And will the Red Bull/Renault relationship tear itself apart? All those questions and more will be answered at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix

  • Formula 1

    Alonso: More questions than answers

    Maurice Hamilton pieces together what we know from the Fernando Alonso crash and explains why the latest answers raise more questions

  • Rugby

    Attacking revolution won't be repeated at World Cup

    John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year

  • News
  • Features
  • Inside Boxing

    'I've sparred with Klitschko and Fury - now I want Joshua'

    Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November

  • UFC

    Top 10 best UFC fighters of all time

    Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner

  • Ask Steven

    Home front

    Who was the first Briton to win the British Grand Prix?

  • Ask Steven

    Pointless drivers

    Where does Anthony Davidson's record of 24 Grands Prix without a point rank him?

  • Ask Steven

    Home favourites

    How many F1 drivers have had one win, but done it at their home Grand Prix?

Sponsored Links

Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income