Rebels heap woe on beleaguered Reds
May 18, 2014
The Reds' Ed O'Donoghue and the Rebels' Scott Higginbotham in the match-defining incident © Getty Images
Rob Horne scored two tries as the Waratahs thrashed the Lions 41-13 to claim back-to-back wins for the first time since the second round at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney. Fly-half Bernard Foley, full-back Kurtley Beale and centre Adam Ashley-Cooper also crossed for the Tahs in the bonus point win, with Foley kicking two penalties and all five conversions. The score had been poised at 17-13 at half-time, with Marnitz Boshoff kicking two penalties and converting flanker Jaco Kriel's try for the Lions, but after the break the home side dominated as they raced to a convincing win.
The Melbourne Rebels piled pressure on the under-performing Reds with a 30-27 win in Brisbane. The game was at times an ugly affair with Scott Higginbotham yellow carded inside 48 seconds for a late challenge on Mike Harris and the Reds finished the match with 14 men when Ed O'Donoghue was issued a straight red card for foul play. There may yet be further woe for the Reds as fly-half Quade Cooper was carted off the field after just eight minutes with a shoulder injury. In the end the boot of Jason Woodward proved to be the difference as both teams ended up with three tries apiece. Harris, Greg Holmes and Ben Lucas scored for the Reds with Tom Kingston and Luke Burgess (two) crossing for the Rebels. Woodward's 78th minute penalty, with the fly-half finishing the match with a haul of 15 points, swung the game into the Rebels' favour. The Reds have now lost nine of their matches this term and sit at the foot of the Australian conference.
Jean Deysel is issued his marching orders © Getty Images
The Sharks produced a remarkable performance to beat the Crusaders 30-25 in Christchurch despite being down to 14 men for much of the game. Sharks flanker Jean Deysel was dismissed in the 16th minute for stamping but despite the one man disadvantage - they were down to 13 in the second-half when Willem Alberts was sin-binned - they ended the Crusaders' 50-game unbeaten run at home against South African and Australian opponents. The Sharks outscored the hosts three tries to one with Sibusiso Sithole, Cobus Reinach and Lourens Adriaanse all scoring. For the Crusaders, Colin Slade brought up their tally of 25 points but their run of five straight wins is now at an end.
The Sharks' South African rivals the Stormers were also in action and they saw off the Western Force 24-8 in Cape Town. Scores from Juan de Jongh, Ruan Botha and a penalty try brought up the Stormers total, who played the last 10 minutes with 13 men, while Matt Hodgson scored for the Force.
Johan Goosen inspired the Cheetahs to a 27-21 win over the Brumbies. Goosen, who has been heavily linked with a move to Racing Metro, finished the match with a haul of 22 points - including one try, a conversion, four penalties and a drop-goal - with Willie le Roux grabbing the other score. The Brumbies' points came through 12 from the boot of Nic White and tries from Robbie Coleman and Stephen Moore.
Fly-half Hayden Parker was the Highlanders' unlikely hero in an 18-16 win which severely harms the play-off hopes of the Hurricanes. Parker landed five penalties plus a drop goal to see off the Hurricanes in another typically close tussle between the New Zealand rivals. The Hurricanes outscored the visitors in the try count, with TJ Perenara crossing the whitewash for the only score of the match, but the boot of Parker was enough to secure victory for Dunedin-based club. The Hurricanes will be kicking themselves after leading at half-time, with Perenara crossing just before the break to put his side 13-9 up. Perenara appeared to score a second try in the 76th minute but it was disallowed after a replay showed his path was cleared by some blocking at the ruck by Hurricanes reserve hooker Ash Dixon.
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