Cheetahs go down swinging
The Reds secured their first home win of the Super Rugby season on Friday, beating the Cheetahs 43-33 in an entertaining clash in Brisbane.
20-year-old centre Chris Feauai-Sautia bagged two tries (though he should get credit for three) as the Reds outscored their South African visitors five tries to three in a high-action encounter.
The Reds led 29-20 at the end of the first half that featured no less that six tries, four of which came from the hosts, who secured the bonus point on the stroke of half time.
It was end-to-end stuff in the opening period with the Reds scoring the first try in the first minute! Four tries - two apiece - were scored inside 11 minutes in a breathless start to the game.
The scores were locked at 17-17 on the half-hour mark, but Feauai-Sautia and James Hanson touched down in the dying moments of the half to put the Reds ahead. And the hosts carried that momentum all the way to the end.
The second period was a far more sedate affair as the Reds, having already secured the bonus point, preferred to keep the scoreboard ticking from the kicking tee.
The Reds were cruising when back-to-back penalties from the boot of Quade Cooper stretched their lead to 40-26 with less than 10 minutes left.
The Cheetahs didn't go down quietly though, keeping a the game alive right to the death with their third try, scored by Elgar Watts.
But a dubious scrum penalty after the final hooter denied the Cheetahs a losing bonus point.
The result comes as a major boost for the Reds after last week's thrashing by the Waratahs as they now embark on a tough tour to South Africa.
The Cheetahs are left empty handed from two tour games so far as they now head to Wellington to face the winless Hurricanes.
Tries: Penalty try, Davies, Feauai-Sautia 2, Hanson
Cons: Cooper 3
Pens: Cooper 4
Tries: F. Venter, Prinsloo, Watts
Cons: Goosen 2, Watts
Pens: Goosen 4
Yellow card: Benjamin
Reds: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Dom Shipperley. 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Anthony Fainga'a, 23 Ben Tapuai.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Ligtoring Landman, 20 Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Cornal Hendricks.
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Matt O'Brien (Australia)
Television match official: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)