Super Rugby: Quade Cooper grabs a try to help Queensland Reds to victory
Quade Cooper inspired the Reds back to winning ways, scoring 18 points to help beat the Bulls 23-18 in Brisbane.
Last Updated: 23/03/13 12:09pm
Having been beaten by the Western Force last time out, the Reds recorded a fourth triumph of the Super Rugby season thanks to tries from full-back Jono Lance and fly-half Cooper.
The Bulls, though, could have snatched at least a draw in the dying seconds had centre JJ Englebrecht not put a foot into touch just before he touched down.
Anything but a Reds win would have seemed a little harsh, even if the hosts took their time to find their feet.
Their cause wasn't helped in the opening quarter by the sin-binning of Lance for a tip-tackle on Grant Hattingh, giving Louis Fouche the chance to level the scores at 3-3 after an early Cooper penalty.
Both teams added further three-pointers before the Reds finally sparked into life with ball in hand just before the break.
Will Genia and Cooper combined to create an opening and although the latter was tackled just short, his quick offload from the ground allowed Lance to catch the ball on the run and crash over.
The successful conversion gave the Australian franchise a deserved 13-6 lead at half-time. The Bulls, however, narrowed the gap shortly after the restart when Fouche added two penalties within the space of two minutes.
But, just as they looked to be getting on top, they too then saw a man yellow carded, Lionel Mapoe getting sent to the bin for a tip-tackle on James Slipper.
It took just two minutes for the Reds to make the most of their numerical advantage, Cooper producing a superb dummy that opened up enough space for him to slide in under the posts.
He succeeded with the conversion and added another penalty five minutes later after the Bulls were pinged for a scrum infringement.
Morne Steyn came off the bench to kick a penalty and keep the Bulls in touch before Englebrecht was denied at the death.