Reds see off Cheetahs
The Reds made a winning start to their tour of South Africa with a commanding victory over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday.
Last Updated: 26/03/10 8:37pm
The Reds made a winning start to their tour of South Africa with a commanding 31-10 victory over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday.
The visitors made hard work of the first half, not helped by a trip from Quade Cooper which saw him sin-binned and, in his absence, Ashley Johnson stormed through the fly-half channel for the Cheetahs' only try.
But helped by a notable performance from Will Genia and some staunch defence, the Reds took control in the second half to rack up 20 unanswered points for the win.
Meyer Bosman opened the scoring early with a penalty, but it was Genia who scored the first try, sniping over from the back of a ruck into the corner. Cooper, who had missed a long-range penalty, also dragged his conversion to the left.
Then came a moment of madness from Cooper, who was shown the yellow card for tripping Cheetahs centre Robert Ebersohn.
Although Genia knocked over a penalty in his absence, the Cheetahs enjoyed their best spell, culminating in Ashley Johnson's charge off the back of a scrum over the line. Bosman gave the home side the lead with the extras.
Cooper came back on and redeemed himself from the tee on the stroke of half-time to give his side a one-point lead going into the changing rooms, then extended that lead moments after the break with another penalty.
The crucial moment came on 46 minutes, when Saia Faingaa stole a ball and, helped by three forwards, broke 50 metres down the right. Eventually the Reds won a penalty in front of the posts and Peter Hynes tapped and went over.
The Cheetahs turned down several shots at goal in search of a try but were repelled, twice being held up and twice turning ball over on the line.
From an excellent kick to the corner by Cooper, the Reds enjoyed better field position. Higginbotham was held up over the line but back came the play for Cooper to land his third penalty of the night.
A cruel blow came moments later, as Ashley Johnson gave away the ball at his own scrum near the line and from the next play, Anthony Faingaa switched with Genia for the third try and the final nail in the Cheetahs' coffin.