Reds 12 - 11 Blues

Match info: Super Rugby at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Date: 26/04/2013 KO: 10:40

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Reds

PenaltiesCooper (10, 15, 28, 74)

12
vs
11

Blues

TriesWillison (32, 30)PenaltiesNoakes (12) Nikoro (25)

FT (ht: 9-11)

  • Last Updated: April 26 2013, 13:29 BST

The Reds completed a sweep of New Zealand sides in this year's Super Rugby competition with a tense win over the Blues at Suncorp Stadium.

Delighted Reds players after their success
Delighted Reds players after their success

After seeing off the Hurricanes, Highlanders and Chiefs in earlier rounds, the Reds edged passed the Blues thanks to a solitary Quade Cooper penalty in an otherwise scoreless second half.

Despite enjoying just 43 per cent possession and remaining tryless, the home side earned their victory thanks to some gritty defending and good use of the football when they did get a hold of it.

Fly-half Cooper led a sharp attacking display from the Reds, but the only try of the match came from Blues inside centre Jackson Willison, who broke through the line to touch down in the corner with 31 minutes gone.

The Blues showed their ability to hang on to the football from the outset, putting together 22 phases to start the match, but the Reds did well to maintain their defensive structure and prevent scoreboard damage.

Having barely had their hands on ball, the Reds did enough to earn a penalty 23 metres out, which Cooper converted to hand them an early lead, but Chris Noakes struck back moments later with a penalty of his own for the Blues.

A Davies break downfield after nice work from Cooper just out from his own line earned the Reds another penalty shot, and Cooper made no mistake with the kick to make it 6-3 after 16 minutes.

Despite a good spell of incisive attacking play from Queensland, debutant Albert Nikoro made the most of a penalty for the Blues wide on the right to nail a difficult attempt at goal, before Cooper hit over a simpler chance to edge the Reds back in front.

It was the Blues who scored the first try of the night nine minutes before half-time when Willison waltzed through a weak attempted tackle from Jono Lance to cross near the left corner flag.

Cooper showed his defensive worth by halting a flying Rene Ranger with a jolting body check that may have prevented a second Blues try.

The second half started just like the first, with the Reds successfully holding out their opponents for 20 phases.

A shocking pass straight into touch from Blues fullback Charles Piutau preceded 17 phases for the Reds, but after his side won a penalty, Cooper missed the relatively simple penalty attempt that would have put them into the lead.

An arm wrestle of a second half saw both sides cough up the ball with regularity, with the Blues looking the most likely to score a try on the back of greater possession.

Cooper's penalty from a tough angle with five minutes remaining sealed a spirited win for the home side, however, in their first win after remaining tryless since 2004.


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