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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Live: Reds down Waratahs

Quade Cooper scored the only try as the Queensland Reds ditched the glitz and rolled up their sleeves to beat the NSW Waratahs 19-15 at Suncorp Stadium tonight. The victory was the Reds' first in seven years and cements their spot atop the Super 15 Australian conference.
Read on for a blow-by-blow account of the action.
Fulltime: Tahs win the ball back from the kickoff as the siren sounds. Their last roll of the dice comes to nothing though and the Reds beat their fiercest rivals for the first time in seven years. Final score: 19-15.
79th: Cooper lines up a penalty goal after the Tahs are pinged for offside. He's 45m out and to the left of the posts. He threads the kick for a 19-15 Reds lead.
77th: Genia kicks deep behind the Waratahs, who don't have a fullback in position. Giant prop Sekope Kepu becomes an unlikely hero for the Tahs, sprinting back to field the ball with Morahan bearing down on him.
73rd: Reds on the attack now. Beale kicked a penalty goal to bring the Tahs within a point and from the kickoff the Reds have won the ball back. Crowd taking its first chance to get excited in a long, long time. Cooper pushes a drop goal attempt wide.
70th: Crowd figure is in. Sort of. There won't be an official figure, but it's just over 36,000. Not sure why we don't get the exact number, maybe the crowd hasn't sat still long enough to be counted properly. Great result though, regardless.
69th: Tahs claim a pushover try, and it's going to the video ref. The verdict is a Reds scrum feed.
68th: The Reds forwards have earned their money tonight and it's paid off as Ben Mowen knocks on for the Tahs. Reds get the ball for the first time in five minutes.
66th:  Tahs make the curious move on benching skipper Waugh. Pat McCutcheon comes on for yet another scrum 5m off the Reds line. It has to be taking a toll on the home side.
62nd: It's turning into a scrumfest and the Tahs will be happy enough with that. They're working the Reds over in their own zone. Now there's a scuffle with Horwill at the centre of it all. Not sure what kicked that one off but it feels like it may not be the last.
59th: Errors creeping in for both sides now as Cooper sends another kick out on the full. Could be in for a frantic final 20 minutes.
55th: Reds concede a pair of penalties for collapsing the scrum. James Horwill tries to explain that it's because the turf is slipping but the referee isn't buying it. The srum is set and reset over and over and to be fair, pretty soon there won't be any turf left on that patch of field.
51st: Reds staring down the barrel of a 5m scrum but they are made to wait as Polota-Nau receives treatment. In the meantime Daley leaves the field for good. At least it seemed to be Daley, but it's hard to tell with his face in that condition.
49th: Phil Waugh shows why kicking duties rarely fall his way. He looks distinctly like your uncle kicking a ball at the family barbecue as he launches a wobbly kick for touch. He'll claim a victory though, as it's touched by a Red hand and the Tahs get the lineout throw.
46th: Referee Walsh looks despondent as he ices the injured calf on the sidelines. Gotta be gutting in a World Cup year. In more important news, Beale converts a penalty goal and the Tahs trail by four.
43rd: We've had a change of referees at the break. Whistleblower Steve Walsh has gone down with a calf injury and Ian Smith has stepped in to finish the game. No word on Walsh's status for next week but the Waratahs may be happy with the switch, given the first-half penalties slightly favoured the home side, 6-5. In worse news for NSW, Wycliff Palu limps from the field with what's believed to be a knee injury.
Halftime: Cooper shapes a shot at field goal after the siren, changes his mind and goes for a scoot instead. He hands off to Digby Ioane who charges up the middle and is brought down in front of the posts. Cooper gets the ball back from the breakdown and kicks his field goal from the very spot he was standing on previously. Reds go to the break leading 16-9.
34th: Hard to figure out if the crowd is going crazy for Cooper's magical 50m dash from the scrum base for the first try of the match, or for his celebratory actrobatics in the ingoal. The tumbling run got at least as many replays on the big screen as teh try did. Either way, he converts his own try and it's the Reds by 13-9.
32nd: Tahs flanker Phil Waugh gives away a penalty for a ruck infringement right in front and Cooper lines up from 24m out right in front. Kick's good. Waratahs lead 9-6.
28th: Reds prop looked to be trying to make snow angels on the turf before he groggily made his way to his feet. Close-up shot reveals blood gushing from his nose. As he's helped from the field, Beale kicks a penalty goal to take the Tahs out to a 9-3 lead.
26th: Reds pinch a lineout ball, but the Tahs get it straight back when Cooper puts his second kick of the night out on the full. Would be unlike the Wallaby number 10 to go into his shell though.
20th: As Mitchell disappears up the tunnel on a golf cart, the resulting backline shuffle sees Beale move to fullback, thus ending his head-on duel with Cooper at number 10.
19th: Drew Mitchell's right foot looks ugly from our vantage in the press box. The trainer was calling for a stretcher before she even got to him after he tangled with Reds number eight Scott Higginbotham as the Wallaby winger chased a kick.
16th: Reds skipper James Horwill pinged for being offside on a Cooper kick. Beale lines up from 46m out and and puts the Waratahs ahead.
13th: Reds winger Luke Morahan grasses a catch 10m off his line. The Reds give away a penalty from the scrum and the Tahs resist the temptation to go for maximum points. Kurtley Beale converts the penalty and we're tied at 3-3.
10th: What's an interstate match without some niggle? Both teams come together to exchange pleasantries on the Reds line after the Waratahs give away a lineout penalty. No harm done though ... for now.
7th: Cooper has another chance to get his eye in, this one from 23m out and pretty well in front. He makes no mistake and the Reds open their account.

5th: Crowd springs to life as the afros of Radike Samo and Tatafu Polata-Nau seem on a collision course. But the Reds backrower changes course at the last minute.
3rd: Quade Cooper lines up a penalty shot from 40m out on the left flank after the Waratahs give away an early penalty. Shot has plenty of legs but wanders wide.
1st minute: And we're under way and it takes just seconds for Reds half Will Genia to slice through out wide.
7.40pm: The stadium stands motionless to honour the Anzacs, as a stiring rendition of the last post rings out. Just in case there wasn'tr already enough feeling in the evening.
7.20pm: Decent crowd rolling in already on a balmy night here in Brisbane. The Reds lineup is as advertised, but the Waratahs have shuffled the bench a little. Pat McCutcheon and Daniel Halangahu are in for Chris Alcock and Sosene Anesi, while Dave Dennis and Kane Douglas have swapped jumpers.

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