Rugby: Reds outclass Chiefs

By Christopher Chang

Brendon Leonard of the Chiefs passes under pressure. Photo / Getty Images.
Brendon Leonard of the Chiefs passes under pressure. Photo / Getty Images.

Reds 19
Chiefs 11

The Reds have beaten the Chiefs 19-11 in their Super 15 clash at Waikato Stadium.

Mils Muliaina played his final Super Rugby match for the Chiefs and was disappointed not to finish with a victory.

"They've got a quality side and that's why they're at the top of the ladder. It's a sad way to finish but we've had some good times and we'll look forward to the next stage of my rugby career," he told Sky Sports.

Super 15 standings

Will Genia and Quade Cooper were in irresistible form for the Reds in the opening stages. The Queenslanders started the stronger of the two sides and raced into a 7-0 lead inside the opening seven minutes.

Liam Gill scored the first try of the match following several Reds phases and Quade Cooper easily slotted the conversion.

The Chiefs suffered another blow early on when Romana Graham was sent to the bin on 16 minutes. He couldn't resist playing at a Reds pass as he was retreating to the Chiefs defensive line and was sent to the bin for his troubles.

Cooper extended the Reds' lead from the resulting penalty and, in doing so, became the first Australian to reach 200 points for the season.

Stephen Donald got the Chiefs on the scoreboard with half an hour played, scoring a penalty to bring the scores to 10-3.

Donald made it two from two with another penalty five minutes later to give the Chiefs hope heading into half-time.

The Reds pulled away again in the second half, with the prolific Cooper adding 6 more points from penalties.

That finally stung the Chiefs into life. With just over an hour played, and former Crusaders man Caleb Ralph on the pitch for the Reds, the Chiefs looked to have scored through Brendon Leonard, but no try was given by the TMO.

The Chiefs struggled to find a way past the outstanding Reds defensive line. With seven minutes left, Jackson Willison drove forwawrds but was just stopped in his tracks. Fritz Lee then fumbled after taking the ball over the line.

But the Chiefs' Number Eight made amends moments later, fending off challenges to slide over on the dewy surface to bring the scores to 19-11.

A stoppage-time series of attacks gave the home fans hope of sending Mils Muliaina off on a good note. It wasn't to be enough, however, as the Reds held on for an impressive victory.

REDS 19 (Liam Gill try; Quade Cooper 4 pen, con) CHIEFS 11 (Fritz Lee try; Stephen Donald 2 pen). Halftime: 10-6.

- Herald Online

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