Chris Feauai-Sautia scored two tries in the Reds' 43-33 win over the Cheetahs, reports JON CARDINELLI.
What a disaster. The Cheetahs were thumped in Melbourne last week for employing the wrong game plan. They were little better in this fixture in Brisbane when they opted to run the ball from all parts of the field.
Suncorp Stadium may boast a pitch that is conducive to attacking rugby, but there's no getting around the fact that territory and defence are all-important in the modern game. The Cheetahs' defence was especially poor in the first half, from the tackling to the marking in the wider channels. They allowed the Reds to run at them and were punished accordingly.
Will Genia and Quade Cooper were in top form for the Reds, exploiting the holes in the Cheetahs defence and creating opportunities for men such as Feauai-Sautia and Rod Davies on the outside. By the end of the first stanza, the Reds had secured the four-try bonus point, and held a commanding 29-20 lead.
Johan Goosen attempted to keep the Cheetahs in touch as the visitors tightened up in the second half. His cool goal-kicking brought the Cheetahs to within six points of the opposition, but this good work was then undone when Cooper fractured the defence with a well-weighted grubber, and Feauai-Sautia raced into the in-goal area to claim his second try.
Apart from his exploits with ball in hand, Cooper put in a fine performance with the boot. The Reds secured the result via some well-struck penalty goals in the final quarter, and ultimately Cooper finished the match with an individual tally of 18 points.
Replacement flyhalf Elgar Watts managed to score a try in the 74th minute, and his subsequent conversion ensured that the Cheetahs moved to within seven points A last-minute penalty goal by Cooper, however, denied the visitors a consolation bonus point.
The Cheetahs are now zero from two on tour. They will need to revise their game plan if they're going to bounce back in the remaining two matches and get their campaign back on track.
Reds – Tries: Penalty try, Chris Feauai-Sautia (2), Rod Davies, James Hanson. Conversions: Quade Cooper (3). Penalties: Cooper (4).
Cheetahs – Tries: Francois Venter, Boom Prinsloo, Elgar Watts. Conversions: Johan Goosen (2), Watts. Penalties: Goosen (4).
Reds – 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Dom Shipperley. 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Subs: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Anthony Fainga'a, 23 Ben Tapuai.
Cheetahs – 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Subs: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Ligtoring Landman, 20 Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Cornal Hendricks.
Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images