The Reds temporarily climbed to the top of the Super Rugby AU table after claiming a comfortable 57-5 win against the Western Force in the Gold Coast on Friday.
The victory saw the Reds go ahead of the Brumbies into first place, but the Brumbies still have to face third-placed Waratahs on Saturday. It also saw the Reds end an away winless run of 10 matches and was their biggest points tally on the road.
It was a fairly comfortable and straightforward win for Brad Thorn’s side as they were able to take a 15-0 lead into the break thanks to a brace from in-form wing Filipo Daugunu.
While the Western Force threatened to make a fist of it in the second half – scoring in the opening minutes of the half through hooker Andrew Ready – they simply had no answer to the Reds’ onslaught.
Reds tighthead Taniela Tupou further underlined his status as one of the southern hemisphere’s leading tightheads as he was dominant at the scrum and ran an incredible 24 metres from seven carries, making two clean breaks.
Once the Reds found their momentum, it was all one-way traffic, with Fraser McReight responding to Ready’s try before Tate McDermott grabbed a quickfire brace. McDermott’s second try was the pick of the bunch as he took a quick-tap from a penalty and went on an excellent solo run to score.
Another linebreak from Tupou was finished off by James O’Connor – who scored a total of 22 points in the match – before Bryce Hegarty and replacement lock Tuaina Taii Tualima added tries to end the rout.
Western Force – Try: Andrew Ready.
Reds – Tries: Filipo Daugunu (2), Fraser McReight, Tate McDermott (2), James O’Connor, Bryce Hegarty, Tuaina Taii Tualima. Conversions: O’Connor (6). Penalty: O’Connor.
Western Force – 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Brad Lacey, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Ollie Atkins, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 Pek Cowan.
Subs: 16 Heath Tessman, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tom Sheminant, 19 Johan Bardoul, 20 Ollie Callan, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Jack McGregor, 23 Henry Taefu.
Reds – 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Lolo, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Jack Straker.
Subs: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Jack Hardy.