Super Rugby: Four penalties from Quade Cooper move the Reds to the top
Last Updated: 26/04/13 12:57pm
Fly-half Quade Cooper kept his nerve to kick the Reds to a 12-11 victory over the Blues.
Cooper landed four penalties to take the 2011 champions to the top of the standings - although they left it late.
The Blues had led 11-9 at half-time but Cooper's penalty with five minutes left was the only scoring action of the second half.
The result was a little harsh on the Blues who had defended brilliantly during the second period, with their work at the breakdown having frustrated the hosts.
However they lost their discipline when it mattered the most to allow Cooper to snatch the win for the Reds.
The Blues had scored the only try of the match through Jackson Willison in the opening half.
Willison, part of the Chiefs squad that won the title last season, dived over late in the opening period following a sustained spell of Blues pressure. The Reds defence was caught flat-footed by the dummy run of Charles Piutau, with Willison timing his run to perfection to shrug off Jono Lance to score.
Chris Noakes and the booming boot of Albert Nikoro added a penalty apiece to keep the Blues in touch early on.
The Blues pushed hard for a way back into the game but Keven Mealamu and Ali Williams were guilty of coughing up possession in the Reds 22 in the dying minutes.
The win means the Reds have completed their first sweep of New Zealand opposition in a season in the professional era.