Reds see off the Force
Harris lands 25 points to see defending champions to victory
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC. Last Updated: 03/03/12 10:31am
The Reds came out on top 35-20 after an error-strewn encounter against the Western Force in Brisbane.
The torrential rain at the Suncorp Stadium made handling difficult but it was the Reds who adapted the better to the conditions.
And with Mike Harris maintaining his impressing kicking run, the defending champions made it two wins out of two this season.
Harris landed 25 points - from a perfect nine from nine attempts - with Ben Tapuai and Radike Samo crossing for tries.
However the Reds had to hold off a second-half fightback from the Western Force - with James Stannard and David Pocock scoring tries. Stannard also added two conversions and two penalties.
Harris opened his account on nine minutes, with the Reds fly-half making no mistake from close range.
And the Reds fans were on their feet after 21 minutes following a superb finish from Tapuai. The outside centre held off two tackles as he charged down the flank to score in the corner. Harris converted.
The Force, though, regrouped well and two penalties in quick succession brought them back into the game.
However Harris slotted over a penalty and then converted Samo's interception try - with the No.8 snaffling Stannard's pace before outpacing the Force defence.
And another Harris penalty meant the Reds entered the break with a 23-6 lead.
The advantage was increased by three immediately after the restart, with Harris on target once again.
However the Force hit back on 50 minutes with Pocock breaking the tackle of Beau Robinson to score from Stannard's quick-tap. Stannard converted.
And the Reds were left on the ropes as more weak tackling saw Stannard danced his way over - with the half-back converting his own try.
Harris steadied the nerves with a beautifully struck penalty from out wide, giving the Reds a 29-20 lead.
Reds lock Rob Simmons should have put the game beyond doubt but he knocked on with the line at his mercy - but the boot of Harris gave the home side some breathing space.
And with time running out, Harris landed his ninth successive kick to seal the win.