Reds succumb to Shark attack
South Africans make semis after stunning display
Last Updated: 21/07/12 1:54pm
The Reds' reign as Super Rugby champions is over after the Sharks crushed them 33-17 at the Suncorp Stadium.
The underdogs produced a huge upset, clocking up three converted tries, two penalties and a drop goal.
The Durban-based side will now face the Stormers in an all-South African semi-final.
The Sharks' win was rarely in doubt after they took a 17-0 lead thanks to tries from JP Pietersen and Paul Jordaan.
Charl McLeod added a third after the break while Frederic Michalak kicked 15 points.
The Reds points came through a try and conversion from Will Genia, whilst Radike Samo also crossed. His try was converted by Mike Harris, who also kicked a penalty.
The Sharks may be the lowest-ranked side left in the competition but they stunned the Reds by racing into a 10-0 lead inside 12 minutes.
Former France international Michalak knocked over an early penalty before the South African side manufactured an outstanding try from their own 22.
A fantastic move ended with Bismarck du Plessis' well-timed pass, which created the room for Pietersen to race over.
After Michalak converted the Reds hopes took a further blow as fly-half Ben Lucas, was forced off with a nasty ankle injury.
And whilst the hosts were adjusting to the reshuffle, the Sharks struck again.
Sublime handling on the right touchline allowed centre Jordaan to go clear, and Michalak again added the extras.
Harris put the shell-shocked Reds on the board with a penalty, only for the Sharks to go straight up the other end and respond with a Michalak drop goal.
The Reds desperately needed a try before the break and they got it thanks to their talisman Genia. It was converted by Harris to trim the half-time deficit to 20-10.
But they were dealt a hammer-blow after the break when McLeod read a flat pass from Genia on halfway and seized on it to canter in, with Michalak's conversion the Sharks were 17 points to the good.
The Reds responded by battering away at the Sharks line, and they thought they had got themselves back in it, but Liam Gill's try was ruled out by the video referee who couldn't be sure he had grounded the ball.
The Queensland side finally got their consolation, but Samo's crossing came simply too late.