Reds score four first half tries as toothless Sharks defence is punished
By Ben Hampshire. Last Updated: 10/05/13 1:22pm
The Reds ran in four first-half tries as they beat the Sharks 32-17 in Brisbane to seal a bonus point victory to draw level on points with second-placed Chiefs.
Saia Faingaa opened the scoring in the fifth minute after a flat Quade Cooper pass sliced open the Sharks defence before the fly-half added his first conversion of the evening.
The Reds added a second try when Chris Feauai-Sautia broke away down the left wing before finding Will Genia inside who kicked a measured grubber which was swiftly collected by Rod Davies who raced home to complete a sensational play.
A vulnerable Sharks defence could do little to thwart the Reds onslaught as Anthony Faingaa slipped through to score a third try before Cooper's conversion gave the hosts a 16-point lead halfway through the first period.
Reds winger Rod Davies danced his way past the Sharks defence for his second try of the match five minutes before the interval as the Queensland side amassed a commanding 29-3 half-time lead.
A rejuvenated Sharks side returned from the interval and went straight on the attack as Lwazi Mvovo took advantage of some space before finding Piet Lindeque on the wing who managed to slide home just inside the touchline.
After a flying first period the Reds simmered in the second half allowing the Sharks back into the encounter as they began to dominate possession.
With the momentum building in the Sharks' favour Derick Minnie strode over the line to give the Sharks a glimmer of hope at 29-17 with 15 minutes to play.
However, when the Sharks conceded a penalty inside their own half Cooper was on hand to add a further three points to the Reds tally leaving too much to be done for the Sharks with just ten minutes to the siren.
Friday's victory means the Reds are now level on points with the Chiefs in the Super Rugby standings and just one behind leaders Brumbies.