Reds root Cheetahs in the Super14 cellar

Australia’s Reds moved off the bottom of rugby’s Super 14 with a dominant 22-3 win over woeful Cheetahs on Sunday.

The Reds monopolised possession and territory, yet failed to convert their many opportunities into a scoring bonus point, finishing three tries to nil victors over the South Africans in stifling afternoon heat.

Queensland’s high-risk strategy of attacking rugby at all costs looked set to sweep them to a huge score, but a combination of the heat and increasing errors blunted their attacks.

The Reds bemoaned their wasted opportunities to put the lowly South Africans to the sword with the Cheetahs now heading to New Zealand for their final three matches of their demanding away tour on the end of 14 losses on the trot in Australasia.

Cheetahs’ skipper Juan Smith didn’t mince words after the defeat, admitting: “There’s only one way to describe it, shocking from us”.

Reds counterpart Berrick Barnes was also dejected by his team’s unstructured rugby and a multitude of bombed tries.

“We killed ourselves in the first half in terms of that bonus point by not taking our opportunities,” he said.

The Reds now head into their biggest match of the year, against the unbeaten Waratahs in their grudge Australian derby in Sydney next Friday.

The Reds led 15-3 after a 55m Digby Ioane try in the 48th minute and a four-try bonus point looked likely only for their own profligate finishing to temper their ebullient mood.

Despite 65 percent of possession, 77 percent of territory and four line breaks, the Reds only held a 7-3 lead at halftime and it proved marginally better in the second half.

Flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter’s sixth-minute penalty proved the Cheetahs’ only points of the match.


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