Reds beat Crusaders in Super Rugby warm up

Queensland Super Rugby franchise the Reds completed their pre-season with a 35-12 victory over the Crusaders at Ballymore on Friday.

The result is the Crusaders third loss in their pre-season as they have also lost to the Highlanders and the Hurricanes. The Reds also suffered a pre-season loss to the Rebels in Cairns last week.

The Reds lost playmaker Quade Cooper in their pre-season training and used this match to test new signing Karmichael Hunt at flyhalf where he played for 50 minutes of the trial match.

The Reds outscored the Crusaders by five tries to two in the match which was watched live by 11270 spectators at Ballymore.

The Reds dominated proceedings in the first half, scoring four tries to none to take a 28-0 lead into the break.

Hunt added goal kicking duties to his new role and slotted four conversions from four shots, missing one penalty goal attempt on the stroke of half time.

The Crusaders scored the first two tries of the second half, to close the gap, but it wasn’t enough to stop the men from Ballymore.

The home side scored through Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, James Horwill (2), Samu Kerevi and a penalty try. Hunt kicked four conversions and Nick Frisby added one. The Crusaders scored through Luke Romano and Matt Todd. Dan Carter kicked one conversion.

Reds head coach Richard Graham said: “I was really pleased with the intent. It was a physical game and that’s very good preparation going into next week,” he said.

“I’m happy with some of our ball skills and our handling, and to score five tries against a very good Crusaders side is good reward for their efforts. I’m pleased with the result but we can take lessons from it also.”

The home side opened the scoring 10 minutes into the game following a piece of brilliance from scrumhalf Will Genia, who took a quick tap on halfway and chipped ahead for winger Jamie-Jerry Taulagi to regather and score.

The next three tries belonged to the Reds’ pack, with lock James Horwill notching a double with a pick-and-go from the base of the ruck on the Crusaders’ goal line.

The final try of the first half was set up by some stunning play from the Reds’ backs, as Taulagi beat Crusaders flyhalf Dan Carter before releasing winger Chris Kuridrani who burst 30 metres down the sideline before flicking the ball to Genia who found Anthony Fainga’a in open space, only to be tackled just short of the line.

The play was called held up, but the Reds’ scrum had its most dominant effort of the match, forcing a penalty try out of the Crusaders’ pack.

The second half opened up somewhat, as both teams started to play with a bit less structure and the Crusaders capitalised, scoring through Romano and Todd with runs from in close.

Kerevi scored the final try of the match, latching onto a bounce pass from Frisby and running 20 metres to touch down under the posts.

The Reds emptied their bench in the second half, using the final pre-season match as an opportunity to give all 11 reserves a run, including Duncan Paia’aua who came on for Hunt at the 50-minute mark and directed the side well for the remainder of the match.

“The pre-season is all about ensuring your squad is ready for Round 1 of Super Rugby and this was another chance to give the young players in our squad an opportunity to test themselves, and I thought they held up really well against a side with some world-class players in it,” Graham said.

The Reds now turn their focus to Canberra, where they will face the Brumbies in the opening round of Super Rugby on Friday 13 February.

Final Score Reds 35 (28) Crusaders 12 (0)


Tries : Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, James Horwill 2, Penalty Try
Pen :
Con : Karmichael Hunt 4
Drop :

Tries : Luke Romano, Matt Todd
Pen :
Con : Dan Carter 1
Drop :



1 James Slipper (C) , 2 Saia Fainga’a , 3 Sam Talakai , 4 James Horwill , 5 Marco Kotze , 6 Curtis Browning , 7 Liam Gill , 8 Jake Schatz , 9 Will Genia , 10 Karmichael Hunt (VC) , 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia , 12 Anthony Fainga’a , 13 Samu Kerevi , 14 Chris Kuridrani , 15 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi

Replacements : Ben Daley , James Hanson , Sef Faagase , Ed O’Donoghue , Beau Robinson , Nick Frisby , Duncan Paia’aua , Campbell Magnay

*Two more to be added


15. Colin Slade, 14. Robbie Fruean, 13. Kieron Fonotia, 12. Tom Taylor, 11. Jonny McNicholl, 10. Dan Carter, 9. Mitchell Drummound, 8. Luke Whitelock, 7. Matt Todd, 6.Jimmy Tupou, 5.Dominic Bird, 4.Luke Romano, 3.Owen Franks, 2.Codie Taylor, 1.Alex Hodgman.

Replacements: Ben Funnell, Ged Robinson, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Scott Barrett, Tom Sanders, Billy Guyton, Nathaniel Apa, Nafi Tuitavaki, David Havili.

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