Match Review: Reds v. Cheetahs
Northern Provincial Rugby

Match Review: Reds smash Cheetahs

Match Review: Reds smash Cheetahs

Digby breaks and steps



For the second time this season the Reds took to Suncorp for a daytime match, drawing 19,579 punters to see them host the Cheetahs on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Thankfully in the month that has passed the temperatures have dropped a little, so much so that Link felt comfortable promoting assistant water boy James Horwill past the bench and straight into the starting side and the captaincy.

The Cheetahs were up from their base on the Gold Coast, fresh from their clinical display against an inept Waratahs side. With no changes to the starting line-up, they took to the field looking for their second win outside the Republic on this tour, and indeed ever.

The confidence was on full display when their opening play was to spin it wide, but loose passing soon saw the Reds pressuring hard on their try-line, and a clearing kick from deep in-goal was the only way out. The ball only just went out; Digby Ioane took a quick throw and a couple of phases later the only thing stopping Beau Robinson finding the line was a marginal forward pass call. It was a sign of things to come.

The Reds earned a couple of early scoring opportunities due to infringements by the Cheetahs, but Quade sent both kicks wide.

Link and Kev contemplate the win, or mentally pack for SA.

Then a sneaky kick from a turnover saw the Cheetahs hot on attack. Eventually the momentum was halted by a penalty, which Sias Ebersohn slotted to have the Cheetahs up 3–nil — a start similar to their win last week.

When the Reds’ third opportunity came, Quade stepped up to shoot for 3 points, but Kev said ‘no no no’, opting instead to kick for touch. From the resulting lineout a loose pass was scooped up by Ioane, who ran the 22 metres to the line, fending off the only defender to get hands to him, and planted the ball under the posts.

The Cheetahs tried to strike back, with Sias Ebersohn having a penalty attempt sail wide, and then a beautiful drop goal attempt, taken from 40-plus metres out while playing under a penalty advantage, bounced off the black dot on the crossbar to deny them the points.

The Reds then struck again. A dominant tackle by Kev Horwill saw the ball won and flung to Cooper. He spotted an overlap and engaged his jet shoes to get past the defensive line and draw the fullback, before passing the ball to Rod Davies who ran it in for his first try.

The Cheetahs started to lose it at this point and they put the first of three kick-offs out on the full. From the resulting scrum, the Reds worked a move on the open side: Genia passed the ball to Cooper who ran an inside line before popping the ball to Ioane at pace, who stepped four defenders before taking the ball to ground; Genia was there quickly and quick hands by A. Fainga’a sent the ball to Davies, who went over in the corner for his second meat pie.

The Cheetahs put the next kick-off out on the full, but this time they were saved by Daley being penalised for hinging at the engagement. They kicked for touch and won the lineout, but were penalised for not releasing the ball. The Reds also went for the lineout and in the phase following, Cheetahs captain Wilhelm Steenkamp was given ten minutes in the bin for a (marginal, but definitely around the neck) high tackle on Davies. The Reds again took the lineout option and from five metres out, drove but were held out; they then reset the maul with Saia Fainga’a carrying the ball at the back, and drove over the line to secure the bonus-point try three minutes before half-time.

Ebersohn stepped up as the Cheetahs’ designated kicker-offer, but unfortunately he also put the ball out on the full, so it was back to the centre for another scrum. The Reds nearly pulled off an identical move to the one that saw Davies score, but it broke down.

The Cheetahs were clearly filthy with themselves (or perhaps disgusted by the temporary change room conditions at Suncorp) and opted to have their oranges out on the field — as one keen observer noted, “Looking to get some tips from the Under-8s”.

Quade Tackles - The Proof...

In the opening plays of the second half, the crowd beheld a sight rarely seen when Quade Cooper made a front-on tackle. He continued the magic a little while later, when the ball was knocked back into the Reds’ in-goal area: he picked up the ball, scanned for options, then made a crazy cross-field kick in-goal to Ioane, who stepped the chaser and took off down field. Diggers drew the fullback and passed to Lucas in support, but the ball went to ground and the move broke down.

The Reds began to settle and produced a turnover from a strong counter-ruck (probably Kev went back after our last Podcast and pumped up the boys). Genia (shortly after having a barf on the field) fished the ball out and took a 60-metre run to score.

The Reds were attacking even in defence, with Beau Robinson celebrating his new contract with a massive hit on Floors. There was also a Cooper break and pass that saw Rod Davies drop his chance to write his name into the record books as the first Red to score a hat-trick in Super rugby.

However, the Cheetahs were the next to score. From an offside penalty on the halfway line, Sarel Pretorius took a quick tap and the two props showed quick hands to get the ball to Fabiaan Juries, who drew Cooper (defending at fullback) before offloading to Steenkamp, who won the footrace to the line and scored his team’s only try.

Genia had the final say, however, when he scooped on a knock-on at the base of the ruck and ran 30 metres to score his second touchdown.

It was a win built on a solid forward platform allowing the backs space to run and solid defence, at times bordering on offence, — but Link will know he still has some work to do if his boys are to play the perfect game. I had a word to Link, who said he’s looking forward to the tour as a chance for the team to spend some time together and work on a few things.

Reds 41 – Tries: Ioane, Davies (2), Genia (2), S. Fainga’a; Cons: Cooper (3), Harris; Pens: Cooper def Cheetahs 8 – Tries: Steenkamp; Pens: S. Ebersohn

Wallaby Watch:

Put his hand up: Quade Cooper – He’s responding to the pressure from JO’C in the only way he can: by mixing audacious plays with steady and assured game control. He won’t be giving up his gold No. 10 jersey easily.

Did himself no favours: A clean sheet this week; nobody made any real glaring errors.

Bolter watch: Beau Robinson – A man-of-the-match performance from Beau in his contract match. He was strong at the breakdown and put on some massive tackles— the one on Kabamba Floors will have him comparing notes with Jerry Collins.


In other news, Ewen McKenzie has announced a 26-man touring squad to fly to South Africa for matches against the Lions and Stormers.

Forwards: Ben Daley, Saia Fainga’a, Liam Gill, James Hanson, Scott Higginbotham, Greg Holmes, James Horwill (c), Leroy Houston, Beau Robinson, Radike Samo, Jake Schatz, Guy Shepherdson, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Adam Wallace-Harrison.

Backs: Will Chambers, Quade Cooper, Rod Davies, Anthony Fainga’a, Will Genia (vc), Mike Harris, Digby Ioane, Luke Morahan, Ian Prior, Dom Shipperley, Ben Tapuai.

  • Coops hasn’t really had too much opportunity to work his magic – but as we can all see, he does not hesitate to impress when he does.
    Really interested to see who will be the starting centers for the Wallabies in th World Cap.

    • Patrick

      I reckon for the moment it is between QC/JO’C for first five, Gits/JO’C/Mortlock for inside and AAC/Ioane/Faingaa/Inman for outside.

      • The Rant

        mortlock is gone mate. let’s move on.

        i reckon deans will try JOC at 12 next to Quade. AAC will keep his 13. Ioane will take back his wing spot.

        • James

          Ioane SHOULD start at 13. He’s not ‘that’ quick. But by F he is ‘that’ powerful.

  • murph

    Shame that play, beginning with the insane cross-field kick from Quade, didn’t result in a try. It would have been the try of the year.

    • Damn, right and it passes into history as just another moment in the game! The crowd was absolutely on its feet, and it should be enshrined as one of the most audacious things that a no 10 has ever done!! There endeth the sermon!

    • Dogman

      It only needed our other wing on the end of it!

  • wobbly

    I seriously hope McKenzie kicks Quade’s arse at training for some of that audacity. They should have piled on 60 plus and for & against might mean the difference between home finals or a place in the 6.

    Whilst we all love to watch the audaciousness, the kick-passes in goal and reverse underarm flicks, there will be days very soon when just a consistent, up-tempo display will be required.

    Personally I think Link should have pulled him off immediately after the kick-pass.

    • REDinCPT

      waratah supporter?

    • RedMan

      Wobbly you sound like a Tah fan. Link should be congratulating QC for the audacity of some of his moves not getting in his face about it. Audacity is what the reds do and they do it well.

    • Drew

      IIRC the kick pass was under advantage – if it bombed they were coming back for a scrum, Reds feed, and this is exactly what the advantage law is all about, isn’t it? Have a go!

      • Reds Fan 2011

        Exactly. I agree with Drew however Wobbly is not entirley wrong, the few backhanded flick passes just weren’t required as a simple pass would have put 2 people over. I’m not saying don’t do it but when you only just up in the first half you need to be smarter. When you are up by 30 in the second half go crazy nuts and give the crowd some entertainment. I think thats where we miss a veteran in our backline like a Peter Hynes who might say a bit about that if it was done at a inappropriate time.

      • Davo

        said in the paper today that he didn’t know they were playing advantage…

  • Who Needs Melon

    Genia has also ‘responded’ after being (arguably) outshone by Burgess early in the season. How tough is he? Don’t know about you but, after I barf my guts up, I usually feel like anything other than sprinting 50 odd metres then swan diving on a ball.

    Digby also hitting excellent form. There are now 4 or 5 players who have GOT to be in the Wallaby run on backs for mine. In no particular order:
    – Cooper
    – JOC
    – Genia
    – Digby
    – Beale

    Question is, who is the 6th? AAC has not shown us much yet this season. I know that could be attributed to a lot of things.

    • RedMan

      AAC has the attention of 2 or 3 defenders every time he’s near the ball which might be reason enough to make him the 6th.

      Also I’d like to continue the BeauLove and tentatively put forward Beau Roinson as the 7th.

    • Darkhorse

      Mitchell is a class act. You can’t leave him out.


      Perfect balance of speed, attacking flair and power

  • Seb V

    Id say the 6th would be MItchell, the 7th? AAC i guess.

  • USA fan

    Digby has to be closer to the ball. He is devastating in traffic (see mid-field scrum where he dances like a black swan) but top end he is too slow for a winger, he could barely keep up with Genia when Genia got his first try.

    With Cooper at 10 we need Barnes or A-finger at 12, both of those guys have no trouble wasting any flanker they send Cooper’s way.

  • Jimbo81

    Digby will win us the world cup! I’d like to see Pocock at 7, Robinson at 6.

    • rolandw

      Please… Rocky at 6. He’s still the best 6 we have. ANd he’s older and wiser. You need guys like that in your team to win a WC. Let’s not make outlandish comments like that.

      I am the most one eyed red supporter in the world, but Rocky is irreplaceable

      • Bay35Pablo

        Best 6 we have? If and when he gets back on the field ….

  • fr3ak

    Unimpressive win really, Reds were massively helped by the ref in the first half and the Cheetahs became a bit shell-shocked after being penalised so many times for legal play. The weather and daytime play were definite advantages for the Reds and that must have contributed to the lack of defensive coherence and the kick-offs out on the full.

    Cheetahs just weren’t as good as they were last week and dropped off their intensity as the game got away from them.

    Cooper’s goal kicking remains a serious negative against his selection at 10, immaterial in this game but seriously poor.

    5/10 for the game +1 for Genia’s try :)

    • Funk

      Did the Brisbane sun get in your eyes, so you didn’t really see the game or did you only have one eye open?
      As for Coopers goal kicking, when did he start goal kicking for the WBs? I didn’t realise that goal kicking was a must have skill for the no. 10.
      How the fuck did the daytime and weather affect the restarts? Don’t they get dry 27degree days in Bloom for them to practice restarts?
      Every one of your comments here is absolute drivel! Go and get back on the tah’s thread.

      • rolandw

        Agreed Funk. Everyone says the reds have not been tested yet…blah blah. They just make good teams like the cheetahs look average.

        Lets not forget the Cheetahs finished within 7 of all the SAF rivals, belted the tah’s etc.

        I was at the game, and to me it looked like both teams were playing in the same heat and same sun. There was just one team who is quicker, fitter, stronger and faster (and now sitting second overall, first after next weekends thumping of the lions).

      • fr3ak

        Good old thin skinned QLDers never gets old eh?

      • fr3ak

        btw did you even read my comment on the ‘Tahs game? The one where I praised the Reds as the only Australian team capable of beating the ‘Tahs (though of course… you actually haven’t… yet). My opinion is that the Cheetahs played poorly and the Reds were able to take advantage of a team clearly suffering in the heat. The Reds didn’t do anything special except get quick ball from the ruck (any half decent team would have countered that and the Reds go backwards pretty quickly when they don’t get fast ball) and spread the ball wide against very narrow defence. The Cheetahs didn’t adapt and paid for it. Simple. The true indication of that game was the first 20 minutes when the Reds were completely out of sorts.

        • Funk

          After reading your drivel on this thread I didn’t even bother to read your crap again.
          Yet again you try to claim that the only reason they won was because of the wether, last year it was in hot conditions, this year the max temp for the day was 27degrees, and probaly by 2.30 it would have been more like 25-26 degrees if you think that’s a hot day, you’d better not move north like all your neighbours!

          “The Reds didn’t do anything special except get quick ball from the ruck (any half decent team would have countered that ” I think you’ll frind that your tahs could not get quick ball last week because they were countered by a “half decent” team with a very good pilferer and counter rucker.

          In the first 20min the Reds scored 1 try and probably botched another 2…if that is out of sorts, I can’t wait til the Reds are in sorts!

          Your comments were neither accurate or inciteful, just biased and bitter from a down trodden tah’s fan, with nothing better to do.

          It looked to me that the Bumby’s came pretty close to beating your tah’s so I’d say there are at least a couple of Aussie teams capable of beating the tahs????

  • rolandw

    Is anyone as stoked as I am that Ben Lucas is injured. A real blessing in disguise for the Reds. Now link can see how good Moroham is. Harris can cover Cooper, just hope genia doesnt get injuured.

    • Muffy

      Roland, I payed your reply to Funk about the sun, fitness etc, but I have to say I choked a bit on this Lucas injury comment, not good mate.

      You are entitled to have you preferred players, and Luke is a star, but to be grateful for anyone having a injury sticks in the craw a bit.

      This aint KEO mate

      • rolandw

        Ahh that came out wrong. It’s not good when anyone gets injured, but I think the reds would be better off with Morohan at fullback. Lucas is great to come off the bench as he can cover many positions and hopefully he is back on the bench soon, but I rate Morohan as a better fullback.

        The guy must be hurting and I am saddened for him. I don’t take pleasure out of other peoples misfortune. Just came out wrong.

        • Reds Fan 2011

          Roland I understand what you meant. I agree with Lucas being overrated and there are better players than he however the only problem I can see is that the Reds now don’t have any cover at one of the key positions in the side. Halfback. If the Reds keep playing Genia 80 minutes week in week out he will get either fucked(exhausted) or injured. This is probably the only area we lack depth due to Kingi and McKibbon leaving over the past couple of years. Lions certainly are not a sure thing in altitude this year and if we take them lightly we will pasted like the Tahs did against the Cheetahs. If we turn up switched on for the full 80 which we haven’t this season we will win by 25 by I guarentee the Reds will switch off after a lead and then we will win by 10-12 points.

  • Bay35Pablo

    I think you mean fresh from their COMPETENT display against an inept Waratahs side.

    This game4 showed how bdaly the tahs played. had they put a try or 2 on rather than dropping the ball, the Cheetahs would have gone to pieces as well I expect.

    Whatever the Reds and Rebels have been putting in their cordial after Rounds 1 & 2, the tahs need some.

  • Brax

    Tah’s supporters really find it hard to give credit where it is due. Sad really.

  • Old Weary

    Cooper made a couple of ‘great’ tackles in this game.. would be great to see a “coopers greatest hits” collection. Will be short, but I am sure quality.

Northern Provincial Rugby

Steve Timms, He likes watching the odd game of Rugby, occasionally writes about it.. Proud member of the original Mudchooks.

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