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Reds crowned 2011 Super Rugby champions

Article Published: Saturday 9 July 2011

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The Reds won their first Super Rugby title in the professional era when they beat the Crusaders�18-13 in the 2011 Super Rugby final held in Brisbane.

The Reds outscored the Crusaders by two tries to one in front of a record Australian Super Rugby crowd of 52 113.

When the teams met at the same venue a month ago the Reds snatched a late 17-16 victory over the Crusaders.

The Reds won two Super Rugby titles before the professional era began when Super Rugby had a 10 team format.

In 1994 Queensland beat Natal 21-10 and in 1995 Queensland (the Reds) beat the Transvaal (Lions) 30-16 for their only two Super Rugby titles.

The Reds were trailing 6-7 at half time but second half tries from Digby Ioane and Will Genia put the Reds back in charge.

Genia's try broke a 13-13 deadlock and gave the Reds a narrow cushion to defend for the last 10 minutes at a ground where they had only lost once this season.

The Crusaders had won seven titles and had traveled more than 100,000 kilometers this season to reach their 10th final in the last 14 years.

The Reds finished next-to-last in 2009 and started their revival last season under Ewen McKenzie, finishing atop the standings at the end of the 2011 regular season.

"All year, people have doubted us, said we couldn't do this. Tonight we showed them," Reds captain James Horwill said as the record crowd of 52,113 erupted at the end.

After an energy-absorbing, scoreless first half hour, flyhalf Quade Cooper landed penalty goals either side of Dan Carter's converted try as the Crusaders took one-point lead into the break.

The Crusaders dominated possession and field position in the first half but only had Carter's brilliant�individual try - grubbering ahead from the quarterline and regathering in the 34th minute - to show for it.

Carter missed a shot at goal in the 15th minute and the Reds wasted two good attacking opportunities before Cooper was successful with a penalty in the 32nd.

The Crusaders hit back immediately via Carter, then Cooper cut the margin again with a penalty in the 38th minute after he'd been tripped in general play.

The usually freeflowing Reds backs were shut down by the Crusaders. The halves combination of Genia and Cooper, which dictated play in the semifinal win over the Blues here last week, were forced into uncharacteristic errors.

But the Crusaders, so aggressive at the breakdown, let themselves down with unforced errors, including hooker Corey Flynn's three crooked lineout throws to continually turn over possession and allow Queensland to stay in contention.

The second half opened up as the defense from both teams tired.

Cooper had a flash of brilliance, stepping inside the defense and arching a pass around behind a defender but it was intercepted.

Richie McCaw shut down another Reds half break with a desperate, lunging ankle tap on Ben Tapaui in midfield, but Digby Ioane knocked on inside his own quarter attempting to field an innocuous kick in the 45th, giving the Crusaders a scrum 20 out in mid field.

Crusaders lock Brad Thorn crashed over in the 47th in the tackle of Radike Samo. The TV official couldn't clearly see the ball grounded and a five-yard scrum was called, despite the confident Crusaders huddled on their own side of half way.

Carter landed a penalty from the left side on the 22-meter line after a Reds scrum infringement to make it 10-6 in the 49th but the Reds rallied immediately, hitting the lead with a some sheer pace and big left-foot step from winger Ioane.

Cooper converted to make it 13-10 before Carter equalized with a long-range penalty in the 56th.

Reds lock Rob Simmons thought he'd scored a 50-meter intercept try but was called back for a knock-on.

But there was no doubt about Genia's solo run, which started from a turnover in broken play when he was looking for options behind a ruck and shaped to kick before setting off for a try that cemented the first title in the expanded Super Rugby competition to the Reds.

"It is a massive turnaround," Ioane said of the Reds improving fortunes over the past three years. "I've been around at its darkest time, and now to see it in its glory..."

Final Score Reds 18 Crusaders 13

Scorers

Reds
Tries - D Ioane, W Genia
Pen - Q Cooper 2
Con - Q Cooper
Drop -
Cards -

Crusaders
Tries - D Carter
Pen - D Carter 2
Con - D Carter
Drop -
Cards -

Attendance: 52 113

Match Officials
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Stuart Dickinson (Australia), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)

Teams

Reds :1. Ben Daley , 2. Saia Faingaa , 3. Greg Holmes , 4. Rob Simmons , 5. James Horwill (c) , 6. Scott Higginbotham , 7. Beau Robinson , 8. Radike Samo , 9. Will Genia (vc) , 10. Quade Cooper , 11. Digby Ioane , 12. Ben Tapuai , 13. Anthony Faingaa , 14. Rod Davies , 15. Jono Lance

Replacements : 16. James Hanson , 17. Guy Shepherdson , 18. Adam Wallace-Harrison , 19. Jake Schatz , 20. Liam Gill , 21. Ian Prior , 22. Will Chambers

Crusaders: 1. Wyatt Crockett , 2. Corey Flynn , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Brad Thorn , 5. Sam Whitelock , 6. George Whitelock , 7. Richie McCaw (c) , 8. Kieran Read , 9. Andy Ellis, 10. Dan Carter , 11. Zac Guildford , 12. Sonny Bill Williams , 13. Robbie Fruean , 14. Sean Maitland , 15. Tom Marshall

Relacements : 16. Quentin MacDonald , 17. Ben Franks , 18. Luke Romano/Chris Jack , 19. Matt Todd , 20. Kahn Fotuali'i, 21. Matt Berquist , 22. Ryan Crotty

 
 
 
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