Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Cooper stars for Reds

Quade Cooper played a part in all of his team's four tries
Quade Cooper played a part in all of his team's four tries

A blistering first-half attacking display handed the Reds a comfortable 32-17 bonus-point victory over the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium.

The Sharks slumped to their fifth straight loss with an error-strewn performance, while the Reds played their best rugby of the season to lead 29-3 at the interval.

Reds fly-half Quade Cooper played a part in all of his team's four tries, with Rod Davies claiming a brace and Saia Faingaa and Anthony Faingaa also crossing.

Piet Lindeque scored early in the second half for the Sharks to raise hopes of a tighter contest and Derick Minnie grabbed a late score, but Queensland held on comfortably.

Meanwhile, Aaron Cruden kicked the Chiefs to a tense 22-21 win over the Western Force in Pukekohe.

The Hurricanes claimed a bonus point 39-34 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein and damaged the South African side's play-off hopes as they bounced back from last week's defeat by the Bulls.

The Canes outscored the Cheetahs by four tries to three, although it was a good night for prop Coenie Oosthuisen who scored twice for the home side, while Hurricanes fly-half Beauden Barrett contributed 24 points.

The defeat is a blow to the Cheetahs as the Bulls picked up four points in their bye this week, effectively moving them ahead in the round.

The bonus-point victory lifts the Hurricanes up to eighth in the overall standings, but they are still fourth in the New Zealand conference.

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