Captain James Horwill scored a 74th minute try to secure a 39-30 victory for the Queensland Reds over South Africa's Bulls on Saturday.
Captain James Horwill scored a 74th minute try to secure a 39-30 victory for the Queensland Reds over South Africa’s Bulls on Saturday.
The Reds had dominated the match throughout and scored six tries to two, but three missed conversions by flyhalf Quade Cooper and the boot of Bulls flyhalf Morne Steyn had kept the champion Bulls within reach until Horwill’s try.
The try ensured the Reds won a sixth successive game and kept them in touch with top-of-the-table Canterbury Crusaders.
“We knew it would be tough against the Bulls because they’re a very good side and we knew we would have to work for it and that was the most pleasing thing,” Horwill said in a televised interview.
“Things didn’t always go our way but it was very pleasing to get a bonus point win after we came back from Africa.”
While the Reds dominated, a freak late try to Bulls winger Bjorn Basson in the final minute of the first half, when three Reds players thought each of the other was going to catch the ball from a restart, brought the Bulls back into the match.
Basson had simply chased the ball from Steyn’s restart following Reds’ flanker Radike Samo’s converted try, caught it between three bewildered defenders and ran 25 metres to score.
Steyn’s conversion at the halftime hooter reduced the visitors’ deficit to 17-13 after a tight first half tussle during which Cooper scored a converted try and added a drop goal.
Steyn had kept his side in the match with two penalties before Samo’s try had looked to give Queensland breathing space, though that was shortlived with Basson’s cheeky riposte.
Reds fullback Luke Morahan scored two well-worked tries from attacking scrums after the break before winger Digby Ioane looked to have given them an unassailable lead when he outpaced the Bulls defenders to a loose ball that had been kicked down field by Reds’ replacement lock Adam Wallace-Harrison.
Bulls replacement lock Danie Rossouw, however, scored a try to again drag his side back into the game before Horwill crossed to put the game beyond doubt, though Basson grabbed a second late try after he chipped over the defence and reclaimed the ball.
“I think the guys played better than last week but still not good enough,” Bulls captain Victor Matfield said.
“They’re [the Reds] playing well and on a high at the moment and they’re hard to defeat.” - Reuters. .