10 Jul 2011

Reds take first Super title

7:29 am on 10 July 2011

It's been a good week for both codes of rugby in Queensland after the Reds beat the Crusaders 18-13 to win their first Super Rugby title, just days after the Maroons sealed a sixth straight State of Origin rugby league title at the same stadium in Brisbane.

Reds halfback Will Genia produced a moment of opportunistic brilliance to score a 65-metre try that helped seal the Super title for his side in a pulsating match that was a fitting finale for both sides who have overcome turmoil this season.

The Crusaders were forced to spend their entire season on the road, racking up more than 100,000 kilometres in travel following the February earthquake in Christchurch, while Queensland also suffered a series of devastating summer floods that killed a record amount of people, and badly affected Suncorp Statium - the former Lang Park.

That was all forgotten on Saturday, however, as a record crowd watched a tense encounter that was really only broken open by Genia, who sparked both of the Reds tries.

For the first he found a flying Digby Ioane after a poor Crusaders kick, while for the second he seized on Crusaders' indecisiveness around the ruck to sprint 65 metres after the visitors had turned the ball over while on attack.

First five Quade Cooper slotted a conversion and two penalties for the Reds, while Dan Carter scored all of the Crusaders points with a try following his own deft kick that pierced a swarming Reds defensive line, a conversion and two penalties.

The Crusaders led 7-6 at half-time through a Carter try from a piercing kick and regather, the All Black waltzing around a bewildered Cooper, whose tackling frailties have forced the Reds to hide him on defence.