Crusaders smash Reds in Super 12 trial - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crusaders smash Reds in Super 12 trial

By Dave Donaghy 16/02/2005 10:41:54 PM Comments (0)

Queensland could be without Chris Latham and Josh Valentine for the opening round of the Super 12 after they were injured during the Reds' humbling trial loss to the Crusaders at Ballymore.

The pair left the field before half-time with Latham spraining an ankle and Valentine suffering rib cartilage damage.

But the bad news didn't stop there for the Reds with several other players assisted from the field during the bruising encounter.

Young gun Drew Mitchell and Steve Kefu both suffered mild concussions, Julian Huxley was struck down with severe cramps and Tim Atkinson left nursing a shoulder injury.

After winning their previous two trial games, Queensland was riding high on confidence but was left stunned when the Crusaders stormed to a 31-7 half-time lead.

The visitors ran in three tries inside the opening 20 minutes to take a 21-point lead before All Blacks ace Daniel Carter took the margin out further with a 26th minute penalty goal.

The Reds finally awoke from their slumber when outside centre Junior Pelasasa pounced on a deft kick by Huxley, only to see the game taken out of their reach by Caleb Ralph who scored in bizarre circumstances after the half-time siren.

Ralph touched down on a loose ball inside the Reds' in-goal area after Huxley knocked the ball out of the hands of a show-boating Reuben Thorne.

Two early tries to Atkinson and Brock James in the second half presented the Reds with a faint chance of victory with the home side closing the Crusaders' lead to 31-19.

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