Reds open season with tough 22-16 win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds open season with tough 22-16 win

By Jim Morton 15/02/2008 10:18:24 PM Comments (0)

A tiring Queensland withheld a late Highlanders onslaught to give new coach Phil Mooney a nail-biting 22-16 Super 14 win on debut at Suncorp Stadium.

Two controversial calls by South African referee Marius Jonker to award tries without conclusive video proof helped the Reds over the line.

It was neither pretty or convincing performance by any stretch but Mooney, the Reds and the 19,183 crowd gladly took it after the woes of 2007, capped by a 89-point loss to the Bulls.

"From where we're at we'll take the first win and go one from that," said relieved skipper and two-try hero John Roe.

Last year's wooden-spooners scored three tries to one and showed great promise in the opening 20 minutes to lead 12-0 before getting the wobbles.

The unfancied yet tough Dunedin-based Highlanders clawed their way back to 12-6 and had all the momentum midway through the second half as the home side ran out of gas.

But the sin-binning of prop Jamie Mackintosh and a fine kick by maturing playmaker Berrick Barnes put the Reds in position for a driving maul try scored by Roe.

Like a 20th-minute effort by winger Clinton Schifcofske, the try was sent upstairs to the television match official who could not get a clear view of the grounding but Jonker awarded the five-pointer.

Schifcofske's conversion put the Reds out to 19-6 but the Highlanders weren't dead.

A penalty and a try to reserve forward Adam Thomson from a bungled lineout on the Reds line saw a tense finale with just three points between the teams.

Schifcofske booted a 45m penalty goal after the siren to secure the Reds a six-point victory.

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