Reds take positive step into Super 12 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds take positive step into Super 12

By Jim Morton 12/02/2004 07:03:53 PM Comments (0)

Queensland ended a drought in New Zealand and took a positive step into the Super 12 with a 54-38 trial win over the Canterbury Crusaders.

The Reds crossed for eight tries in Timaru against last season's runners-up, which ran on their strongest team, containing 12 World Cup starters, in the second half.

With fullback Chris Latham and winger Peter Hynes running rampant, Queensland held a 35-14 advantage at the break but still managed to match it with the Crusaders in the second half.

Coach Jeff Miller was particularly pleased with the way the Reds' new attacking structure held up throughout the game, even after lynchpin Elton Flatley was replaced after half-time.

He felt the signs were good leading into Friday week's Super 12 opener against the Otago Highlanders in Invercargill.

"It was a really positive step forward," Miller said.

"But we're not kidding ourselves, we know the step-up in intensity will be enormous when we play in Invercargill."

Back-rower Luke Doherty was the Reds stand-out in a clever and tireless performance which demanded his reinstatement even when Daniel Heenan returns from injury.

A two-try performance by Hynes and a fine second-half by young fullback Drew Mitchell were also highlights as Queensland, without a Super 12 win in New Zealand since 1999, turned around its poor record against Kiwi sides.

"Generally there was a lot to be pleased about but secondly there is also a lot to work on," said Miller, who was disappointed with the Reds' set pieces.

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