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Reds pull off huge turnaround against Bulls

Roar Guru
15th March, 2008
3

Queensland’s Chris Latham gets into space, Queensland Reds v South African Bulls - AAP Image/Dave Hunt
The fired-up “rookie Reds” pulled off the biggest turnaround in Super rugby history with a stunning 40-8 boilover against the Bulls at Suncorp Stadium.

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Queensland gained immediate revenge for the darkest day in the state’s proud rugby history when they were humiliated 92-3 in Pretoria in last season’s last round.

Their five-tries-to-one victory over the ill-disciplined Bulls marked a remarkable 121-point turnaround that may never be eclipsed.

Coach Phil Mooney made six changes to the side that fell 34-16 to the Stormers last week and also handed the captaincy to heroic halfback Sam Cordingley.

When under-fire NSW recruit Morgan Turinui capped his best game in maroon with a try in the 72nd minute from a Quade Cooper chip, the Reds had secured their first bonus-point victory in four years.

Former skipper John Roe then celebrated a bitter-sweet week by barging over for his fifth five-pointer of the season after a storming run from talismanic fullback Chris Latham.

Close mates Latham and Turinui, both off the boil in the past three weeks, sparked the young Queenslanders in the first half and were crucial when the Pretoria-based reigning champions promised a fightback midway through the second half.

The amazed 14,411-strong crowd gave the Reds a standing ovation as they left the field.

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“I’m so proud of the boys,” stand-out leader Cordingley told Fox Sports.

“They’ve copped a lot the last few weeks. I just asked them to trust each other.

“That’s probably one of our best performances in a long time.”

Mooney rated the cherished upset a “defining moment” for the rebuilding Reds.

“It’s a great moment for Queensland rugby,” he said.

“Right from the first kick-off our young guys really aimed up.

“We’ve been hearing since last year all about Pretoria so we wanted payback.”

Clinton Schifcofske bagged a career-best haul of 20 points, including a crucial 52nd-minute try when Springboks winger Bryan Habana embarrassingly fumbled a kick through on the Reds line.

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There were heroes all over the park for the spirited Reds, especially skilful teenage five-eighth Quade Cooper, elusive winger Peter Hynes and powerful lock James Horwill.

Queensland put themselves in position to pull off the dream result by leading 13-3 at half-time when the crowd cheered them off.

Wallabies fullback Latham scored the only try of the first half, just three minutes after he returned to action following 10 minutes in the sin bin.

The Reds conceded no points while Latham, yellow carded for a soft stomping offence, was cooling his heels but were helped by outside backs JP Nel and Akona Ndungane butchering two certain tries.

Turinui set up Latham’s try by pushing off Springbok flanker Danie Rossouw and then finding the Test fullback on the inside.

Schifcofske slotted the conversion and then followed up with his second penalty goal just before the break to extend the lead to 10.

They extended it to 17 straight after the break when Hynes finished a beautiful passage of play sparked by a quick tap and 40m scoot by Cordingley.

Bulls half Fourie Du Preez hit back by pouncing on a loose Van Humphries pass to race 70m to score but Habana’s dreadful mistake and the sin-binning of playmaker Derick Hougaard doused the visitors’ momentum.

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