The Reds continued to pile the misery on the Sharks, winning easily in Brisbane.
The bonus point was secured by half time, scoring four tries and leading 29 – 3 before winning 32 – 17.
Four tries in the first half ended the match as a contest, the Reds able to settle into a second half and defending their lead. The Sharks scored twice in the second half, but could not get close enough to force the Reds out of first gear.
The Reds took full advantage of poor Sharks defence, Rocket Rod Davies scoring twice. One of his tries, a full 100m turnaround, could well be one of the tries of the tournament, Will Genia rounding off the movement with a kick through for Davies to pounce on. The Fainga’a brothers each crossed the chalk to complete the Reds’ try scoring.
Will Genia and Quade Cooper, along with Digby Ioane, controlled all aspects of the game, making the Sharks defensive structure look silly and unorganised. Quick ball, along with the Reds playing the full width of the match, outsmart the Sharks who were falling off the tackles and losing the collisions.
The second looked much better for the Sharks, Lwazi Mvovo getting into space and having a good half. Willem Alberts bolstered the pack for the second forty, looking his usual destructive self with ball in hand. Piet Lindeque and Derick Minnie each scored in the second half, Lindeque’s try thanks to some good hands from Lambie.
The Sharks’ season is now definitely over in terms of reaching the play-offs, but it could be the right time to blood some youngsters and try some new combinations. The Sharks will be desperate to win the last tour match, especially as they have now lost five on the trot. The matches back in South Africa will not be much easier as they face the Bulls twice and host the Blues, amongst others.
The Reds now travel to South Africa to face the Cheetahs and then the Stormers, who would have just returned from their four week tour.
Tries: Saia Fainga’a, Rod Davies (2), Anthony Fainga’a
Conversions: Quade Cooper (3)
Penalties: Quade Cooper (2)
Tries: Piet Lindeque, Derick Minnie
Conversions: Pat Lambie (2)
Penalties: Pat Lambie (1)
By Richard Ferguson