Horwill's Reds climb huge mountain

Sat, 23 Mar 2013 14:55
Large james horwill h s3 Large will genia reds v bulls Large quade cooper reds v bulls Large james horwill reds lead out

The Reds, who welcomed back captain James Horwill to Super Rugby, started what coach Ewen McKenzie described as 'climbing a huge mountain'.

The Queensland Reds, who welcomed back captain James Horwill to Super Rugby, started what coach Ewen McKenzie described as 'climbing a huge mountain' on Saturday.

The 2011 champions were delighted with their 23-18 win over the Bulls in Brisbane.

The Reds celebrated Horwill's comeback match by scoring two tries to nil although, it wasn't until the final play of the game that the victory was secured - when wing Chris Feauai-Sautia produced a spectacular try-saving tackle on Bulls flyer JJ Engelbrecht.

Horwill was impactful in his return from a 10-month injury lay-off although it was playmaking duo Will Genia and Quade Cooper who stole the show in igniting the Reds for both of their tries.

Fullback Jono Lance crossed in the 38th minute off the back of some brilliant play from halves Genia and Cooper while it was Cooper who also scored the Reds second five-pointer when a blindside dart from Genia gave the flyhalf a clear run to the line.

The victory was the Reds fourth of the season from six games and sets them up for their upcoming clash against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday, before enjoying a well-earned bye to prepare for a blockbuster April 13 encounter against the reigning champion Chiefs in Hamilton.

Reds Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie said his side would build on Saturday's victory ahead of games against two straight New Zealand opponents.

"I saw some bits and pieces, which made me feel pretty good that we are starting to climb," McKenzie said.

"We certainly are nowhere near the top of the mountain, but we are heading in the right direction.

"We have seven games before the bye so if we can get there at five wins and two losses that will be fantastic.

"You would love seven from seven, but given the nature of the competition, that would be a good result.  But, we've got a bit of work to do to get that.

"We do have to go on the road but we will look forward to playing the Highlanders and the Chiefs.

"We've won the last two times we've played in Hamilton and the Highlanders will also be a challenge down there."

Horwill said he pleased to see the team get a victory in his comeback game.

"It was good to get the match out of the way," Horwill said.

"It is the last hurdle you need to tick off, actually playing a game.

"My body feels good and the hamstring feels fine.

"I'm happy I got through it and even happier we got the result we were looking for.

"I thought we were very enthusiastic and we just focused on trying to do the simple things well."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9