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
Sat, 27 May 2017
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Lions v Bulls 51 | 14
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 18 | 16
Sunwolves v Sharks 17 | 38
Force v Highlanders 6 | 55
Hurricanes v Cheetahs 61 | 7
Fri, 19 May 2017
Leinster v Scarlets 15 | 27
Stormers v Blues 30 | 22
Chiefs v Crusaders 24 | 31
Sat, 13 May 2017
Jaguares v Force 6 | 16
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19