McKenzie pleased with historic victory

Fri, 29 Mar 2013 11:39
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The Reds recorded their first four-try bonus point victory of the season, a hoodoo-breaking 34-33 Super Rugby win over the Highlanders.

The Queensland Reds recorded their first four-try bonus point victory of the season, a hoodoo-breaking 34-33 Super Rugby win over the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday.

There was plenty to celebrate for Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie - from the Reds' historic four tries to three triumph, the win being Queensland's first victory in Dunedin since 1981 and also the Reds' maiden win over the Highlanders on New Zealand soil since the inception of Super Rugby in 1996.

The thrilling victory was also a fitting way to recognise a number of individual milestones - with McKenzie becoming the most capped Super Rugby coach in history with 121 games, while centre Anthony Faingaa had a standout game in his 50th game for Queensland.

Flyhalf Quade Cooper was another to produce a strong performance with his 14 points scored putting him on 501 career Super Rugby points, joining fellow playmaker Elton Flatley as the only two Reds players to surpass the 500-point mark.

The bonus point success puts the Reds in a strong position with five wins from seven Super Rugby matches this year and they will now pick up a guaranteed four competition points during next week's bye before travelling to Hamilton to take on reigning champions, the Chiefs, on April 13.

McKenzie said he was pleased that the Reds accomplished their goal of breaking their long-standing losing drought against the Highlanders in New Zealand.

"We've ticked off another important milestone and it was the one we were chasing," McKenzie said.

"To also come away with a bonus point is fantastic," the coach added.

"In previous games we've been creating plenty of opportunities but not finishing them off. Our finishing improved and we got a reward for our attack.

"Coming into this game we had five guys pull out through injury on what was already a shortened week after the Bulls game, so to recover and get a result was very pleasing.

"It was a tight game, but also a good game of rugby from both teams. The referee did a good job of keeping the game going and it led to plenty of attack and end-to-end Rugby.

"Going into the bye you would obviously love to be undefeated but that's rare in this competition. We are pretty pleased with our work to date and five wins from seven games has given us a good platform to work from.

"We know we can still improve, so we'll just keep hanging in there and continue to work hard."

The Reds, who remain undefeated against New Zealand opposition in 2013, secured their first four-try bonus point of the season courtesy of tries to James Hanson, Liam Gill, Jake Schatz and Will Genia.

Captain James Horwill continued his comeback from injury with a dominant 63 minute effort and Genia got through his first 80 minutes of Rugby this year, while prop Ben Daley and wing Rod Davies put frustrating injury layoffs behind them to see their first action in the Reds jersey in 2013.

Following a bye next week and then the Chiefs match in Hamilton in Week Nine, the Reds return to Brisbane on April 20 for a blockbuster Australian Conference match-up against the Brumbies.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 12 3 1 8 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9