Reds rue costly misses in loss to Cheetahs
May 19, 2013
Reds lock Rob Simmons flies high to win a lineout against the Cheetahs © Getty Images
Queensland's biggest 2013 downfall - a lack of try-scoring polish - returned to haunt them in Bloemfontein as the frustrated Reds fell 27-13 to the Cheetahs.
Despite enjoying twice as much possession, the Reds failed to capitalise on a string of try-scoring opportunities as the South Africans scrambled brilliantly and clinically took their own points on offer.
It cost Queensland dearly as they missed a pivotal chance to jump to the top of the Australian conference.
They weren't helped by television match official Shaun Veldsman who denied them four times before finally awarding the visitors a dubious five-pointer to Ben Lucas when the contest was over in the 78th minute.
Davies was inexplicably ruled to have knocked on while it was also denied due to an inconsequential and accidental obstruction by Saia Faingaa on halfway as fullback Luke Morahan broke free on the previous phase.
Cheetahs halfback Piet van Zyl then compounded the surprise two minutes later by charging down Will Genia's box-kick before evading a feeble Cooper tackle to score for a 10-point turnaround.
The Reds dominated possession but failed to convert it on the scoreboard (video available in Australia only)
Queensland coaching boss Ewen McKenzie was also seeing red after halftime when Morahan was denied by a side-on review angle that showed Cooper's reflex inside pass went forward.
"I haven't seen many TMO forward pass decisions this season and we got a couple in the one game," McKenzie told AAP. "They were pulling camera angles out of their bums to get that forward pass on Quade."
But McKenzie's biggest frustration was borne out of his side's poor try-scoring precision.
Queensland played with vibrant enterprise throughout and Morahan, Chris Feauai-Sautia and Digby Ioane all made early breaks which went unrewarded while set-piece chances near the line were fluffed by impatience and the Cheetahs' fine breakdown work.
"We got what we deserved," McKenzie said. "We didn't hang on to the ball at key moments and we weren't patient enough.
"We had plenty of opportunity; we had good field position and plenty of ball.
"It's not as though we weren't doing enough but the (final) detail hurt us."
Wallabies winger Ioane (knee) came off in the second half but he's expected to be right to play the Stormers in Cape Town next weekend.
It was Ioane who slipped as the elusive Van Zyl burst through 40m out to score his second try from a well-worked lineout play to set up an 18-6 halftime lead.
Journeyman five-eighth Elgar Watts kicked three second-half penalty goals in a 17-point haul to seal the result for a 4-0 Cheetahs clean sweep of Australian sides.
Tom Hamilton pays a visit to Oxford University Women's Rugby Football Club who have recently made headlines across the world, from Tokyo to New York
"Gentlemen, if you want to see the World Cup going south yet again, you are going the right way about it," John Taylor looks at the state of European rugby
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points