fast little loans
Brisbane, Australia – Wallaby fly-half Quade Cooper played a half in his injury comeback match as defending champions Queensland Reds posted a bonus-point 34-20 victory over Super 15 strugglers Golden Lions in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Reds scored four tries and raced to a 34-6 lead after 55 minutes before the Johannesburg-based Lions scored two converted tries in way of consolation.
Cooper, making his first appearance since rupturing knee ligaments at the World Cup in New Zealand last October, put in 40 minutes before he was replaced at halftime.
The bottom-placed Lions began well and led 6-0 after two Elton Jantjies penalties, before the Reds took control to score the next 34 points and had the luxury of taking off key players early.
The win kept the Reds eight points off Australian Conference leaders ACT Brumbies, who they take on next weekend in Canberra.
"It's a huge game for us against the Brumbies and we're very excited about going down there and getting the result we are looking for," Reds skipper James Horwill said.
Horwill said Queensland lost their way a bit as the Lions hit back with two tries in the final 20 minutes, but were still well beaten.
"We went away from field position and holding on to the ball and we knew the Lions hold on to the ball for a long time and they are a very willing side, so we knew they wouldn't go down without a fight," he said.
"Quade showed some of his best moments and it's really good for us moving forward and hopefully he pulls up okay from the game."
The Reds' tries were scored by in-form open-side flanker Liam Gill, hooker Saia Faingaa, winger Chris Feauai-Sautia, in the opening minute of his Super Rugby debut off the bench, and Wallaby scrum-half Will Genia in a 60m runaway.
Mike Harris contributed 14 points from four conversions and two penalties.
Lions' skipper Josh Strauss said his team let themselves down in the middle stages of the game.
"That's the story of our season, we let ourselves down in the middle of that game, but then again great character from the guys to fight back and show a lot of pride," Strauss said.
"But we have to do that for 80 minutes."
The Lions play the Western Force in Perth next Saturday on the way home from their Australasian tour. – Sapa-AFP