Sydney – Quade Cooper scored all 19 points as the Queensland Reds beat the New South Wales Waratahs 19-15 in a Super rugby match blighted by a serious injury to Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell in Brisbane on Saturday.
Television replays suggested 27-year-old Mitchell dislocated his right ankle in the 19th minute following a collision with Reds loose forward Scott Higginbotham.
The Waratahs had taken a 9-3 lead courtesy of Kurtley Beale's three penalties but a poor restart from Beale, after flyhalf Cooper's second penalty had made it 9-6, swung the momentum.
The Reds used the resulting scrum on halfway as an attacking platform with Cooper ghosting into space as the Waratahs defensive line rushed up and he ran untouched to score close to the posts in the 35th minute.
He then did a spectacular cartwheel and back flip to celebrate, which given Mitchell's injury, would not have pleased watching Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.
Cooper converted the try and then added a drop goal after the halftime hooter sounded to send his side into the break with a 16-9 advantage.
Beale slotted his fourth penalty in the 47th minute to make it 16-12 and the Waratahs then spent the best part of 25 minutes camped on the Reds line and despite destroying the home side's scrum and hammering away at the tryline were somehow kept out.
Centre Tom Carter thought he had managed to get the ball over the line in the 70th minute after a rolling maul that involved at least 11 Waratahs players but television replays were inconclusive.
Beale then kicked his fifth penalty to make it 16-15 before Cooper slotted his third penalty with two minutes remaining to give the Reds their seventh successive win.
“The pressure the Waratahs had us under there for most of that second half and to only come away with three points, that shows the character we have got in this side,” Reds captain James Horwill said in a television interview.
“You have to give credit to the boys. They keep digging deep each week and we knew we had to back our defence there.” – Reuters