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The Reds were too strong for a gallant MTN Lions side in Brisbane on Saturday morning as the defending Vodacom Super Rugby champions won by 34-20. With 25 minutes left, the game was basically over as a contest as the home team raced to a 28-point lead, but the team from Johannesburg never gave up and scored two well-worked tries in the final 20 minutes to close the gap on the score board by 14 points.
They also played reasonably well in the first half, but the MTN Lions were effectively put away in the first 15 minutes after the break as the Reds upped the pace to score three quick tries, racing from a half-time lead of 13-6 to 34-6 in after 55 minutes.
Those three tries â€“ by Saia Faingaa, Chris Feauai-Sautia and Will Genia â€“ not only sealed a bonus point for the Reds, but also put to bed any thoughts the MTN Lions had of fighting back from their half-time deficit on the score board.
In that time, the MTN Lions also had to play with only 14 men as Franco van der Merwe (lock) was sent to the sin bin. The Reds scored two tries in those 10 minutes.
The visitors deserve a lot of credit. Even when they were behind by 28 points they never gave up and were rewarded with two tries in the final 20 minutes, with Martin Bezuidenhout (replacement hooker) and Jaco Kriel (replacement flanker) crashing over.
Reds â€“ Tries: Saia Faingaa, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Will Genia, Liam Gill. Conversions: Mike Harris (4). Penalty goals: Harris (2).
MTN Lions â€“ Tries: Martin Bezuidenhout, Jaco Kriel. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalty goals: Jantjies (2).
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