The Reds are Super Rugby champions after they sealed a tense 18-13 victory over the Crusaders in a hard-fought Final at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday.
The brave visitors who have not played a game at home all year took a 7-6 lead into the half-time break after dominating poosession and territory in the opening 40 minutes.
The Reds showed great discipline on defence, but a moment of brilliance from Dan Carter gave the Crusaders the lead at the break after he collected his own grubber in the Reds 22 and went over for the try which he converted.
The Reds hung in under great pressure in the scrums and at the breakdown, and two Quade Cooper penalties kept them in touch.
Two moments of brilliance in the second half swung the momentum in favour of the home side. Flying wing Digby Ioane was put in some space by Cooper and he outstripped the cover defence to go over for the try but the killer blow came when Will Genia snapped up a loose ball from a turnover just inside his own half.
The nippy scrumhalf spotted a gap and found himself in some space, he then turned on the pace and backed himself to run in a sensational 55 metre try. The home team then hung on for a tense five-point victory to lift the Super Rugby trophy in front of a packed home crowd.
For the Reds:
Tries: Ioane, Genia
Pens: Cooper 2
For the Crusaders:
Pens: Carter 2
Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Radike Samo, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Guy Shepherdson, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Jake Schatz, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Will Chambers.
Crusaders: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Luke Romano, 19 Matt Todd, 20 Kahn Fotuali'i, 21 Matt Berquist, 22 Ryan Crotty.
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Stuart Dickinson (Australia), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)
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