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Genia fires Reds to Super win over Blues



Back to his dazzling best ... Will Genia.

Back to his dazzling best ... Will Genia. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies halfback Will Genia returned to his signature best to lead the Queensland Reds to a much-needed 23-11 Super Rugby victory over the Blues in Auckland on Friday night.


Battling for form in 2012, Genia dominated for the defending champions who scored three tries to one to consign the under-achieving Blues to their sixth straight loss.

Keeping his chin up ... Ma'a Nonu.

Keeping his chin up ... Ma'a Nonu. Photo: Getty Images

Rising flanker Liam Gill was also a Reds standout, saving the day a number of times with excellent defence and a string of breakdown pilfers.

Queensland took a 12-0 lead after just seven minutes but it was their desperate low tackling and ruck dominance that yielded their first Super success in four trips to Eden Park.

The Reds, now sitting on 25 points, went into the match desperately needing to keep in touch with the Brumbies (26) and NSW (25) in the Australian conference with tough clashes against the Crusaders and pace-setting Chiefs on the horizon.

Back in familiar territory ... Mike Harris.

Back in familiar territory ... Mike Harris. Photo: Getty Images

But they did finish the match with injury concerns hovering over prop Slipper and flanker Beau Robinson.

Queensland's scintillating start was highlighted by Digby Ioane crossing with his first touch of the ball in his 50th Reds match after just 60 seconds following a Ben Lucas cross-kick to lock Rob Simmons.

Lucas was again prominent five minutes later as he fired a cut-out pass to fullback Luke Morahan to embarrass the disorganised Blues backline defence for the 12-0 lead.

With Genia pulling the right rein and also kicking brilliantly, the Reds ran amok.

In contrast the Blues were living up to their last-placed standing and their woes at the lineout - featuring five turnovers on their own throw.

But All Black centre Ma'a Nonu sparked a revival with two punishing tackles on Ioane and the home side worked their way back into the game with skipper Luke Braid darting over off the back of a driving maul.

A second try seemed certain before fine defence by Gill and Auckland-born Mike Harris but Blues five-eighth Gareth Anscombe reduced the gap to four with a close-range penalty.

Ewen McKenzie's selection of twin ball scavenger Robinson and Gill paid off throughout and Gill's turnover from Nonu allowed Harris to kick the Reds to a 15-8 halftime lead.

Like the first half, the Reds started the second in fine fashion with Genia making in-roads before putting winger Dom Shipperley over for his fifth try of the season with a perfect cut-out pass.

But it was their only points for half an hour as the Blues had all the running for the rest of the match until Harris slotted his second penalty goal with five minutes to go.

QUEENSLAND REDS 23 (Digby Ioane, Luke Morahan, Dom Shipperley tries Michael Harris con 2 pens) bt BLUES 11 (Luke Braid try Gareth Anscombe 2 pens) at Eden Park. Referee: Craig Joubert.Bye-Bulls, Sharks, Melbourne Rebels


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England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
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Team P W L D +/- Pts
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