Crusaders put end to Reds campaign
THE Queensland Reds' season is officially over after the mother of all beatings on Mother's Day at Suncorp Stadium.
A 40-13 second half by the Crusaders put an end to the Reds' chances of making the Super Rugby finals and ended a six-year losing streak in Brisbane for the New Zealand side.
The Reds were crushed 57-29 and have just three wins and are languishing near the bottom of the ladder while the Crusaders moved into second place in the New Zealand conference and fourth overall.
The home side led 17-16 at the break after tries from Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, his first in the competition, and Dom Shipperley following an opening try from the Crusaders' Nemani Nadolo.
But after the break it was a different story with the Nadolo scoring his second try, Wyatt Crockett taking a cheeky quick tap and going over, and wing Johnny McNicholl and No.8 Luke Whitelock scoring one each before McNicholl collected his second.
Quade Cooper showed flashes of inspiration in the first half but went chasing the game in the second half with the Reds behind and an intercept pass that delivered McNicholl his second try summed up his afternoon.
The Reds kicking game was poor, their chasing worse.
The Crusaders will host the Sharks next week and will fancy their chances of extending their winning streak to six.
Although their lineout wasn't quite up to its usual standard, they put enormous pressure on the Reds' scrum.
It was however Colin Slade who really impressed.
He kicked 11 from 11 shots at goal and his cutting runs and passing game - his wrap-around ball to Luke Whitelock was instrumental in Nadolo's first try - were top notch as the former Brisbane boy enjoyed a night out in front of his family and friends.