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Cats 16 Reds 23

Cats edged out by Reds

Reds keep Cats scoreless in second half to win away from home...

The Cats, who were desperate for a win in this game, lead 16-13 at half time, but didn't score any points in the second half and managed to lose a game that they probably could have won.

Grant Esterhuizen lead out the Cats in his 50th Super game in what seemed to be perfect rugby conditions. Andre Pretorius started the game for his first start of the Cats this season, and immediately Wikus van Heerden won the ball back for the Cats, but after a few phases, the Cats held on and conceded the penalty.

The Cats seemed to have the better of the early play, and initially the Reds were forced to just kick their possession away out of their 22, most of these kicks not finding touch and allowing the Cats to run back at them.

6 minutes into the game the Cats had a huge scrum on the Reds ball, managing to take it through 180 and winning the ball to the delight of the crowd.

It was the Reds however that opened the scoring through a simple try by Hynes when they easily established an overlap on the left, and Huxley converted to make the score 7-0 for the Reds after 12 minutes.

The Cats had another opportunity 14 minutes into the game from a 5 meter scrum in the middle of the field, but after a few drives with the forwards managed to turn the ball over.

From a line-out the Reds infringed, and Pretorius got his first chance at a shot at goal, on the 15 meter line and about 10 meters from the Reds 22, which he slotted to make the score 7-3 for the Reds.

From a great tackle by Jaque Fourie on a Reds player just outside the Cats 22 the ball was kicked forward by the Cats, and Conrad Jantjes seemed to be winning the race to the ball, but was tackled by Hynes without the ball meters from the Reds try-line, referee Lyndon Bray awarded the penalty try and showed Hynes the yellow card he deserved for the indiscretion.

Pretorius converted the kick to make the score 10-7 for the Cats. 

25 minutes into the game the Cats conceded a penalty in the middle of the field, just outside their 22, which Huxley converted to make the score 10-10.

The Reds joined a maul from the side just inside their 10 meter line, and gave Pretorius another chance to add 3 points for the Cats, which he did to make the score 13-10 for the Cats.

Shortly after, 30 minutes into the game, and almost in the identical spot, the Reds held onto a ball and gave Pretorius yet another kick at goal, but this one he just missed to the left.

33 minutes into the game the Cats went of their feet at a ruck, in the middle of the field and just inside their half, and Huxley made no mistake with the kick, the score now 13-13.

Pretorius then stunned the crowd by slotting a 56 meter penalty, 5 meters inside his half and about 10 meters inside the 15 meter line, to make the score 16-13 for the Cats, which was also the halftime score, at this stage still anyone's game.

At the break I had a chat to the TMO, Craig Joubert, about the interesting decision he had to make on whether a Pretorius drop kick was over or not, he said it's not one that you get often!

2 minutes into the 2nd half the Cats stole a Reds line-out ball inside the Reds 22, but failed to capatalise, and eventually conceded a penaly when they held onto the ball.

5 minutes into the 2nd half, a Reds line-out on the Cats 22 went horribly wrong, and Wikus van Heerden went on a 60 meter run up to the Reds 22 where his pass was knocked on by Jano Vermaak.

8 minutes into the 2nd half the Reds again established an overlap on the left, but this time the cover defence of the Cats managed to bundle Croft out just 5 meters from their try-line.

10 minutes into the 2nd half Ludeke sent Van Biljon, Labuschagne, Joubert and Januarie onto the field as fresh legs for the Cats, who were under pressure in their 22, with the Reds having a penalty-line-out 5 meters out. From this they managed to drive over for a try, although it was referred to the TMO first. Huxley converted to put the Reds in a 20-16 lead.

22 minutes into the 2nd half the Reds had a great break out of their half after a great pickup by Valentine of a difficult ball from a line-out, that only broke down just outside the Cats 22, where the ball was passed to Julies by mistake, the Cats were penalised for holding on though, and Huxley added another 3 for the Reds to put them in a 23-16 lead.

With 12 minutes to go, Jannes Labuschagne was injured, and with no lock replacements left, was replaced by prop Lawrence Sephaka.

With 8 minutes to go, the Cats came close through a breakout run by Joubert, he found Fourie, who found Wikus, but when he was tackled just meters out from the Reds try-line, there was no support, and the Reds stole the ball.

2 minutes later the cats were awarded a penalty on the Reds 22, on the 15 meter line, but Pretorius missed it to the right.

This was the last real scoring opportunity of the match, the Reds thus winning 23-16 and the Cats remaining 13th on the log. 

The scorers:

For the Cats:
Penalty Try 1
  Pretorius 1
Pretorius 3

For the Reds:
Hynes 1, Croft 1 
Cons:  Huxley 2
Pens: Huxley 3

Yellow card: Hynes (Reds, 19)
Red card: none 

Cats: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Wayne Julies, 11 Grant Esterhuizen, 10 Andre Pretorius, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Cobus Grobbelaar, 7 Wikus van Heerden (Captain), 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Willem Stoltz, 4 Gordon Gilfillan, 3 Marius Hurter, 2 Delarey du Preez, 1 Pietman van Niekerk.
Replacements: 16 Lukas van Biljon, 17 Lawrence Sephaka, 18 Jannes Labuschagne, 19 Ernst Joubert, 20 Enrico Januarie, 21 Doppies la Grange, 22 Earl Rose.
Reds: 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Peter Hynes, 13 Ben Tune, 12 Julian Huxley, 11 Caleb Brown, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Josh Valentine, 8 John Roe, 7 David Croft, 6 Tom McVerry, 5 James Horwill, 4 Mark Conners, 3 Rodney Blake, 2 Sean Hardman, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Ole Avei, 17 Anthony Mathison, 18 Cameron Treloar, 19 Mitchell Chapman, 20 Nic Berry, 21 Lloyd Johansson, 22 Tim Atkinson.                           
Referee: Lyndon Bray (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Chris Pollick, JC Fortuin
TV Match Official: Craig Joubert

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