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Cooper weaves magic in Reds’ barnstorming win against Force

QUEENSLAND playmaker Quade Cooper put his hand up for selection in Australia's World Cup squad, scoring 22 points in his team's 32-10 triumph over the Western Force in Perth.

Returning from his second shoulder fracture this season - the No.10 (pictured) showed no signs of rust, scoring two tries to go with two penalties and three conversions.

The Reds' other try scorer was winger Lachie Turner, who also crossed for a double in his return from injury.

The Force's sole five-pointer was scored by fullback Dane Haylett-Petty.

Reds coach Richard Graham credited his forward pack for laying the platform for Cooper to weave his magic. "The scrum was strong and our lineout was dominant. It provided some excellent front-foot opportunities to the backline," said Graham, under pressure to retain his job after a disappointing season.

The news should keep getting better for Reds fans going into the game against the Chiefs on Saturday night, with hooker Saia Fainga'a also expected to be available for selection.

The win lifted the Reds to fourth from the bottom, but consigned the Force to the wooden spoon position with two rounds remaining.

The Waratahs retained top spot on the Australian conference on for and against from the Brumbies, despite their 27-22 loss to the Lions in Johannesburg.

The Tahs take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Sunday morning, before returning home to battle the Reds in Sydney in the final minor-round match.

The Brumbies should account for the Force in Perth on Friday night, before a tough assignment against the Crusaders in Canberra.


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