Four-try Skosan helps Lions rugby thrash 14-man Reds

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Lions' lock Franco Mostert (Top L) and Queensland Reds' flanker Scott Higginbotham (Top R) go for the ball in a line out during the Super XV rugby union match March 18, 2017 in Johannesburg

Winger Courtnall Skosan scored four tries as Golden Lions of South Africa cruised to a bonus-point 44-14 win over 14-man Queensland Reds of Australia Saturday in Super Rugby.

Reds and Wallabies fly-half Quade Cooper was red-carded after 56 minutes of the round 4 match for a swinging arm tackle on Lions centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg as he scored.

His dismissal temporarily reduced the Brisbane outfit to 13 men as winger Eto Nabuli had been yellow-carded a minute earlier for a professional foul.

It could have been 15 players against 12 as neither the referee nor the TV match official spotted a spear tackle by winger Izaia Perese on fly-half Elton Jantjies.

This incident occurred at the same time as Cooper committed his foul at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg.

The red and yellow cards turned what had been a combative tussle into a procession toward the Reds try-line with Skosan taking full advantage.

His third try on 65 minutes was the best as he darted after his long kick from inside the Lions half, caught the ball and darted over.

Flanker Jaco Kriel, Janse van Rensburg and hooker Malcolm Marx were the other try scorers for the 2016 Super Rugby runners-up.

Jantjies had an off-day with his goal-kicking, slotting only two conversions and a penalty from six attempts.

When full-back Andries Coetzee took over the role he also managed only a 50 percent success rate, kicking one conversion and missing another.

The Lions led by 15 points at half-time and the score reached 39-0 before the Reds broke their duck through a try from centre Duncan Paia'aua.

Replacement prop Taniela Tupou barged over for a second Australian try just before the end. Substitute back Jake McIntyre converted both scores.

The Lions are away to fellow South Africans the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth next Saturday while the Reds face the Argentine Jaguares in Buenos Aires.