Harry Wilson’s Wallabies statement as Queensland Reds thrash Western Force in trial, score, result
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Queensland Reds number 8 Harry Wilson made a big statement to new Wallabies manager Eddie Jones, scoring twice in his side’s impressive 45-10 pre-season win over Western Force.
While Reds manager Brad Thorn has thrown bait at the Waratahs ahead of their trial next week, which is expected to be stacked with internationals from both sides.
Wilson was out of favor with Dave Rennie but took a big step in his battle to get out of the international wilderness on Saturday.
He scored in each of the first two thirds of a match split into three 30 minutes due to Perth’s mini-heat wave.
“He’s just ready to put his hand up,” Australian and Queensland teammate Fraser McReight said of Wilson.
“He had a really good pre-season trying to get back into the fold.
“He knows the best way to do that is to play his role here.
“You’ve seen the carry he does. He has the heart of a lion. I’m glad he’s with us.
The result also issued a warning to the Reds’ Super Rugby rivals in the six-Test series at the UWA Sports Park.
Harry McLaughlin-Phillips also netted a brace with Ryan Smith and Kalani Thomas each adding a point to the Reds’ tally.
The Force’s five points came from winger Zack Kibirige who signed this season with English club Wasps and Campbell Parata.
Both teams were littered with new faces – new Force coach Simon Cron starting with seven while 10 of Thorn’s 30 players had not played Super Rugby.
La Force started with an all-international front line, Wallabies Tom Robertson, new hooker Folau Faanga’a and Argentinian Santiago Medrano.
Behind them, experienced Wallabies lock Izack Rodda was back after a long spell with a foot injury.
But a good sign for the Reds without Taniela Tupou, Thorn’s side handled everything the Force threw at them.
“We had a hit,” Thorn said cautiously.
“You don’t get too excited around tryouts. It’s a trial game. Guys come and go.
“We are working on our game.”
Thorn also threw a veiled crack at the Waratahs ahead of their pre-season clash on Saturday.
“They’re the team everyone is talking about in Australian rugby,” he said.
“They have a lot, I guess, of strength.
“They brought in new players. They are going to be a good challenge for us.”
Force coach Cron meanwhile lamented his team’s inability to apply pressure.
“We haven’t gone beyond one or two phases. We would get naked, drop him or try to throw a miracle pass,” Cron said.
“As a team we have to learn what it looks like to create pressure.
“To create pressure you have to get them to tackle you and to get them to tackle you have to hold the ball.
“We tended to ignore the ball and throw it away. Patience is essential and we lacked it.
“We go back and look at the few critical elements. Why we didn’t put pressure on phase play and why we were slow in our transition defense.
The Force had the better of the opening exchanges but it was the visitors who took the lead from a turnover in midfield, drilling through the cross for Wilson to score, converted by Isaac Henry.
They fought their way into the game, opting to increase their lead with a penalty from Henry.
The Force fought back late in the first period, a fine handling move and chip and chase from Kibirige to the delight of the fans who braved the scorching conditions, but it was the Reds who continued their scoring streak with only one more side house.
AAP with editors