‘Let the game flow’ – Reds outlast Brumbies as card frenzy steals the show to leave fans and players furious


If there’s one Super Rugby team designed to deal with the card frenzy sweeping through the competition at the moment, it would be the Reds.

Reduced to 14 men midway through the first half after Tuaina Tualima was shown a red card for a nasty cleanup on James Slipper, then again in the final minutes after Taniela Tupou was given a yellow for being offside at the ruck, the Queensland team would dig deep as they have done all year, refusing to allow the Brumbies to sniff out a game-changing try, and even scoring one themselves through Fraser McReight.

By contrast, the Brumbies, themselves victims of the crackdown when Rob Valetini and Cam Clark both saw yellow one after the other to leave them a man down for most of the second half , could not hold out. James O’Connor linked up with Filipo Daugunu in the 68th minute to seal a 21-7 win and extend the Reds’ recent dominance at Suncorp Stadium over other Australian sides.

Even then, it could have been much more comfortable, with the Reds squandering several golden chances during the game, none worse than a shot on which Daugunu stole an almost certain try minutes before making amends.

But after losing co-captain Liam Wright to an ankle injury in the warm-up to join a host of key players ruled out through injury, it was a bold victory for the Reds, and enough to leave the acting skipper Tate McDermott full of pride.

“The strength of this group is our depth, it’s something ‘Thorny’ and Sam Cordingley have built over the years, and I’m so proud to be a Queenslander, especially tonight,” he said. he declares. Stan Sports After the game.

“It doesn’t matter who we attract, and everyone says it, they do their job. It’s obvious tonight – poor old Tuaina got a red, which is unfortunate, but like we said, we’re getting by.

“We fight, we keep going, whoever we have in the paddock, they do their job and they make Queensland proud.”

Summing up the Reds’ unparalleled desperation, a brutal Hunter Paisami knock on Nic White late in the game left the veteran Brumbies breathless.

But the main story of the night was the continued crackdown, which saw four cards dealt by Angus Gardner, most sparking debate.

Tualima’s red card was warranted, having made contact with a header on Slipper, but Valetini for a hit on McDermott received widespread condemnation, with former great Tim Horan adamant it should have been just a penalty, given that it was unclear if the Brumby had even hit the head.

Increasingly tough laws surrounding head contact have resulted in a card streak this season, which only escalated on Saturday night – and although best man on the pitch McReight acknowledged players had to shoulder a some responsibility, he also argued that the crackdown was bad for the game and the fans.

“Obviously there’s a crackdown going on right now, but as players we probably need to do better,” McReight said. Stan Sports.

“We have to learn and get used to these new rules.

“Moving forward, I personally would like to see the game flow a little more and be a little more entertaining for the fans. I know if I was an observer I would like to see the game flow a little bit. more, but I think as players we can play a big role in improving that.

Fraser McReight of the Reds scores a try. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

However, McReight was full of praise for his fellow Reds, saying the key to victory was their desire to hit the second half hard despite being a down player.

“We came out of the hangars at half time really wanting to win the first 10-15 minutes and gain momentum. I think we did it with great execution,” he said.

“We’re pretty used to getting cards now, we’re actually saying we play better with 14 or 13 men, which we probably did if you can look back over the last two weeks.

“We are quite comfortable in this position, so we knew we had to stick to our structures, our game plans. We have really smart players who can adapt at any time, and I think we did.

Less impressed with the effort was coach Brad Thorn, who urged his side to keep improving before the real test of their season comes against New Zealand sides when border restrictions finally allow to travel.

“A lot of opportunities were left out there, so there’s a bit of frustration to be honest,” Thorn said after the game.

“I love what the guys have brought, but that’s what we expect too. I seek perfection on things.

“This competition is not AU this year, it is Trans-Tasman. There are Kiwi teams to face soon, and we want to compete. We’ll keep growing – maybe I’m just a little grumpy! »

Having struggled mightily in the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition last season after winning the Australian leg of the competition, Horan knows that good form against other Australian teams does not necessarily bode well for the next one. stage.

But speaking on Stan SportsJustin Harrison argued the Reds could prove a real challenge for any New Zealand side they come up against.

“Last year we saw the Queensland Reds win the competition and then unfortunately not take that form in the Trans-Tasman crossover,” Harrison said.

“Brad Thorn’s referencing, ‘Kiwi sides are coming, we’ve got to be better, we’ve got to keep growing’. They’re a year wiser, they’re a year smarter, they’ve got a backbone now, they’ve got players rockstar in this team…”

An upcoming furlough gives the Reds the perfect opportunity to rest, recuperate and welcome some players back into the fold, ahead of the tough road ahead.




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