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Reds dodge a blue bullet
Reds dodge a blue bullet
(Finally a match report)
17 May 2011

Result: Reds Won!!!!!!!!!!

 

Reds

Blues

Full Time

37

31

Half time

24

12

 

 

 

Tries

Cooper

S Faingaa

Higginbotham

Hanson

Lowrey

Munro

Mathewson

Ranger

Conversions

Cooper 4 / 4

McAlister 4 / 4

Penalties

Cooper 3 / 3

McAlister 1 / 2

 

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 

 Referee: Jonathan Kaplan

There have been some slightly fanatical and fanciful reports on this side of the ditch after Friday’s game where after 80 minutes the Reds finished in front against the Blues.  Damn it was a good game that highlighted a number of issues.  The Reds are significantly better than last year but they are still an unpolished gem that has a couple of flaws that could shatter the season.  While the Blues have also improved on last year’s season but they have had a couple of crippling injuries robbing them.

The opening 30 minutes and Cooper's goal kicking won the Reds the match by creating a buffer that just held out the Blues.  The Reds opening dominance was crystallised by having quick clean ball that allowed them to set the pace.  It was the Blues failure to counter the breakdowns and slow down the ball cost them the match during this phase. Part of me was wondering if Daniel Braid was available for the Blues would it have been different.   

The latter 10 minutes of the match allowed the Blues to show what they could do once they finally got hold of the pill by quickly scoring two tries minutes apart. It rapidly transformed a the joy of watching a Blues butt kicking into an ohh shit moment for Reds spectators by half time.

Suddenly gone was the feeling of superiority to the realisation that we were in for a shit fight where the first to blink could lose.

The Blues scored to open the account in the second half and that old dreadful feeling in the gut returned that I was witnessing what I have come to expect from the Reds-of-old, a sudden capitulation. 

However, this is not the same side, the Reds composed themselves which was highlighted by Samo stopping 2 try scoring movements in 30 seconds.  Then McKenzie started unleashing the reserves for the boost the side needed and it paid dividends. 

Hanson’s charge down of Brett’s attempted clearance turned the match. Allowing the Reds to hold out until the Blues crossed for a try at the death to claim 2 vital points. To me neither side blinked, rather just bloody good rugby was played and the Reds ended up in front. There was nothing really separating the sides and if they meet in the finals series its anyone’s game and the home ground advantage could be all that separates them.

The fractures in the Reds gem

The scrum was highlighted again.  Part of me thinks unfairly as Kaplan just didn’t like Slipper.  But the way the Reds scrum did get done over on a couple of occasions shows more work needs to be done and the pack must concentrate on every feed.  As this pack is still so young it will get better the longer they stick together.  But this is where the greatest weakness in the side is and it will be targeted.

Playing the whole game. There were a couple of times during that game where they just took their foot off the throttle and allowed the Blues more space and time than they should have.

Hanson needs to spend more time getting his lineout’s correct.

The highlights in the gem

Ioane was a man possessed during the game not only was he a damaging running tearing through the Blues line but he made Rokocoko his bitch that night.  Ioane went hunting for Rokocoko and effectively claimed his scalp every time he touched the ball.  It was a sensational effort from Ioane both in attack and defence.

While Robinson showed there is life after Braid.  The biggest weakness in the squad is now rock solid and he had a brilliant game not only in pilfering but the defence and ability to provide a link between the pack and the backs was great.

In fact it was hard to spot anyone who played a sub standard game and the injection the reserves give this side is a real bonus.

by Geeves

Let us know what you think!

I don't know if I should admit this, but when I saw the result of this game I grinned. Not that I could ever bring myself to support the Reds, but because I just get this warm, cosy feeling whenever the Blues lose. Sad aren't I.

(Oh, and it helps my Crusaders keep in touch in the standings!)

Supposedly this article has been viewed 1002 times since we bothered to start counting*.
(Although it could have just been Geeves on the Reload button doing some serious ego padding!)