Blues v Reds - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Blues v Reds

Blues v Reds

The Blues took their home game against the Reds to Apia in Samoa. In my opinion inspirational idea even if ticket prices kept many fans away. The Blues were hot favourites for this game and deservedly so as no Aussie side has beaten a Kiwi team since march 1892. Or so it seems.

The Match

The Reds started slowly with knock ons, thighthead scrum loses and loose kicks handing the Blues a mountain of procession. Seven minutes in the Blues were up 12-0 with good tries to Rene Ranger and Reiko Ioane and deservedly so. The Reds, despite flubbing a certain try by Andrew Ready manage to pull five points back a few phases later through Taniella Tupau. Kara Pryor add another try for the Blues but Andrew Ready and the Reds got the next lineout drive right and scored a try to even Pryors try out. Still the Blues lead the Reds 20-12 at half time with the Reds lucky to be in touch with two blues tries disallowed through forward passes.

The Reds started the second half how they could have started the first. They were more focused and stuck to their game plan while limiting their errors. The Reds snuck in front through a penalty and a try to Adam Korczyk  before the Blues scored the try of the match Running a thousand metres and through a hundred hands before Cowley-Tuioti dotted down beside the posts. Unfortunately for the Blues, the Reds grabbed the ball back after the kick off and Tupau scored his second try snuffing out the Blues hard fought momentum. The Reds lead 29-27 with fifteen minutes left to play.

The Blues were the team who reacted better to the tight situation. They scored their final try in the 74th minute which pushed them out to a 34-29 lead. The Blues had a small lead and defended it willingly while the Reds just couldn’t get themselves into a scoring position.

All in all a entertaining game in trying conditions. The players on both sides looked spent in the Apia heat and humidity. As always I was hoping for a Reds win but can’t begrudge a tight win to the Blues.  The Reds tries were all scored through the forwards proving how much they missed Kerevi’s grunt in the mid field.

The Game Changer

In the ninth minute the Reds lost their captain and main strike weapon Samu Kerevi to what looks like a high ankle strain. Although they fought hard in the match his loss was too great a hurdle to overcome.


The are a wealth of players who played well with out a single stand out. Duncan Paia’aua is quickly becoming one of my favourites. George Smith and Higginbotham were huge and James Tuttle played well. But I’m heading to the Blues for the MOTM and awarding it to Rene Ranger who ran hard scored a try and put his body on the line.

Wallaby watch

Samu Kerevi and Lukhan Tui both named in the Wallaby squad and both injured. Karmichael Hunt did his chances of a test match cap no harm. Neither did Scott Higginbotham. Quade Cooper continued his slow, ever so slow return to form and even managed a few tackles. Taniela Tupou had a solid game. I’m going to chuck Duncan Paia’aua in too. sure he missed the squad but I think he added another tick next to his name tonight.

The Details


Score & Scorers

Blues: 34
Tries: R. Ranger (3), R. Ioane (7), K. Pryor (29), G. Cowley-Tuioti (62), S. Perofeta (74)
Conversions: P. Francis (5), S. Perofeta (63), S. Perofeta (76)
Penalties: P. Francis (40)
Reds: 29
Tries: T. Tupou (15), A. Ready (33), A. Korczyk (52), T. Tupou (64)
Conversions: Q. Cooper (34), Q. Cooper (53), Q. Cooper (65)
Penalties: Q. Cooper (46)

Cards & citings


  • Who?

    I was in and out during the game, and I’m a fan of him (he’s made a major difference to the Reds at 12 this year), but I didn’t think Duncan had the best night last night… Everything I saw passed to him he dropped.

    • idiot savant

      Yeah he was hot and cold. Made some good breaks but also dropped a ball when the Reds were applying real pressure close to the Blues line late in the second half. Could have ben telling. But he is developing into a fine player. I hope they don’t rush him. EOYT might be the blooding time.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Sully, good write up. I have heard many people mention that this was a frusttrating game, but I certainly didnt find it that way. I thought it was a great tussle and I found it to be one of the better matches I have watched this year. BL’s points in no particular order:
    – Crowd was dissapointing because they radically overcharged for Samoan people to attend. But I still think it is a good option.
    – Jesus was it humid, they were sweating like fat things in a fish and chips shop two minutes into the game.
    – First half was a struggle for the Reds, a few errors and the loss of Kerevi.
    – The referumping was very average for both teams. Blatant offsides and forward passes going everywhere not being called. What the fuck is the role of the touchies if they arent going to call that shit.
    -It was a really tight game in the end. The Reds twice now have really pushed two Kiwi teams, but for their life cant beat a team on paper that they should flog.
    – Higgers had a fantastic game. His work rate was top shelf.
    – George Smith is a legend, and should be in the Wallabies squad.
    – The kicking whilst at times was annoying, the distances the Reds were kicking has improved of late.

    A dissapointing loss, but it was competitive.

    • idiot savant

      Yes one could be forgiven for thinking the kiwi refs are blind to offside against the Reds. You can even pick the ball up two metres behind the ruck and be awarded a try! But O’Keefe might get demoted if he’s not careful. He must be the first kiwi ref not to give the Reds a YC!

      The Blues were half a metre offside in the 12 channel for a lot of the time. It was penalised a couple of times but the tactic worked because they got away with it most of the time. I couldn’t believe Tuttle threw an absolute dump of a pass to Hunt in the 12 channel where he got smashed. How Tuttle couldn’t see it coming when the Blues had been focussing on that all night I don’t know. At the same time I think this defensive arrowhead the Blues had wide of the ruck contributed to the Reds making a lot of metres close to the ruck.

    • Waz_dog

      It was that humid it was a wet weather game without the ball seeing a drop of rain. I think the skills of the Blues edged us there because we dropped the pill a bit more for mine. Duncan P is really finding his feet – if not this year the man will be wearing G&G. He has the halls marks of a 12 that can distribute the ball, tactical kill and hit the gain line on the 12 channel hit up. I really like the look of him. QC looked better with Tuttle at 9 but flyhalf is a big concern for the Wallabies. There was one really bad forward pass that led to a Blues try, idk I’d get upset but that’s the way she goes.

      • idiot savant

        I think in NZ thats called ‘a really flat pass’!

  • theduke

    I felt okay about that game. Maybe because it was so humid and the players were sweating buckets, but they looked like they put in the effort and tried their best. I am also very forgiving on the handling errors on this occasion due to aforementioned buckets of perspiration.

  • AN

    I pray the Red dump Stiles and grab Laurie Fisher now that the Brumbies have gone with Dan McKellar. They need some proper structure and set piece stability, I reckon he could bring it

  • R.M. Williams

    C’mon boys head up. Next week we will fire Stiles anywho

    • idiot savant

      In the real world where performance counts maybe. But in the unreal world of Ballymore, he’s more likely to be promoted and get a bonus from the old boys network who appointed him.

  • Gottsy

    Everyone needs to remember how young this team really is. Bringing in Moore, Higginbotham, cooper and Smith isn’t a miracle cure, if anything it was just going to take more time for the team to adjust. You’ve got these older, more experienced guys, then you’ve got a couple in the middle, then the rest of the team are really young and / or inexperienced.
    I’m not convinced that Stiles is cut out for the job at the moment, but having a huge turnover of personnel in the last few years is always going to make it hard. Just look at all the players the reds have let go or gotten rid of that are now playing well at other clubs (and also the players we’ve kept that seem to be a bit second rate)

    I definitely see quite a few positives for the future, especially when we get some switched on wingers (is it just me or does nabuli seem to have a complete lack of rugby smarts?)

    • idiot savant

      Agree there are some good signs with young players. The halves worry me.

      • Gottsy

        I like Tuttle. Hoping Hamish Stewart can grow into a good 10, but yeah it is a bit of a worry

  • Tommy Brady

    Thanks Sully. Intriguing comments re. Quade Cooper. I couldn’t help but think how ineffective he was against a very average Blues side that had kept many leading players back in Auckland for the Lions game next Wednesday. Cooper’s whole career has become lost which is reflective of his playing style these days. He left a floundering Reds organization for a failed stint at Toulon and now finds himself back involved in the same bumbling Reds setup. The fact Cooper fails to stand out in a roster full of average talent highlights the extent to which his career has regressed. He no longer competes with Foley for the Wallaby starting 10 jersey and the limitations to his game make him a questionable selection on the bench. I wonder if he ever reflects on where it all went wrong. A guy who made too many poor decisions as an immature young guy who now looks little more than a washed up pro. living on past glory.

    • first time long time

      Cooper certainly isn’t playing great footy at the moment but the worry for the wallabies is how bad Foley was last night as well. Our 10’s are sinking it up at the moment

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate, absolutely. Foley was terrible. Couldn’t clear a ball from his goal line out of the 22, missed touch, laboured passing and missing in defence. Cheika really has got some work to do.

    • Nicholas

      Cooper behind a good pack is great. Cooper behind a bad pack is horrible. He is player that will amply how the team is playing. He doesnt have the ability to carry a team unlike Carter or Barrett.

      When we see the reds pack playing well, like in the first 20-30 for most games, he is on fire. Then in the second half, as the subs come on and the scrum/lineout/defence is going pear shape his platform to play well is gone. Thus he starts to make poor decisions.

      • idiot savant

        Agree. Im not sure its just the platform either. He’s been very good sometimes brilliant in first halves but consistently poor in second halves. Its like he becomes mentally tired, like he’s only got 40 or 50 minutes in him.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I think you’re being a bit harsh mate. He certainly has lost some of his pizzaz but I think a lot of it is the crap ball he’s getting from his half. Honestly the ball is so slow and laboured it takes forever to get to him. He has to go very deep so that he gets it with at least some time to do something. I also think this stupid play where he goes back in defence and then has to run forward to play the ball is just not working. People have got used to it and now exploit it easily and it’s time to change to another plan. I must admit I’m not a huge fan of Cooper as a 10 at test level but he’s still got some good skills that the Reds should make use of.

      • idiot savant

        The irony was the the Reds did change Coopers defensive position for the Blues game. They shifted him to the wing instead of fullback. And guess what? The Blues saw it immediately and went wide to his wing and scored 2 tries in the first 10 minutes! You’ve got to hand it to kiwi sides. They are smart and do play whats in front of the them.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          He needs to stay in the line and just learn to tackle. Stop all that rip the ball out and just put the player on the deck. It’s not friggen rocket science

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yep and the same issues about being out of position when the game changes due to a knock on or something. Its a tactic that has lost its effectiveness

      • 30 mm tags

        If Cooper played behind a pack as good as the Force has, and they showed how good they were on Saturday evening, then he’d be more likely to reclaim the champion status that he once had. He is a rare talent that now plays behind a slow meandering forward pack that doesn’t work as a unit. George Smith and Scott Higginbotham play as individuals, not in harness together. The Red’s problems and Coopers are in the forwards. The Red’s tight five have miserable counter rucking skills and their lack of commitment to contesting the breakdown allows opposition forwards to stay away from the ruck or maul and fan out in defence, so opportunities to for any Reds back to break the line is minimized.

  • Nicholas

    Was a bit upset that we lost enough close one. Happy there was no cards for us and that we didnt throw in the towel at 12-0.

    G.Smith played really well, should be in the Wallabies for the experience. Hunt to FB as well. Duncan also showing that he is a long term 12 option. Hopefully he is in the RC or the EOYT squads.

  • Brendan Hume

    Thanks for the write-up Sully. Anyone shed any light on the final penalty against the Reds. I couldn’t understand it. I though they were right in it until the final whistle. Agree on Smith – he was dynamite. A really good effort from the Reds – you’d think if they were playing like that more often they’d be in the hunt for the Aussie conference, but the inconsistency is what’s killed them this year. Two Aussie teams within 6 points of their NZ counterparts though – things are on the up. Might get an elusive win this year yet!

Queensland Reds

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to

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