Match Review: Hurricanes vs Queensland Reds - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Match Review: Hurricanes vs Queensland Reds

Match Review: Hurricanes vs Queensland Reds

After the drubbing against the Sunwolves last week, the Reds had been written off by all and sundry coming into the away fixture against the ‘Canes.  Thankfully though, there were a few young blokes and a couple of older fellas at Ballymore that still believed the Reds could get up.

First Half

The Reds started well and after an early penalty were scoring a point a minute up until the 3rd minute before settling into their groove.  From the restart though they found them selves immediately under pressure inside their 22 when a horrendously slow ruck clearance from Ben Lucas resulted in Paia-aua being charged down in goal.  The Canes wasting no time to capitalise on the error saw Beauden Barrett cross for their first try.

Soon after, the Reds were awarded a penalty within range and with the wind really swirling around, Lance started his kick well wide of the uprights before it bent back and through.  Canes up 7-6.

The Canes were next to score through the unstoppable force that is Ben Lam and with Beauden slotting the conversion from the sideline the lead grew to 14-6.

The Reds got into their work and started playing tighter, gaining good metres through the old pick and go. From a 10m centre field scrum, they continued the pick and go’s before Taniela Tupou put his head down and drove over from about 5 out.  The kick from Lance was a good one and it was 14-13.

From the restart the Reds were immediately penalised for Angus Scott-Young clearing out too far past the ball.  It was a legitimate clean out that admittedly did go on a bit far but I felt it was a tad pedantic.  Given the penchant of most NZ sides to clear out well beyond the ruck from time to time, I was expecting to get a few of these calls back.  Sadly I was mistaken.  Apparently it didn’t happen again once in the match.  The Hurricanes kicked for the corner and weren’t able to turn the penalty into points though.

From a lineout 10m inside the Canes half, the Reds pulled off a nice set-piece move that put Kerevi though a hole who offloaded to Daugunu in support, running it in to score under the posts.  The conversion from Lance was successful and 25 minutes into the match, the Reds were leading 20 points to 14.

The Reds were defending well but after sustained pressure, Hurricanes No 8, Blade Thomson, hit and spin his way across the line for a try.  Barrett nailed the conversion and the Canes were back in front.  The half ended with the Hurricanes being awarded a penalty right in front.  Barrett slotted the goal to take his team to oranges up 24 – 20.
Embed from Getty Images 

Second Half

With the Canes having the lion’s share of territory and possession in the firsthalf and running into the not insignificant wind, I felt pretty uneasy about what the second half would bring.  I guess no one told the Reds that the second half would bring their demise but, because they seemingly came out from the break even harder. It took nearly 10 minutes of the second half before either team socred.  The Canes being the beneficiaries after a 5m scrum allowed them to set Ben Lam up in a 1 on 1 with Daugunu in plenty of space.  Daugunu seemed to stand off trying to push Lam toward the sideline but then slipped off the tackle and Lam made no mistake with this one, dotting it down with two hands.  Again Barrett kicked the conversion to extend their lead to 31-20. The Reds almost hit back straight away with Jordan Petaia in space up the sideline before the referee got a late knock on call from his assistant and brought play back.  Before I could get too annoyed but the questionable call from the AR though, Higginbotham made a good turnover deep inside the Reds half, moving it quickly out to Taniela Tupou who, with about a metre of space up the sideline, swatted Milner-Skudder away and goose stepped TJ Peranara before passing it back inside to Petaia who ran it in to score.  Lance continued the 100% kicking from both teams and the Reds were edging back at 31-27. Embed from Getty Images

The next 8 or so minutes were a real arm wrestle.  The Canes continued to dominate both territory and possession but the Reds physicality in defence and line speed was troubling them.  Then came the game changer.

At the 61st minute, the Reds had made a break up the sideline, they had a 2 on 1 overlap when the last pass was knocked down by Canes defender Peter Umaga-Jensen.  Admittedly they were still over 50m out but with a full back to beat and 2 on 1, the Reds were in a good position.  That’s the way referee Ben O’Keefe saw it to as he immediately blew the penalty and put his hand in his pocket for the yellow card.  What happened next was, quite simply ridiculous. TJ Peranara began screaming at O’Keefe to look at the replay.  O’Keefe was trying to talk to his Assistant and both had concurred that is was a deliberate knock down but TJ was relentless, his shrill screech not letting up until O’Keefe eventually caved and decided to look at a replay.

The replay showed the deliberate knock down and then Daugunu hold Umaga-Jensen for a second, which he is perfectly entitled to do once he touched the ball.  TJ Peranara could be heard, saying he’s holding him back, that should be a penalty to us.  O’Keefe seemingly gave up at this point, turning from a yellow card and penalty to Red to just a knock on.  To add insult to injury, at the ensuing scrum, replacement Reds scrumhalf, Moses Sorovi conceded a free kick for feeding the ball into the scrum with one hand instead of two.  We were back to refereeing to the letter of the law again.

The arm wrestle continued until the Hurricanes scored a very soft try through second rower, Sam Lousi, who took a beautiful short ball to stroll through and score.  The kick was successful and the Canes now had an 11 point lead with 12 minutes to go.

The Reds wouldn’t let up but and after 15 phases and about 4 consecutive advantages, Kerevi broke the line and ran it in to score a well worked try.  Lance completed the 100% kicking stat for both teams by nailing the conversion and it was back to a 4 point game with 6 minutes to go.

From the restart the Reds struggled to exit their half.  A really poor clearance from Lance gave the Canes a lineout around the 22 but a diabolical throw from the Canes hooker that was a good 3-4m crooked, but on the Reds side gifted the possession back.  They spread the ball wide but a couple of passes later they knocked it on.  The Canes seemed happy to just try and grind out the last few minutes.  The Reds defence pushing them back until a timely George Smith turnover won the Reds a penalty.  They kicked for touch but lost the lineout.  The Canes then spending the last two minutes, with one out runners, sealing off, rinse and repeat.

The Game

It was an excellent contest, there’s no doubt.  Contrary to what you might think from reading this review, I thoroughly enjoyed the match.  It was played at a very high intensity by both teams for the full 80 minutes and came right down to the wire.  But yet again, I feel like New Zealand referee Ben O’Keefe, will come under a fair amount of scrutiny for his and his all Kiwi officials team performance tonight; and rightly so.

I tweeted earlier in the week that I felt that O’Keefe’s position in this fixture had to be almost untenable. If he favoured the Reds he was over compensating for last week; favour the Canes and Australian’s rest their case.  He had to get it 100% right and no referee ever does.  Surprise surprise, he didn’t get it right.  Not even close in my book.  I mentioned the non-card and non-penalty for the deliberate knock-on howler above.  The exact same thing that saw Taquele in the bin for 10 mins under O’Keefe last week. But there were other shockers.  The pedantry around Angus Scott-Youngs clean out, Sorovi’s one handed scrum feed compared to the last two minutes where the Canes went straight off their feet sealing off, I’m guessing, 90% of  the rucks.  Not to mention Ardie Savea coming in not only from the side but almost the Reds side to clean out a Reds player also in the last two minutes.  Some of pedantry would’ve been good when TJ was taking 8-10 seconds to use the ball when it was clearly available, or the infinitely weird call of, “the ball is out” when it popped out of a scrum, but as soon as Sorovi pounced on it, he decided, it wasn’t actually out and he’d seen a penalty somewhere.

The NZ teams are hard enough to beat and even harder at home.  It’s not enough seemingly, just to play really well, or even better than your opposition.  The Canes should’ve played that one with one less man for 10 minutes but didn’t because Ben O’Keefe let himself get bullied by a screeching halfback.  Would it have made a difference?  I have no idea.  All I know, is the record books will show the Canes won, I’ll get called a whinging Aussie and the NZ vs AUS Super Rugby ledger will tick over to 40 straight.

The Game Changer

For me it was easily the conversion of a penalty and yellow card to just a knock on at the 61st minute.


For the winning side, it’s hard to go past the immense capability of Ben Lam, the guy is a freak.  For the Reds, the easy picks would be Kerevi or Tupou but for me, in a performance built on defence, Angus Scott-Young had a huge game making 19 tackles and only missing 2.

Wallaby watch

If Taniela Tupou hasn’t earned himself a start or at least a bench spot against the Irish after tonight then I don’t know what he could do to earn it.  His scrummaging was excellent and his attack was on fire, scoring a try and setting one up with a beautiful run down the line.  Hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa wouldn’t have hurt his chances either.  Clearly Angus Scott-Young is one to watch also, maybe not this season but in the coming years for sure.


The Details

Crowd: Not known.

Score & Scorers

Hurricanes 38.
Tries: Ben Lam 2, Beauden Barrett, Sam Lousi, Blade Thomson
Conversions: Barrett (5/5)
Penalties: Barrett (1/1)

Reds 34 
Tries: Filipo Daugunu, Samu Kerevi, Jordan Petaia, Taniela Tupou
Conversions: Lance (4/4)
Penalties: Lance (2/2)

  • Richard Patterson

    For the 2nd week in a row, we see a visiting Australian side arrive in New Zealand given little hope of winning (in either country) after a poor loss the week earlier.
    For the 2nd week in a row, we see that same visiting Australian side prove competitive, skillful at times and resilient for much of the match.
    For the 2nd week in a row, it would appear many armchair fans attribute the single reason why the visiting Australian side not winning the match was because of the NZ referee. Or is it Kiwi cheating? Or is it both?

    The Reds deserve a lot of credit for a very gutsy performance. Isn’t it amazing what happens when you play to restore some pride and are mentally switched on!! The facts are they could only secure 35% of the possession and could only play 31% of the game in the Hurricanes half. They missed 40 tackles that included a few gifts on Ben Lam. Some improvements there would have produced a different outcome.

    The Hurricanes were very poor. Their attack was clunky and unimaginative and they lacked composure on defense. They have an enormous game in Christchurch next Friday night. They played like a team with both minds, and a game plan on that encounter. It nearly cost them.

    • onlinesideline

      nahh, just because a few media pundits and a few of us wankers have a whinge or vent a bit on the odd forum doesnt mean squat. The wider community knows the refs a poor excuse.

    • John

      Or is it Kiwi cheating? Or is it both? I find it odd

      The fans barely even care anymore. The sooner Super Rugby dies, the better for everyone in Oz rugby.

      • Richard Patterson

        They’ll care more now John! Great win for the Waratahs in Sydney. Glass half full my friend.

      • Richard Patterson

        They’ll care more now John! Great win for the Waratahs in Sydney. Glass half full my friend.

    • Gun

      Suoer Rugby is dead here Richard. Cully writes a piece today that solidifies the thoughts of many as we have discussed previously. We need to go it alone. The standard will drop but we will enjoy watching the game again. It’s just been misery for 20+ years. The structure of the comp can’t compete with the other sports here, perhaps unsurprisingly netball gets more viewers and the officiating doesn’t help. It’s easy being a sporting Kiwi!

      • Richard Patterson

        Right. So Paul Cully officially declares that it’s now the Australian sporting psyche to hold your hand up and say “this is hurting too much so we’re packing up our ball and going home? We’re going to play just by ourselves. That way some of us can be winners. We can all give out medals and ribbons for trying hard and doing our best and people will feel happy because they see the ribbons and that’s nice”.
        I mean people won’t care that all their favourite Australian rugby players will be playing overseas as they choose to test themselves against a stronger level of competition and get paid for doing so. I mean that’s been going on in soccer and basketball for 50 years right? Rugby will adapt I mean hey, look at the A-League soccer competition. They again faced falling attendances and falling TV ratings — but an Australian team won and there were lots of ribbons and medals and happy people so that was nice. Australian soccer is stronger for the domestic A-League. Soccer fans still identify more with their local teams at Sydney FC or Brisbane Roar than they do the top Australians playing for the leading English Premier League teams right?

        Misery for 20+ years Gun? Really? 2 of the last 7 Super Rugby winners have come from Australia. I didn’t see a whole heap of misery when the record crowd of 61,000 filled ANZ Stadium in 2014 when the Waratahs deservedly won the competition. I didn’t see a whole lot of misery each week at Suncorp stadium in 2011 when the Reds would outsell the Broncos each home game.
        What I have seen in misery for the last 2 years because Australian teams have become uncompetitive. They have stopped winning.
        They’ve become uncompetitive because at the top there was too much bitter parochialism between NSW, Queensland and ACT against each other – and collectively against anyone from Victoria and WA. There was no united front to make Australian rugby great again. There was petty rivalry where everyone wanted to be King of the Castle and have the other states begging to them.
        They’ve become uncompetitive because at the bottom age-group players were not getting coached correctly. Maybe a resourcing issue but young players were entering into professional rugby ill-equipped to cope physically and were lacking the necessary skills. That gap is widening – not narrowing.
        Mostly though they’ve become uncompetitive because in the middle there were a group of existing professional players with a high sense of entitlement and a low sense of desire. The same players who for the past 3 years have consistently been sub-par in conditioning, sub-par in mental fortitude and sub-par in skills. For every one player who made up for skills deficiencies with excessive conditioning, there have been a whole lot who simply have not bothered. You would have thought they’d get tired of getting beaten, get tired of being shown up for sub-par conditioning and skills. Clearly they have not been. They collected their pay checks from RA and they mailed it in, week after week and season after season.

        Now instead of facing up to the problem they want to run away for it. They want to go and play by themselves. Kinda like the NRC which is a domestic rugby competition — but no-one watches. That will be the basis from which people can be happy again. No more of the Australian way which is to fight, compete and get better. Nah mate — let’s go over here and play by ourselves. Give out ribbons mate because people like ribbons and happy faces.

        Rugby in Australia will be dead inside 15 years on that basis. The Giteau rule for the Wallabies will be scrapped and the Wallabies will resemble the Socceroos. All the good players and coaches will leave. Australia will become a supermarket for cheap players. Australia will never win the Bledisloe Cup which is what Australian Rugby has craved for 15 years. They’ll be uncompetitive on spring tours to the UK and will be just another pool side at World Cup’s. The sport will continue to exist in presence but be dead in all other counts. People will think back on days when Australia would see all the best rugby players from the Southern Hemisphere and wonder where it all went so wrong. They’ll blame the format of Super Rugby (or is it the conference system)? They’ll blame the shit Kiwi referee’s. They’ll be an excuse when the reality is they burnt the sport at the stake in the pursuit of short-sighted greed and because too many players simply did not care enough. It won’t all be bad though, they’ll probably receive a ribbon. They’ll be happy faces — on the outside only.

        • paul

          There are many dilemmas that rugby faces in this country, however if you think developing a domestic based rugby competition in this country is somehow running away from the problem then I pity the future for the game.

          Your response highlights why there are articles like this appearing nearly every second day.

        • Richard Patterson

          Rugby in Australia has no future Paul. The current crop of administrators and players have largely seen to that.
          I have yet to see a sport emerge stronger after defaulting on international competition and folding in on itself. Perhaps Australian Rugby could be the exception. I would not be holding my breath.

        • Twoilms

          Have you ever actually seen a comp default on international competition at all?

        • Richard Patterson

          Australian Netball did it last year and went to an Australian only league. How did that work out in the Commonwealth Games?
          Asian soccer has consistently failed to develop a meaningful Asian Champions League concept because Korea, China and Japan refuse to think outside their own corrupt domestic leagues. See any powerhouse Asian soccer country despite all the money, stadiums and sponsors?
          English and European sport for many years imposed strict quotas on foreign players. Then they realised competitions elevate in standard if they remove them.
          Think out Twoilms, not in. Burying your head in the sand is outdated thinking.

        • Richard Patterson

          Australian Netball did it last year and went to an Australian only league. How did that work out in the Commonwealth Games?
          Asian soccer has consistently failed to develop a meaningful Asian Champions League concept because Korea, China and Japan refuse to think outside their own corrupt domestic leagues. See any powerhouse Asian soccer country despite all the money, stadiums and sponsors?
          English and European sport for many years imposed strict quotas on foreign players. Then they realised competitions elevate in standard if they remove them.
          Think out Twoilms, not in. Burying your head in the sand is outdated thinking.

        • redveincheese


        • Richard Patterson

          The short version is rugby administrators and rugby players in Australia have placed the sport in a terminal condition. It is extremely sad.

        • Gun

          I agree that the administration has put the game in peril. Oz sports admin with the exception of AFL and netball in recent times is well below standard.
          It is mostly our doing no doubt. I’d love to be watching NZ teams being beaten regularly.

        • Gun

          A lot of what you say has merit Richard. 20 years was too long, 10-15 and I include not just super rugby but bledisloe failure and our slide down the rankings. As you’ve stated if we have our own comp the standard will probably drop but at least we’ll have winners and losers and an interesting competition.
          It must compete with the other sports here or it will die professionally if it’s not too late already. Essentially we have a different imperative to you guys. It’s not about ribbons it’s about entertainment.

        • Twoilms

          You’d have a point if O’Keefe had turned in even a passable refereeing performance in the last two weeks but he’s been shocking. Even the bloody kiwi pundits were calling him out on terrible decisions.

          The guy is a muppet and he should have been pulled.

          If we had neutral refs it would be a moot point. But oh no, can’t have a rational response to a potential problem. This is rugby.

        • Richard Patterson

          Australian fans crushed Kiwi Brendon Pickerall for red-carding Scott Higginbotham in Game 1 this year. Australian fans regularly crush Kiwi Glen Jackson.
          Australian fans somehow often disagreed with Craig Joubert and continually dislike Jaco Peyper. They hate everyone from France, struggle with Nigel Owens and battle with Wayne Barnes. God forbid anyone else.
          Perhaps Australia could assist with a solution by growing their refereeing stocks beyond the excellent Angus Gardiner. Maybe that way there would be more Australian officials and less “others”. The Rugby world has been waiting for Australia to contribute for 15 years. For some reason progress has been slow. Perhaps you can elaborate on the reasoning Twoilms.

        • st saens

          Agree that we (AUS rugby) have been negligent in our failure to produce good refs, but I certainly don’t battle with Wayne Barnes or struggle with Nigel O…the two best refs in the world IMO. Prior to Angus Gardiner, our last good (home grown) ref was Scott Young who, sadly, was hung, drawn and quartered by IRB’s head of referees at the time, after a certain test between Italy and NZ.

        • st saens

          My bad…Stu Dickenson not Scott Young.

        • Richard Patterson

          Hard to develop a good league without matching good officials.

        • John Tynan

          RP, the main point for me out of your post (disagree with the Joobers and Glen Jackson comment, btw), is that what got carded (AND 3 WEEKS!!) in week 1 is now going largely unpunished.

        • Richard Patterson

          For example John?

        • John Tynan

          Well, I’m a reds fan, so easiest one for me is Higgers 3 weeks while in the act of tackling a ball carrier. vs (for example) a late hit off the ball, dubious whether arms – on Tupou on the weekend.

        • Richard Patterson

          Higginbothom was a blow to the head John. Officials have been very clear that the head is a “no-go” zone and any reckless / intentional strike to the head is deemed to be an automatic red card. Irrespective of whether it’s in the first or last minute of the game.

        • John Tynan

          OK then, 3 weeks for reckless/careless in the act of tackling the ball carrier (Higgers) vs 2 weeks for off the ball play, deliberate (the Beale “incident”) . Both contact to the head, one needs stamping out “more” than the other. My point isn’t kiwi vs aussie, my point is inconsistency at all levels of the refereeing and judiciary processes.

        • Richard Patterson

          I understand John. Not sure there is a sport in the world right now that has this refereeing / judiciary / consistency thing right. Look at the events in the NRL on the weekend? Moody had his sentence reduced to 2 weeks only for a previously clean judicial record. Such matters are taken into consideration.

        • John Tynan

          And apparently Arnold is 3 weeks out. Again, trying to tackle a ball carrier, he gets in tackling shape, not just a shirtfront, not a raised elbow/forearm, a tad late, makes contact to head.

          So one bloke gets 3 weeks off for careless execution of a game requirement, vs 2 weeks for deliberate execution of something not required in the game.

        • John Tynan

          One man’s Ben O’Keefe is another man’s George Ayoub…

        • HK Red

          God, I’m glad someone else sees it!

        • Hoss

          Always enjoy your insights Dick and astute observations and most warmly welcome a Kiwi point of view. We (the general Oz Rugby nut) are badly scarred through a recent history of self-inflicted wounds both on and off the pitch and understandible gun-shy given the 40-zip count v the sides of the Long White Cloud.

          I think most reasonable pundits here acknowledge the issues, challenges and results the game here faces. But i agree with you whole heartedly – the answer for Oz Rugby is NOT to become more insular, inward facing. Sure we can refine our structures, competetitions, grassroots, administration – heck, redo the whole 9 yards. But to retreat to within our borders because its tough outside them, thats a step that would most certainly kill the code off in Australia.

          We understand we are behind (but closing) on the quality of the Kiwi sides and results will come. we just want them yesterday, some more now and damwell globall domination tomorrow.

          I have found its alwats hard to be objective about subjective content.

          Keep the posts coming – love the banter and get ready for me to bombard you at 9.40 AEST as the ledger / hoodoo tips back to us and a 1-0 domination of your mob. Ancient history be damed. For one week we will be in front on the W-L Kiwi ledger, because when the Tah;s beat the Kilt wearers, the ledger resets………….

          As English soccer hooligans, sorry, fans chant -one-nil, one nil, one nil, one nil, one nil, one nil, one nillllllllllllll

          Stay tuned.

        • Richard Patterson

          Well predicted Hoss. The comeback is alive and well….

        • McWarren

          Thank you Richard. That’s exeactly how I feel about the sooks wanting to hide behind Mums skirt because no one lets us win.

          Ribbons for everyone who turned up!!

        • Ed

          Fantastic post Richard.
          Ribbons, I like it!

    • redveincheese

      “Or is it Kiwi cheating? Or is it both? I find it odd, or is it another opportunity to conveniently distract focus away from the woes that have been allowed to form at all levels of rugby across Australia?”
      RP you have to be kidding mate. Everyone here is painfully aware of the state of Australian Rugby. Have you not been paying attention? But face up to it, refereeing of SR is complete shite.

      • Richard Patterson

        And what is Australia’s contribution to addressing the level of SR refereeing you label as “absolute shite”? In 8 all-Australian matches so far this year, only 4 have featured an all-Australian officiating crew. What does that tell you about Australia’s current depth of good quality referees? Describe Australia’s efforts to develop high class referee’s? Angus Gardiner is high quality. Where are the rest? Or is it simply easier to sit there and critique the performances of foreign referees and use that a convenient excuse for another Australian Super Rugby loss?

        Crazy thing is it’s easy that whole refereeing gig too right? I mean you sit there in the comfort of your lounge chair and say “you missed this” or “you missed that”. There are seldom compliments thrown on the correct decisions. I mean they’re supposed to get those right which means at the end of the game his decision-reading scorecard should read 100%. I mean what’s hard about that? You get 100% of your decisions right when you are watching the game correct? You get 100% of your decisions right at the job you go to every day.

        • redveincheese

          Yes I do, I am perfect in every way. Seriously though If I made as many mistakes and missed as much as some of the referees do then I would not be able to feed my family or keep a roof over my head. Referees should be accountable for their performance just as I am. A possible solution would be to objectively evaluate and their performances and make them accountable whilst continually bringing new blood into the system to hopefully find those that are most accurate and ditch those that are not, What we find in SR is that poor performances are tolerated and standards are not improving. And yes, In case I was not clear aussie refs are shite to, I did not single out foreign referees so have a lie down and have a proper read instead of jumping to conclusions and getting offended. Yes Oz rugby is not making any contribution to the problem, I did not state that they were. And yes oz rugby is shite as you say Julius. And I reserve the right to sit in my lounge chair and criticise and whinge about referees and make silly comments on websites as this morning I currently do not have anything else to do. Have a nice day gentlemen, I am going shopping now with the kids to take my mind of the state of rugby in oz and shite refereeing. ;)

        • Richard Patterson

          You will find that behind the scenes there will be a thorough review process taking place. It was highly unfortunate Ben O’Keaffe happened to be appointed to this game. I suspect it was a scheduling issue already in place.

          Isn’t the bigger question what are we doing to promote referees into the sport. I can picture the conversations now…. So let me think about this. You want me to get involved in being a referee — but people will hang shit on the 5% of calls I’m deemed to get wrong versus the 95% I probably get right. Sorry forgive me — I’ll make the assumption here they’ll tolerate the wrong calls I make that help their team, but will really slam me for the calls I get wrong against the team they are cheering for. Oh – and I’m also supposed to let the game flow right? Stay out of the attention of the players and cameras, have a personality — but not too big right? Hmmm – let me think about this. Sitting there watching the game as a spectator feels a whole lot more enjoyable — and much less risky.

      • Julius

        The only thing that is “complete shite” is the standard of Australian rugby. The standard of Australian whinging is, however, first class

    • Ross

      You’re welcome Richard :)

      Good comments although I have to disagree with your last comment. Saying the Canes were dreadful takes away from wha the Reds did. Like it was in their power to play better, they just didn’t. TJ said something similar in his post match interview.

      The Reds went to Wellington with a game plan and executed it well. The Canes played as well as the Reds let them.

      • Hoss

        Yep – the after match interview was almost dismissive to the Reds from Paranoia. Interesting insight.

        Then there was a Kiwi review programme on FUX straight after, idont recognise the panel, but FFS, they made Martin & Kearns look completely neutral and objective.

        Same tone, dismissive, bot the Canes played bad – but it was only the Reds…………..type thing.

        • idiot savant

          Reely? Leck of ruspuct from the humble bros?

        • John Tynan

          Listen to the hysteria in the Saffa commentary when Arnold gets marched for the Ponies, absolute, 100%, undiluted bollocks.

      • Richard Patterson

        Dreadful may have been too strong Ross.
        I saw the Hurricanes with 4 scrums right under the Reds posts. Their scrum was solid, options either way, lots of strike power in the backline. On all 4 occasions they went to a crash ball off rookie No. 12 Peter Umaga-Jensen. Really? That to me is a side unwilling to show any cards ahead of a big game in Christchurch next weekend.

  • Archie

    Congrats Canes… 10 in a row. Massive achievement!

    Congrats Reds too for bouncing back and making it really competitive

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well good morning GAGR’s! I sit here sipping my Kwoffffeeeee, trying to psych my self up to go and face the Aldi Ski Gear sale. Picture a scene from Gladiator and that pretty much sums it up. It is one of the few times, other than on the rugby field, where being 6’8″ and 120kegs is an advantage. BL’s thoughts on the game:
    – Whilst the refereeing was dissapointing, I am not going to blame it for the Reds loss. The Reds have to own that.
    – I am impressed with the Reds last night. They were within 4 points against a Kiwi team in NZ. I was expecting a shillacking of ocean going variety. But alas the boys did well.
    – Thorn knows how to counter NZ rugby. Not so much the Jaguares or the Moon Doggies.
    – If Togan Thor doesnt start Iwill be pissed off. He is looking good.
    – The Canes were certainly not as clinical as they usually are.
    – The thing about TJ whinging to the Ref that dissapointed me, was if that was Nigel Owens, he would have put him in the bin for whinging like that. Either that or he would have called him a soccerr player. Got to love NIgel!

    Overall a tight and enjoyable match. Over to you GAGR;s

    • Happyman

      Agree BL I will also be running the Aldi gauntlet sharp elbows are required my friend.
      Re the match The Reds have to own the opportunities that they let go including kicking the ball dead when they had a penalty in the second half and failing to clear the ball from their own quarter after turnover.
      – Having said that the inconsistency in the refereeing is an absolute disgrace. O’Keefe was always on a hiding to nothing last night after last weeks fiasco and SANZAR should never have put him in that position. But after pinging the Reds for being offside at the kick off (which is an under 12 mistake in my view) and then saying ball is out then awarding a penalty to the canes at the following scrum after we pick it up and run away is just taking the piss.

      – I also noted that at the next canes kick off they were offside but no whistle. At that point I actually wished we were 20 behind as I just lost my shit.

      – I also note that as a teaching tool for any Australian player the way to now approach the Ref is not “Sir Tip tackle sir could you please check” It is to get in his face treat him with no respect and bitch moan complain and should unite you get your way. the use of the word buzz and bro are also encouraged. Then you will get some stupid result in your favour I honestly believe if an Australian player behaves like that he gets yellow.

      Still enjoyed the game.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep really good points Happyman! I strongly agree that if we bitch and whinge to the Refs we will get carded. The Ref’s ignore Hooper, and will continue to do so. So we need someone as Capt who has the respect of teh Refs. In my book that is Pocock or Genia!

        • Hoss

          Please be Captain Pocock.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep and Genia as VC!

      • Brisneyland Local

        BTW, did the Aldi hit and run. I was about 20th in the que. IN and out in 15 mins. Believe it or not there wasnt the usual battle royale! It was quite civilised. Very Un-Queensland like!

      • Archie

        I think O Keaffe’s pretty consistent… he ignored the Tah’s offside transgressions last week… they even scored a try off one of them.

        What about the stamp on Ben Lam… I’m sure you must be outraged that there was no penalty and will be expecting a citing… right? Or do Australian players not do that sort of thing?

        • McWarren

          What stamp was that sweetie?

    • Jack Mallick

      Great to watch an Aussie team go try to try with a Kiwi, rather than blowouts.

      Tupou is going to have a huge year in Gold, but let Kept take the edge off the crafty Irish and give Tupou the second half to crack vertebrae

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeo that sounds like a good plan. Let the villneous school master show the young apprentice the way to start. Besides Kepu really is only good for 40-50 min. Then bring on the Tongan Thor.

      • onlinesideline

        maybe put im on the wing ?

        • Brisneyland Local

          He would be one of the first wingers that could scrum and tackle! ;-)

    • Adrian

      Good points BL.
      I’m ok with Tuopo starting and Kepu finishing at tight head for Wallabies.
      I’m equally ok the other way too.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Either way I think it is good. I think his youth, speed (for a prop) and would be great in the final 30-40 mins. But unfortunately, I think we have too many weaknesses else where in the field. But gee he is an exciting prospect for the Gold jersey!

    • Brumby Runner

      Tupou is developing really well this year, but I wouldn’t yet say he he is the best THP to start against the Irish. Reds last night had a 40kg advantage at the scrum, but apart from the scrum referred to by Hoss, didn’t have dominance. Certainly, on the bench behind Alaalatoa would be my pick. AAT has been the form THP all year.

      • onlinesideline

        Agree – hes exciting AF but he aint there yet. Super Sub for sure.

      • McWarren

        That’s s big call BR what has him as the form THP this year that Tupou isn’t doing?

  • Julius

    “Reds pulled off a nice set-piece move that put Kerevi though a hole who offloaded to Daugunu in support, running it in to score under the posts.”

    What great comedy. Lance threw a pass so forward it took the defence out of play. Missed by the ref. The ref did everything he could to keep the Reds in the game.

    On another note. Has George Smith been cited for his nasty stamp on Ben Lam’s ankle? I can imagine the outcry if such a foul act been carried out on an Australian player.

    • Gipetto

      The ball went ackwards out of the hands

  • Knapsta

    I actually thought of all the contentious decisions this week and last, that the ref got it right for the non knock down.

    Historically you tended to get carded if in your attempt to intercept you knocked the ball straight to ground and more leeway was given if you knocked the ball up into the air as it gave you a chance to regather.

    Sure, you can argue all you like about inconsistencies, but of all the inconsistencies I thought this decision was actually the right outcome.

    I can’t stand seeing players carded for legitimate attempts anymore. It gives me the shits.

  • Hoss

    Good morning kinfolk

    Rossco – good read, well balanced and spot on.

    Mr O’Keefe has screwed the pooch – again.

    My disdain is only marginally lesser than his outing v the Tah’s. I dont purport to support conspiracy theories of Kiwis Refs officiating Kiwi sides, i just believe he is inept, on all front, simply not to standard – by some distance.

    On top of your points above mate – all 1000% correct – i offer two more examples.

    1. How as the hit on Tupou by Jordy Barrett, after he passed to set up the try, anything but late and deliberate and not worthy of a card ? Tupou got medical attention after the hit – if this had happenned in general play i bet a card gets issued.

    2. The ruck IMMEDIATELY before Loesi’s try – George Smith is on the pill longer than a Cessnock teenager(i rewinded it – watched in real time and counted one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one thousand, four one-thousand) BEFORE he got cleaned out. Even then the clean-out was from the side – a perfect 90 degress right under the Ref’s nose. Penalty anyone…………..

    3. Thats right i said 2 points – this is a bonus point for regular readers. The scrum that lead to the attacking raid saw Toby Smith (filthy traitor) first
    – put his elbow on theg round under pressure from Thor

    And second –

    – then put his hand on the deck – RIGHT IN FRONT OF OKEEFE WHO WAS STANDING ON THAT SIDE OF THE SCRUM !!!!!!!!!!!! Was a penalty blown ? Nope, the Canes collapse, effectively ending the contest, secure the ball and score 1 minute later

    For me – the TJ Paranoia sums up NZ rugby perfectly. A penalty against any other non-Kiwi side, but when in Rome………….

    I dont know that the Reds would win the game, but when every possible 50/50 goes against you, actually when your own 80/20’s go against you it sure-as-shit dont help. The Reds certainly didnt help there cause and i thought Lance was terrible 2 Bernard Foley touch finders (nearly lost ground on the kick) and a penalty toiuch-finder woith 5 to go that doesnt find touch and then lose your own lineout wit 2.43 on the clock. The Reds certainly had their destint in their control – which is, in and of itself amazing considering that jibbering fucker who had the whistle.

    Mr Okeefe – its time for you to enjoy the twin benefits of intercourse and overseas travel = just fuck off.

    • Julius

      You are a disgrace to the sport. Your whining, excuses and lies are the stuff of a diseased mind.

      • Hoss

        You didnt teach year 12 Ancient History during the mid-80’s did you ?? I have a report card that says nearly the same ………

        • Brisneyland Local

          Great response Hoss! I think our friend belong on The Roar not here!

        • Hoss

          A fire needs oxygen mate…………..

        • Brisneyland Local

          Youa re truly a wise man!

    • Ross

      Thanks Hoss. Both of those two incidents were in my original draft but I went without them. I had many others too. The hit on Lance just before Kerevi’s Try was a shocker and I’m sure if reviewed could’ve also been a yellow. Im not at all confident the O’Keefe would’ve reviewed it though (*cough cough* Beale *cough*) but Kerevi scoring saved him the worry.

      • RobC

        Hi Ross. Great article, thanks. This is a bit late. I was reading your bit about the hit on Lance on Samu’s try. Didnt recall that it happened.

        Are you sure about this?

  • paul

    What a difference a week makes

  • Adrian

    Different refs seem to be susceptible to different captaincy styles.

    There is no simple solution.

    Moore in his whinging phase was only effective with lightweight refs like OK, just as TJ is. Some good refs hate this.

    If Australian teams copy this it would be a mistake.

    Hooper/Pocock style is better in the long-run, with Pocock the better. Genia wasn’t always effective with refs.

    The captain has to have “status”, which is why McCaw and Eales were best.

    I know…..this is booring shit,….more fun to just slag the bastards…. which I also do

    • McWarren

      No was whining at him when he ignored Smith over the ball, or as the Hurricanes jumped the gun at the kickoff. I understand your points Adrian but BO was on the nose last night. He is just plain incompetent, even in the Kiwi derbies.

      • Adrian


    • idiot savant

      I think the code has a problem if it cant demand exacting standards from its officials. It shouldn’t matter what refs preferences around style are. They should allow both captains to speak to them in roughly equal measures and be seen publicly to allow that.

      Excellence is demanded of players. If a player plays poorly he is dropped and presumably the coach will explain why and what the player has to work on. This is how excellence is striven for.

      In what world is it acceptable for OKeefe to ignore the Tahs captain one week when he politely draws his attention to an opposition player infringing (lifting player above the horizontal) and then the next week listen attentively to the Canes captain screaming at him (and then change his mind). This is a blatant double standard on show for the entire code and its followers to see.

      If excellence is demanded from referees by their processes OKeefe needs to be reprimanded for that double standard and told it is unacceptable and be suspended for an appropriate period. How else can excellence and impartiality (the goal of any officiating system) be achieved. We have seen double standards allowed for several seasons on Lyndon Bray’s watch.

      • Adrian

        Agree idiot
        Apart from constantly reminding them about consistently, refs have to be better trained and selected in the first place

  • Chiller

    Good write up Ross. It captured how I felt about the match.
    You did not use refereeing as an excuse, but rightly called out a number of glaring inconsistencies. That is not whinging. It is fair enough to observe that the refereeing was not of a great standard, and tended to trend one way.
    There were plenty of other instances you could also have called out.
    Eg. Jordie Barrett hitting Taniela Toupou late and with no arms after he passed the ball for a Reds try. This is exactly the sort of thing that has been picked up by home broadcasters/TMOs in other matches and led to red cards. Inconsistent. Frustrating.

    • Ross

      Thanks Chiller. I had plenty of examples of inconsistencies from O’Keefe but I think I made my point.

      The Barrett hit on Tupou was just late. Arms were there in my viewing anyway. Still, it was properly late, and he had plenty of time to pull out. I’ve seen these given yellow cards before.

  • Adrian

    Good write up of game Ross.

    I knew Reds would have been absolutely stinging after last week, and they improved greatly, albeit against a different style of opposition.

    Duagunu has been criticized for his defence, but really he had to try different ways of tackling very, very difficult guys that most wingers would have trouble with. He’ll improve, …and his attack is electric.

    Without slagging anyone in particular, if I were the Reds I’d swap around the number 9s, and the 10 and 15

    • Damo

      The more I see Hamish Stewart move around on the field the more I am reminded of Stephen Larkham. And like Bernie has no fear of taking the ball to the line and getting belted. Technically a very good tackler and kicks the ball a long way. He also seems to be a decision maker in attack. And he is 20. The Reds would do well in the long run I think to let him play out the season at 10.

    • Ross

      Thanks Adrian. I was really happy with our bounce back. How we knock off the top team, then get thumped by the bottom team, only to almost knock off the new top team away though really frustrates me.

      I should clarify that I wasn’t being critical of Daugunu’s defence on Lam, more so just mentioning how it happened. No one seems to be able to tackle that guy.

      Lucas at 9 surely is done now but. Geez.

  • Jerry

    Re: the Jordy tackle on Tongan Thor – marginally late, but he clearly uses his arms so it’s a penalty at worst (and obviously advantage would have applied).

  • Peter Newman


  • Hoss


  • Greg


    Thanks for the write up. It was great to see some better play form the Reds.

    I don’t want our post-game discussions to be all about Mr O’Keefe. Perhaps the guy deserves a rest. I haven’t seen the replay of TJ Peranara screaming at O’Keefe and will be interested in @KRLs views. I would have thought a ref would tell a screaming player to pull his head in….

  • idiot savant

    Thanks Ross. A couple of observations.

    I think the Canes brought the wrong game plan. They appeared to want to give the young Christians a lesson in physicality punching through the centre channels most of the time. By the look of the bleeding of their pack they got a lot more than they bargained for. If they’d watched the way the Tahs and Sunwolves dismantled the Reds, they would’ve gone wide at every opportunity and won easily.

    Kerevi was a greater attacking weapon in the 13 channel than he is in the 12. Im still mystified as to why Thorn broke up the DPA Kerevi partnership. They were the best Australian conference centre pairing in 2017 and if they’d stayed together all this season would really be starting to ask questions in the midfield. Instead we got the bash bro Sunday school teachers who haven’t had any penetration.

Queensland Reds

I love the Reds and I love the second row. That probably tells you all you need to know about me. I can often be found engaged in pointless arguments in the GaGR forums as 'Scoey".

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