Reds v Crusaders- A Real Kick in the Teeth - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Reds v Crusaders- A Real Kick in the Teeth

Reds v Crusaders- A Real Kick in the Teeth

With most people expecting not much more than a loss, the Reds travel to Christchurch to take on the behemoth of the competition, the Crusaders. Changes aplenty, some via injury, some via choice look to leave the Reds ripe for the picking in NZ. Can they pull off a memorable upset? Let’s find out.

 

THE MATCH

The usual vocal home crowd met the Reds as they ran out onto the field with a swirling breeze threatening to play havoc. A couple of early kick errors in their own 22 put the Reds under pressure and it was a real time of living dangerously for the Reds. A short arm scrum penalty followed by the advantage on the next scrum led to what was almost inevitable when Joe Moody crashed over under the posts on a pick and drive. It was alarming that there was only one defender around one off the ruck. Mo’unga converted and it was 7-0 after 11.

Queensland worked hard after the restart and earned a penalty themselves after many phases that really didn’t go anywhere. From the lineout all sorts of space developed wide right and two passes later, Chris Feauai-Sautia went over. Jock Campbell missed the conversion and it was 7-5 through 16. The next phases post kick off were all Crusaders, a break saw the touchline just touched but the Crusaders then pinched the lineout and earnt a penalty just inside the 22 and in front. Mo’unga did not was the chance and we are 10-7 after 19.

It was clear that the Crusaders had cottoned on to the same attack principles as teams had in previous weeks- attack the wing of Henry Speight, who is prone to drifting in and bad reads . At least three of the good Crusaders breaks in the first half occurred down Speight’s side.

After some midfield to and from, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto made a rumbling break, brought down just short by Mo’unga. Multiple phases again led no where until Harry Wilson thought he had dived over. Ref Rasta didn’t think so but the TMO did and after the missed conversion from Campbell the score was locked up at 10 after 25. The question at this point is could the Reds continue to play like this and stay in touch?

The Crusaders looked out of sync and soon after the Reds were attacking again spending multiple phases going nowhere. How is it that the Reds attack looks fluid outside the 22 and pedestrian inside it?

As we crept towards half time, the Reds spilt the ball on the Crusaders 5m line and from the ensuing scrum, they nearly went all the way, only a bad pass to Sevu Reece cutting the attack short. The Saders maintained pressure and possession by the time the 10th phase had rolled around, had earned advantage. They nearly broke down Speight’s wing again after he drifted in but another 9 phases killed the advatage and was defused by a side entry.

From the ensuing penalty the Reds broke and Paisami was nearly away via a Salakaia-Loto offload but was dragged down and Wilson gave away the penalty the next phase by trying to make too much ground on the floor. Another penalty put the Reds 10m away with a lineout and got themselves another penalty just as the hooter was about to sound. Not trusting the boot of Campbell, they went a lineout and Crusaders no8 Tom Sanders put his hands where they shouldn’t. Ref Rasta showed his penchant for cheese and Sanders got a spell.

With the advantage, the Reds took a scrum but it came to nothing when a tiny knock on came from the excellent Salakaia-Loto, and it’s half time and 10 all.

Back from the break and the Crusaders had the early ascendancy and a penalty followed by a maul saw George Bridge fend off Speight, and wiggle through Paisami, Stewart and Lucas to score. Mo’unga with the conversion and after 45 it’s 17-10.

Far from the floodgates opening, the Reds hit back almost immediately, with some pressure in the right corner, combined with some unusually weak ruck defence saw Taniela Tupou pick the ball up and dive over. Again the conversion was missed, this time by Scott Malolua. 17-15 and will these missed kicks hurt the Reds?

Almost immediately the Reds were on attack again with a break and kick ahead by Wilson putting the Reds firmly on attack. Some 14 phases led to nothing and the Crusaders negated the threat and cleared. From the clearance the Crusaders struck with a long range try, a break involving three or four players down the left was finished off by Lester Fainga’anuku and Mo’unga didn’t miss. 24-15 to the Crusaders after 55.

The Reds were hanging on gamely but their lineout was really beginning to let them down. Harry Wilson and Taniela Tupou in particular were excellent and making metres up the middle. In the 63rd minute the Reds again ignored a kickable penalty and took a scrum which fizzled out when Taniela Tupou was penalised, perhaps harshly for collapsing.

When you thought that maybe the Reds were petering out, the game was brought back to life with a long rang Reds try. Fraser McReight put Harry Wilson into a gap deep in his own half and Wilson busted through some flimsy defence. Wilson fed Speight who got it to Hegarty. Speight backed up inside and was over.  Hegarty, who was the third kicker of the night, missed as well and it is 24-20 Crusaders with seven minutes left.

The last seven minutes played out as you would expect. Frantic attack from the Reds leading to excitement- a Daugunu break and offload to Tupou got the blood flowing especially. The Crusaders hung on and the Reds were left wondering what should have been. By the time the whistle blew in the 84th minute, they were out on their feet.  A late scare when it looked like Reece went over from a strip was negated by the TMO.

Let’s not beat around the bush here, this was an epic Reds performance let down by the kicking. The Reds attacked with flair and purpose and defended gamely throughout. Brad Thorn had the right game plan and adjusted his lineout when it misfired. The Reds a few weeks ago folded when they were scored on by the Jaguares and it all fell down. Tonight they didn’t. They all kept working and it will be an awfully bitter pill for the team to swallow.

Bravo Reds.

 

MATCH TURNING POINT

The Lester Fainga’anuku try was the nail in the coffin but the actual turning point was probably in the first half when the kicking woes of Jock Campbell resulted in two missed conversions and two spurned penalty shots. Add these to the missed conversion by Malolua and another spurned chance in the second half . The game was geuninely in doubt until the very end.

 

GAGR MOTM

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto played very well today, and mostly avoided the lazy penalties that had crept into his game lately. He made a couple of big breaks and nearly put Paisami through for a try. He took it to the Crusaders pack and looked every bit the Wallaby he is. Harry Wilson was a very close second for his mamoth 80 minute effort.

WALLABY WATCH

Other than his goal kicking, Jock Campbell was also very solid at the back, making a few nice runs and putting defenders in two minds. If Tom Banks wasn’t playing so well himself, Campbell would be in the conversation. No James O’Connor and limited Tate McDermott meant the attack had to come from elsewhere and Campbell and Hamish Stewart both stepped up. Chris Feaui-Sautia was excellent, finishing for the try and generally getting himself more involved off the wing.


STATS

Reds –  
Tries: Feauai-Sautia, Wilson, Tupou, Speight
Conv:
Penalties:

Crusaders-
Tries: Moody, Bridge, Faimga’anuku
Conv: Mo’unga 3
Penalties: Mo’unga

Cards

Tom Sanders in the 40th for hands in the ruck, and a consequence of multiple penalties given away.

 

  • Hoss

    Well. It’s a head scratcher. Firstly thought the match was well reffed overall. But, How Barrett misses a yellow card under the posts in the FKA knock-on as he slapped the ball out of FKA’s hand whilst lying on the ground is a head-scratcher. Couple that with the fact his side received a general warning for penalties in the red zone is baffling.

    But, I swapped emails with a tight-fisted Taswegian, who never shouts, during the game and said kicking would cost the reds and so be it.

    Overall. I come out of the game still a huge fan of these young Reds. Disappointed, frustrated (Harry pass it to an unmarked FKA next time) , anxious – but a fan none-the-less.

    I am however confused. I seem to have developed a man crush on Harry Wilson, who it seems is:

    A. A Man
    B. young
    B2. A red

    It ticks one of a former players list of deadly sins, and possibly a few sub-sections (waiting for the sequel to be released)

    • Happyman

      Mate a game that should not have gotten away. The short arm penalty at the first scrum was just baffling.
      The Crusaders are just masters of the dark arts which is great if they are your team but so frustrating when they are not.
      I like the fact that Reds stayed in the fight tonight and only really chased it at the very end.
      I can tell you the only thing to dislike about both Wilson and Mcreight is they play for Brothers in Brisbane. (Filth).
      Watch Mcreight mate he is the second coming of Pocock.

      • It’s subjective but, I feel McReight is ahead of Pocock at the same age in linking and running skills.

        • Hoss

          Probably true mate. But I think Brian’s influence is evident in any number of ways with his protege – build, style, fitness and approach. A lot to like in Brian Mach II.

        • Happyman

          So you will have to work your magic with a moniker for him.

        • Happyman

          Very subjective but it like comparing a Classic Grange to one you have just put down. You can only hope it matures.

        • Jason

          I think McReight will struggle playing behind the Reds Capitan, but so far as on ball work goes he’s probably par, maybe a little behind but McReight has the more rounded game with stronger ball carrying etc.

          All in all I’d go with Po because he’s got runs on the board, but IF McReight can crack the XV and stay fit, he’s going to be a hell of a player.

        • That’s what I was trying to say, just not as well as you.

        • Geoffro

          so we got David Pocock mk 2 vs David Wilson mk 2.I can live with that

        • idiot savant

          Wright is not even close to Wilson Mark 2.

        • Geoffro

          Yes,you are correct.I tend to get a bit over enthused at times

        • idiot savant

          McReight is better over the ball than Wright. This is only his 3rd game.

        • idiot savant

          Fraser was poor last week. Much better this week. He will take a couple of years to gain consistency, body willing. I agree he’s definitely a better ball player and carrier than Poey. Speights try had McReight, Wilson, and Stewart doing the hard stuff in heavy traffic. These 3 guys have the talent and the hardness to take Australian rugby to a more competitive level.

    • Geoffro

      Wilson MOTM.Loto loomed large but young Harry gave the full 80.Hold your heads high lads a great game by all across the park just let down by a bit of inexperience and shitty goalkicking

    • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

      Yep, kicking was the difference, a shame really, because what could have been recorded as a W, will leave the reds with a L, and 1 & 5 record.

      • Hoss

        Yeah, it’s a harsh world Tart. To the casual observer 1-5 tells a story of a poor team, the reality is far from it. The Reds ARE good enough. But to continue with Campbell as kicker is fools gold, Stewart’s touch finders went further out the sideline than down the field. They are so close this young side but still so far away and time is not their coaches friend this year, they need to be top 8.

        • idiot savant

          The Christchurch wind was a bastard. Stewart’s touch finders were very good last week. This week he looked frightened the wind would blow the ball back in.

      • Jason

        Look it kills me every game, but I’m okay with it for now.
        If we can find our way into finals footy without a quality goal kicker that’s a really easy fix (relatively speaking). To my eye it looks like they just don’t practice goal kicking outside of technique. And for the moment I think that’s what we should be doing.

        Keep in mind we have Lucas, Stewart, Daugunu, Campbell and O’Connor who should be in our XV who are potential goal kickers.

        • Geoffro

          Shocked by Hegartys effort though.Must’ve been something in the water

        • Keith Butler

          His kicking was pretty ordinary when he was at the Rebels. No amount of coaching has changed that.

        • idiot savant

          They have paid Johnny Wilkinson’s mentor Dave Aldred a motza to coach all their kickers. They’ve spent weeks doing it. Thats money down the drain. Only goes to show that at the end of the day, goal kicking is something that needs natural ability and none of these guys have it.

        • Jcr

          Imaging if he wasn’t there , be fucking air swings

        • Keith Butler

          As they say you can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

    • Jason

      Willson really reminds me of a young Higgers. More grunt than Higgers but those silky skills and strong ball running mixed in with some surprising pace.

    • I’m really unsure what to make of this year’s Reds. All too often the match stats don’t really tell the story of the match but in this match it looked like they did. OK, the Crusaders played poorly, but the Reds were there for the taking and the Reds played well enough to do it, barring terrible kicking they would have racked up a memorable win.

      But how often can you keep saying that for them?

      • Hoss

        Yep, at some point the rubber must grip the asphalt.

      • Geoffro

        Its a bitter pill and the Reds did lead every stat except the scoreboard but I wouldnt say the saders lpayed poorly.They suffered through an uncharacteristic lack of accuracy but their intensity was there for sure.Was a great game.for mine and more positives than negatives for Reds so as long as thats true will keep saying it

        • The ‘Saders left, certainly one and, depending on how generous you’re feeling, possibly three tries that they’d normally score begging with a bad pass. They also fell off a lot of tackles, about 20 I think, although their goal line defence (I originally typed goal life defence, a Freudian slip but an apt one) was certainly right up there!

          By their standards – we’re talking the three-in-a-row champions remember, I think they played badly.

          I am not trying to take anything away from the Reds. When I commented first I was mostly disappointed to see them lose again. But you’re right, there were more positives than negatives for the Reds. It’s just a shame there weren’t one or two more and W too.

        • Geoffro

          Fair enough.At least they didnt deliver the shite my tahs just did

        • Haven’t watched that yet. I’m pretending to work, it being Friday morning up here in the UK.

          I was going to sneak off for an extended coffee break but I might not bother now!

        • Geoffro

          Sorry bout that :(

        • Hoss

          Better off googling ‘RSPCA offences – 23 men screw pooch – again’

        • Patrick

          That would actually be a rather complete review. Then for Wallaby watch you could cut and paste the other three team lists and point out that none of them harmed their chances haha.

        • Hoss

          Don’t do it to yourself EP.

        • I did, well kind of. I put it on the widget on my iPad that lets me watch off my TiVo and did some work with it in the background.

        • Keith Butler

          Sage advice from the Hossman, unless of course you have masochistic tendencies. The 2nd half was dire.

        • It truly was, wasn’t it? WTF happened… at half time I was wondering what everyone was talking about, then boom… talk about a game of two halves!

        • Keith Butler

          Hope the Rebs can serve up something better against the Lions. A nice warm up before the big one at Twickenham.

        • Patrick

          There are people who still watch Tahs games??

        • Who?

          Yeah, Brumbies fans who failed to get out of WIN Stadium in time. :-P

        • Yes. Several according to the comments below…

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yeah mate that was crap

        • Keith Butler

          I cheered myself up with a few episodes of Wellington Paranormal. Great NZ comedy. Brooklyn 99 meets the X Files. Love it.

        • AllyOz

          they had 20 good minutes – pity the game goes for 80

        • idiot savant

          The Reds left as many tries out there as the the Saders. Possibly more, due to their utterly hopeless line out.

          And you’ve got to be kidding about the Saders playing poorly etc. The Saders were bloody out on their feet. They dodged a bullet tonight.

        • For my money, the Saders were out on their feet because they played poorly. They had to rely, time and again, on their scramble and goal line defence, which stood up remarkably.

          But if their first up tackling had been up to the job the 18 line breaks and 41 missed tackles – both numbers where I’m pretty sure the targets are in single figures for the Crusaders – they wouldn’t have had to rely on it so much and they wouldn’t have been so knackered by the end of the match.

          So yes, they were shattered by the end because they scrambled to cover their mistakes and they did that well. But that was based on the fact that their basic defensive skills were poor IMO.

        • Happyman

          I call bullshit on that mate. I actually think the sanders were made to play poorly. I think it is disrespectful to the opposition to say every time someone beats you or in the waders case goes close that we played like shit.

        • Human

          Abso-bloody-lutely.
          The ‘Vader’s played as well as they were allowed to. They missed tackles because of the running lines and energy of the opposition.

        • While you’re entitled to your opinion, I’m going to continue to stand by mine. I saw, basically from the first minute, a Saders side that were out of sync with each each other and had too many players oddly off the pace on both sides of the ball.

          The Reds absolutely exploited that and played smart rugby, taking advantage of the opportunities they were given early, making their own later as fatigue became more of a factor. I’m not sure how you read what I said as saying the Reds played badly perhaps I just wasn’t effusive enough in my praise for how they dominated every facet of the stats except the scoreboard?

          I’m not a fan of saying “they deserved to win” but I think even the most one-eyed Crusaders fan couldn’t have complained if the Reds had kicked well and come away with a win.

        • Happyman

          EP not wanting to offend.
          I generally agree with most of your posts. I just don’t buy into the narrative that for an Australian team to play well against Kiwi opposition the NZ must have been poor.

          Both teams played as well as the opposition allowed them to and on the day the Saders got the job done. Fun fact the Reds have scored the most tries in the comp.

        • I don’t think I have that narrative as my subconscious bias. Rebels over Highlanders, two teams that played really well in patches and the better team won, Brumbies bullied them Chiefs and were the better team on the night.

          That doesn’t mean sometimes a good side can’t play poorly and a less good side take advantage of them. Forget, for a moment, the countries, the home record etc. and ask if the defending champions, 3-1 this season were playing a team 1-4 at home, what would your prematch expectations be? Defending champions to win handily, yes?

          If, in the first quarter, so no fatigue and no real scoreboard pressure, they threw however many passes it was to ground, to touch, to just fingertips and knock ons etc while not under pressure, and equally dropped off a load of first up tackles that you’d expect them to make – we’re not talking props being stepped by a winger, or 10 being batted aside by a charging 8, just standard tackles in the defensive line, you’d say the champions were having an off day I expect?

          That’s what I saw on Saturday. The Saders reign will end sometime, of course. The Sharks, Stormers, Chiefs and, yes, the Brumbies, at this point seem to be the best placed teams to do that but winning even when you play badly is often a mark of champions, so it might just be four in a row…

          In the meantime, I hope the Reds start to win some of these matches when they’re in it like this.

      • idiot savant

        For another year probably. They’re close the the youngest average age side ever to play super rugby.

      • HK Red

        I actually don’t mind that loss. I mean I do, it fckin burns, gutted that we’re let down by the boot, but we were in it and competitive and never sat back. The losses that I do mind are the ones against Lions and Jags were officials were clearly meeting someone after the game for a quick handover.

        • I think that’s a totally fair comment. The Reds, certainly against the Lions, were screwed by the officials and I think out of a win there. I’m not saying I think the officiating against the Jaguares was much better, I’m less sure it affected the result, just the margin of victory.

          I’m sure if you examine the match yesterday you can find fault, no referee is ever perfect but I never felt like there was bias. There were human errors and I try hard and (mostly) forgive them. Sometimes it takes a week or two… But yesterday I didn’t even shout at the referee!

    • idiot savant

      Would it ease your mind to know that Wilson was born and raised in NSW, not too far from the peat swamps in which you reside? From the same town as Tim Gavin I think. However he has learnt most of his rugby north of the border. No doubt he has leaned how to make moonshine and fancy his cousin up here in the hills as well.

      • Hoss

        Your not much use to me alive are you Turkish.

        • Yowie

          The following might play out if Taniela Tupou gets injured:-

          We’ve lost Tongan Thor

          Well, where’d ya lose him? He’s ain’t a set of car keys, is he? And it’s not as if he’s incon-f***ing-spicuous, now, is it?

        • Hoss

          That and Lock Stock are movies I could watch over and over again. Haven’t seen ‘The Gentleman’ yet, but counting the days.

        • Yowie

          Gentlemen is pretty good. Probably not as good as the first two by a few percentage points, but very enjoyable all the same.

        • idiot savant

          Well as Father Ignatius might have said, get em young and hold onto em.

    • Human

      “…a tight-fisted Taswegian, who never shouts…” – so the artificial breeding and introduction of stock from other parts of the world via MONA and other attractions has not yet stimulated any hybrid vigour in the population of the lovely little island?

      • Hoss

        He claims some English pedigree in his bloodline mate, but his inability to locate his wallet at about time, or his 90 yo bladder that sees him needing to urinate at about time points to a fusion of Scottish/Yiddish DNA. The surname should have tipped me off – McGoldstein..

    • AllyOz

      he drives a Land Rover Defender and plays banjo too

  • Tangawizi

    Send Quade along to Ballymore next week to give them some goalkicking lessons…
    I remember when he used to get bagged out for kicking 2/4. These days that would be considered a great night for the Reds kickers.

    • And enough for a draw tonight. I can’t help but think that if they had persevered with Campbell he would have kicked at least one of them.

      • Hoss

        It’s the 99 he misses in between that’s the killer

    • idiot savant

      McDermott’s passing was noticeably slower than Maloula’s. It was part of the reason why the reds couldn’t make gain line in those final minutes. Its like he has been burned by poor breakdown security in the past and is reluctant to pick up the ball until theres no chance of him knocking it on.

      • Adrian

        Exactly idiot.
        I think that’s why Maloula started….fast accurate ball

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I just don’t think McDermott has earned the level of praise he has received. He has huge potential and is excellent at threatening around the fringes, but his passing game isn’t where it needs to be.

        • idiot savant

          Its not the speed of the pass so much, its the waiting before passing.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          And, I’d say, the accuracy of the pass. The Brumbies halfbacks and Louwrens are the only Australian ones with quality passes. After a decade of Luke Burgess and Nick Phipps we still have Australians fans obsessing over the running game of our halfbacks, which is why we keep hearing about Gordon and McDermott in the Wallabies frame. Accurate passing isn’t optional for a halfback, it is a baseline.

        • Seb V

          Lourwens waits longer then McDermott to pass, although his pass looks a lot crisper. both equally good running games though.

  • Jason

    How’d you not mention Hunter ‘I AM KEREVI’
    Paisami for Wallaby watch. I think he’ll probably be the second choice at best, but he’s been killing it.

    Honestly, the Reds are looking like they have most the pieces, maybe one or two more away from a Championship team, it’s just figuring out how to put them together and keeping them together that’s left.

  • Reds Revival

    It’s interesting that before the game, some people were predicting a 24 to 29 point whitewash by the Saders. I was just hoping for an improved performance, especially in the second half. There’s a lot to like about this young team, it is only a matter of time before the parts start to “click”. I can’t wait when that happens!

    • idiot savant

      Yep, Mark Twain would be backing the Reds…eventually. And ill bet you right now no other Australian side will score more tries than the Saders this year.

    • Steve

      I was as well RR… but my hopes and expectations had changed by minute 50 so still a huge letdown!

      Just a shame it was the kicks and the bloody line outs (again!)

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Ben. There but for kicking goes the Reds season. A real shame as they played very well in places but unfortunately I don’t think Thorn has got anything left in the bank and he may well be on his way out

  • Adrian

    Should have them all practicing goal kicking all week, with an expert kicking coach.

    That is, Campbell, O’Connor, Stewart, Hegarty, Duaganu at least.

    If Hegarty plays it should be him, otherwise Duaganu, who should be picked next week.

    I’d rest Campbell from kicking in games for a while for his overall confidence, but have him keep practicing.

    • Bernie Chan

      No excuses…don’t the Reds have David Alred as their skills coach? Probably the most renowned kicking coach in the world. Is he no longer at Ballymore…or worse, not getting enough time with the kickers?

  • Human

    Wouldn’t that rip the crotch out of your nighty.
    I reckon Thorne is doing enough to be given another year or two.
    It hurts when your kickers cost the game….or was it ill-discipline again?

    • idiot savant

      When I first read that I thought you said , “it hurts when your knickers cost the game”.

  • AllyOz

    Gripping game, disappointing result for the Reds but if they finish last in the conference it won’t probably matter how many valiant losses they had. There are several starting positions up for grabs and whichever of those fringe players that can work on their kicking could earn themselves a starting spot. Just goes to show how important it is in the game. For one, it can give licence to the opposition to re-offend on penalties (up to the YC time). I am hopeful that the breakthrough time for the Reds is just around the corner. I am also hopeful that the Brumbies can earn a finals spot outright so there is still a conference finals spot available for Reds, Rebels or Waratahs (if we still operate under that system).

    • Reds Revival

      The top team from each conference qualifies, and the next 5 teams with the highest points, regardless of conference. So the Reds will still need to get quite a few wins to be in the mix. However, this year is similar to last year in that lots of teams are losing (which makes it hard for tipping, but great for a crowded table come finals time).

  • Reds Revival

    I just watched the game (after seeing the highlights last night). How good was the Reds defense? Peter Ryan needs to take a bow, because teams are finding it hard to get through their line D.
    I was worried when it was announced that JOC was out this game, but Isaac Lucas had a good game. He marshalled the troops well and kept the opposition guessing with his jinking line runs.
    As everyone else has said, lineouts and kicking need a lot of work, but they should improve in coming weeks. Looking forward to the local derbies this year.

    • numpty

      “As everyone else has said, lineouts and kicking need a lot of work, but they should improve in coming weeks.” Unfortunately we have been saying this for 6 weeks.

      • Reds Revival

        But they have improved Numpty. For one, they played the full 80 minutes against the Crusaders. If they had played like that against the Lions or Jags, they would have won those matches.

        • numpty

          I actually think they have played relatively well every week. But the same issues that do exist (kicking, lineout, bench) are still there from week 1, this was my pt.

  • Jack

    Thoughts on Campbell vs Hegarty at 15 and chief goal kicker..? It feels like Hegarty is the stronger choice as kicker, does he bring enough in play to take back the starting role..? That said, why did a fit JOC never get the primary kicking duties..? Is he no longer up to it..? Assuming everyone is fit and available, who should be out there picking up the 2s and 3s that we so vitally need..?? Clearly this is an issue that needs addressing…

    • RugbyReg

      I don’t think Hegarty is a Super Rugby 15, and Jock has been fantastic there (much better than I thought he’d be). I’d have Hegarty at 10, and would have all season. And he kicks. Where that leaves JOC v Stewart is the big question. It’d be a huge bonus if JOC refound his kicking boots. He was a very good one once upon a time.

      • idiot savant

        Ive heard JOC won’t kick for goal anymore as it was contributing to ankle injuries. Not sure if that’s true.

Queensland Reds
@Ben_Marczyk

Passionate about rugby from the grass roots up. Usually found at Brisbane club rugby games, or being involved in the junior and schools system. Love a chat, happy to admit when I'm wrong. I will watch any game of rugby regardless of who is playing, from juniors through to tests

More in Queensland Reds