Reds v Sunwolves- Home Cooking Tastes Good - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Reds v Sunwolves- Home Cooking Tastes Good

Reds v Sunwolves- Home Cooking Tastes Good

The Queensland Reds are finally back for their first home game of the season in week four of the competition. After accruing Platinum Frequent Flyer status in the first three weeks, the get to play in front of a home audience. I know this word gets used too much, but this is a vital game, with any hope of staying in touch with the Brumbies and finals football already front of mind. Can the Sunwolves come and spoil the party? Will the jungle drums beat just that little bit louder for coach Brad Thorn? Let’s take a look…

Taniela Tupou was able to limit his penalties this week

Taniela Tupou was able to limit his penalties this week

 

THE MATCH

It was clear from the start that this game would not be lacking for excitement with the Reds looking to go wide early and often. Hunter Paisami and Alex Mafi made early breaks and Harry Wilson was getting through a mountain of work. The possession told with Liam Wright sneaking over in the fifth minute off a lineout move. Campbell missed the conversion and it was 5-0 Reds early. The lead was doubled soon after with a line break down the left eventually turning into several phases on the line. The Reds looked like they were going to botch it with acres of space to the left, but eventually Wilson picked from a ruck with a short ball to Tate McDermott who saw Taniela Tupou off a long run and no one was stopping that. Campbell converted and it was 12-0 Reds with just eight minutes gone.

The Sunwolves had barely touched the ball in the opening 15 minutes and you sensed it wouldn’t end well for them. After Tate McDermott was taken out in a ruck, the maul after the penalty fell over but the Reds continued to hold the ball and this time it was Hunter Paisami who came in hard and straight, and got over for his first Super Rugby Try. 19-0 Reds after seventeen minutes and the Reds were looking to keep their foot on the throat.

There was a brief period when the Sunwolves had some possession and looked like they might score, with the Reds helping them through some of the same penalties we see from them week in week out. A key scrum penalty they won on their won line set them downfield again and a rampaging Henry Speight cut inside and with a clever delayed pass set Tate McDermott over and its 26-0 with the conversion from Campbell.

Ben T’eo got a yellow card for shoulder charge and all sorts of alarm bells must have been ringing at this point. A massive overlap appeared and it looked like 4 Sunwolves in the bin and the Reds were lined up. Eventually it came to Taniela Tupou who passed to Lukhan Salakaia-Loto who went over. 31-0 after 34 minutes.

Right as the hooter sounded , the Reds scored again, this time from a Sunwolves error. Hamish Stewart put James O’Connor into a gap, who set Henry Speight free. Speight was cut down just short but a backing up O’Connor was there on the inside. With the try and the missed conversion it was 36-0 at the break.

Halftime and the Reds were looking to put two halves together and it started well, albeit from a Sunwolves error. They won a scrum penalty on their own 22 and took a quick tap and lost the ball, which Tate McDermott grubbered through and dived on to score. 43-0 and we are still a point minute. It kept going soon after with another dropped ball by the Sunwolves  falling into Hamish Stewart’s arms who went over. 50-0 after 48. Nothing was going right for the Sunwolves at this point.

Coach Brad Thorn began making changes early to give the bench serious minutes after largely ignoring them in previous weeks. Fraser McReight, Harry Hoopert, Scott Malolua, Josh Nasser and Isaac Lucas all getting serious minutes, with Lucas going to fullback. Pleasingly, the scrum kept humming and the team still looked pretty fluid, even if the points dried up.

The Sunwolves finally pounced after 63 minutes, when the leaky looking defence of Henry Speight finally broke. He was caught 15m inside his man with the replacement flyhalf Moriya cross kicking for Fifita to score. The Reds hit back almost immediately, with Jock Campbell breaking the line and the inside pass to Josh Nasser supporting brilliantly to score. 57-5 and all sorts of records were broken. The ink wasn’t yet dry on the new record when Isaac Lucas darted through a hole with his lightning acceleration and it was 64-5 with eight minutes remaining.

That is how it finished- a record margin for the Reds in Super Rugby and also the most points scored by them in Super Rugby. Ten tries scored was the medicine they needed at home after the long road trip, but the trick will be to back it up next week at home against the Sharks.

 

MATCH TURNING POINT

The Reds were on the front foot from the start of the game and didn’t look headed. If there was any sort of turning point it was the period after around 25 minutes when the Reds held out a couple of repeat penalties on their own line, won a scrum from a maul, then a penalty from the ensuing scrum. The Reds held possession, went up the other end and scored. at 26-0. They were unlikely to be beaten anyway by that point but that period pretty much sealed it.

James O'Connor was one of ten try scorers

James O’Connor was one of ten try scorers

 

GAGR MOTM

Games like this are hard to pick, because even the passenger can look like a star when you win by such a large margin. I am going to give it to James O’Connor- he was in so much of the good stuff and just looks so assured in the ten jersey, even when it isn’t his preferred position. It says much of his maturity that he is making it work and playing with a sure head and smarts that this Reds backline have needed for so long. An honourable mention to Tate McDermott.

WALLABY WATCH

Harry Wilson continues to get through so much work and impresses many with his aggression and starch. If he can work on his ability to keep the ball in a scrum it will help him no end. Tate McDermott continues to be the best halfback playing in Australia, and if we aren’t going to play a rookie at ten, James O’Connor is surely it. Liam Wright looks everything a captain and if he can use his voice with the ref a little more it will help in the key 50/50 calls.


STATS

Reds –  
Tries: McDermott 2, Wright, Tupou, Paisami,  Salakaia-Loto, O’Connor, Stewart, Campbell, Lucas
Conv: Campbell 7
Penalties:

Sunwolves 
Tries: Fifita
Conv:
Penalties:

Cards

Ben Te’o got a yellow card in the 31st minute for a shoulder charge.

Crowd: 11,898 came out for the first home game, which was up hugely from the 8,600 that came to see the corresponding fixture last year.

  • Well… I really don’t know how to feel after that. Even though we were heavily backed I was nervous. After three tries I was still nervous.
    What a great effort from the Reds. It’s fantastic to see them keep going for the entire game.

  • Yowie

    Thanks for the quick write-up Ben. We don’t all have foxtel so it’s much appreciated.

  • idiot savant

    Thanks Ben. Hard to know what to take from that as the Wolves were outclassed. I think the Reds line out still needs some work ons. Blythe continues to be a smart Alec, pushing people when the contest is over, mouthing off, and giving away silly penalties. I would have thought Thorn would be on to him about his attitude. I like his work rate though. Rodda looks like he hasn’t regained full fitness yet or he is still tired from his huge workload last year.

    McKay still continues to surprise me as the backs are developing more complexity. Stewart is acting as first receiver more and the interchange with JOC is working. Both have quick long passes and this was used to good effect. Stewart threw a Kevin Walters outside shoulder pass to JOC which ended in JOC’s try. He threw one last week to Campbell who cut back inside instead of riding the pass to the outside of his opponents shoulder. The resultant turnover led to Cubelli’s try. I look forward to seeing the development and increased cohesion of these 2 inside channel distributors with the outside backs.

    I saw the Sharks today. They have that thing which most troubles Thorn’s side – speed. The Reds defence will be critical next week.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Nice analysis mate. I’m liking what I see a lot and I think you’re right on the Shark’s speed out wide being an issue. Koroibete was caught out a number of times but that’s more his own lack of instinctive play and DHP not being direct enough with him. Reds will need to cut the attack down at 10 & 12 so the outside backs don’t get the ball.

      • John Tynan

        Speight has a tendency to drift infield too much and I can see him getting burnt on the outside.

    • John Tynan

      Last sentence very insightful, and also what worries me.

  • Reds Revival

    Bring on the Shorks! After beating them in SA last year, it is looking like a tantalising match up this time around. While both teams have improved, I think that the Reds at home would have to go in as favourites. If they can muster another win, it will be a really good confidence booster to go into the ‘Saders game. Absolutely love that the Brumbies and Reds had wins against foreign opposition this week (great game too Brums!!!). Raelene must be sleeping better this weekend…

    • ballymoreburning

      one of the best things about the two results was that both teams played a Dave Rennie style of game. a Wobs team made largely from the REDS/Brums will transition well into how he wants them to play.

  • The Jackal

    How good for the Wallabies to get to pick a backrow from Wilson, Wright, McReight, Hooper, Valetini, Samu, Naisarani. Who is the best 3 and who is going to be very unlucky and miss out. The likes of Hanigan & Dempsey have probably played their last Tests

    • Reds Revival

      I notice that you didn’t mention Hooper there. Obviously an oversight on your behalf Jackal….

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Yeah Hooper is correctly our only guaranteed back row starter.

        • Seb V

          Guaranteed in the squad, don’t think he’s a guaranteed starter.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I am virtually certain he is.

    • Lote Tequila

      Appreciate the Waratahs have not been great this year but I think Dempsey as been among their best. Not a walk-on Wallaby but I think he deserves to be in the conversation and is certainly ahead of all 3 reds players you mentioned if the team was picked tomorrow.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I can’t agree. Haven’t seen anything from Dempsey since that one good performance in 2017 to make me think he belongs anywhere near the squad, let alone the 23.

      • Seb V

        Not on super xv form he’s not. Although I back Dempsey to come good during the season.

      • Howard

        Disagree. Dempsey her been virtually invisable in the first 3 games. Early in the season but I wouldn’t pick him ahead of those others mentioned

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Ahhh, that was some satisfying Rugby. Shellackings are a weird one because you always feel sympathy somewhat for the team getting pumped.
    Not today. The Reds were hungry and the fans (nationwide) were pissed. All I kept thinking was more points! More! More!!!
    Obviously a long way to go given they face the Sharks next week, but if you want to compete you gotta put those weaker teams away. The Reds did that, and then some.
    So great to see all that great NRC talent standing up, and also being complimented by the veteran players like Speight and O’Connor. Was a pleasure to watch.

  • Lote Tequila

    Sooo difficult to get a gauge on that performance. It’s easy to say “but it’s the Sunwolves”, which is nearly as easy as “Yes, but we are the Reds.” Given this clash is no longer a full conclusion, we HAVE to be stoked with the result but circumspect about 1. Our prospects for the remainder of the season, and 2. Naming the whole 15 as 2020 Wallabies. This win for the most part gives the fans hope and gives the team confidence. We could be rewinding the tape very quickly in 2 weeks after the Sharks/Crusaders.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    I’d say McDermott is the third best halfback playing in Australia, only above Gordon. He may even be fourth behind Lonergan.

    But great win for the Reds. Good to see them finally get one!

    • Graeme

      I’d rate him as the best, with the Brumbies having 2 and 3 in Powell and Lonergan. I’m not sure what the Brumbies will do next year with White coming back. Hopefully Lonergan moves to another province (Melbourne?) to take a starting spot.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I just don’t see it. Running game is good, but nowhere near as consistent when it comes to passing or kicking. Also more prone to silly errors.

        Can’t keep picking halfbacks for their running game, if their passing isn’t up to scratch.

        Louwrens is the best 9 in Aus by far at the moment, and he combines a strong running game with a good passing game.

        They either rotate or one leaves. I suspect they might be more keen to keep Lonergan than Powell. Clears rucks quicker than Joe and has a better kicking and running game. Less accurate passing at the moment and not as smart yet.

        • Graeme

          This weekend was the first time I’ve watched Louwrens, and I didn’t think he particularly stood out. But I would have said the same about Powell the first few times I saw him play. But I’ve come to realize how important he is as a cog in the Brumbies backline, and how good he is as a decision maker. Lonergan looks like he might have the makings of the next Wallabies fixture, although it is too early to tell.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Agree Louwrens was poor this week.

    • Seb V

      As a brumbies support, I think he’s on par or even better then Powell (based on this season). Powell has the consistency and decision making, but McDermott has a much better running game. It is a great 9 battle this season.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I just don’t think McDermott has quite earned the level of praise he gets. He has a heap of talent but he’s still very raw.

        • Geoffro

          Dont think any of our Wallaby halves from the last few seasons have been much chop bar the odd good game from Genia and White.( nothing like the consistency of Smith and TJ as eg)If McDermott and the young Rebs guy can stand up would be great

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Powell has a very good, consistent season last year. Obviously not as good as Smith and TJ though.

        • Geoffro

          I like Joe and think hes a good reliable tradesman but not an international standard HB

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Maybe not, in an ideal world. But you can only pick who you can pick from. If he’s not an ‘international standard HB’ then it is an indictment on McDermott and Gordon unfortunately.

        • Geoffro

          Well,Mcdermott was/is still raw and never rated Gordon and it is going to be tricky this year with the old guard all playing OS.Could well see JP starting in a few of the earlier internationals

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yep, so if need be you pick Powell until McDermott and Lonergan come through properly. That said, if Louwrens is eligible he should be White’s backup.

        • Geoffro

          Can honestly say Louwrens has completely flown under my radar and having not seen him play much I cant give an opinion.I think Rennie has stated his preference for selecting onshore players has he ? so White may find himself cold shouldered

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Maybe. But I imagine that after a few matches he might make an exception for White.

        • Geoffro

          Fair enough but would be good if he didn’t have to

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Meh, I don’t see the issue. White is going to be back next super season anyway. What was the point in re-signing him if we aren’t going to use our world class halfback.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Assuming White is there. I’m not so sure he will be with what’s coming through

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He’d be in the conversation for a world 15 (he, DuPont and Smith are the three best I think, in no particular order). I’ve not seen a halfback cur the All Blacks to shreds like he did in Perth last year since Fourie du Preez in 2009. I think Rennie would be crazy not to pick him given the rest of our options aren’t exactly stand ours.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Wow! I don’t see that at all to be honest. I guess we’ll see next year but I think if one or two of the ones coming through step up, and with Rennie in charge and some decent coaching for once that is likely, then I think he’ll struggle

        • ballymoreburning

          his pass in wet conditions is sub standard. IMO you could not not pick him if you knew there was a chance of wet or slippery conditions (every test in NZ). I think he’s is very good in the dry and brings a variety that none of the other candidates quite have. I don’t know what you do with that if you’re a selector.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I agree on the battle but not so sure on the order. The big one for me is wheee White fits in. He looked good against Phipps and Genia – who was out of form, but he still displayed some of the shit decision making that cost him his place at times and I’m not sure he’s ahead of these young guys coming through. I hope Rennie drags in a lot of newbies, accepts the learning they’ll get and have them ready to really challenge next year. Not just at 10 but all over the field

    • idiot savant

      You’re trolling now……

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        No, I’m not. Certainly would not have him above Powell or Louwens. May not have him above Lonergan.

  • ballymoreburning

    wow, what a great performance. couple of points.

    firstly, the front row are firing, and allowing the whole team to play with confidence. at the moment, scrums on opposition feed are just opportunities for a penalty won.

    The revelation

    jock Campbell (who I rated at the start of the season as our 3/4th winger behind speight, daungunu, CFS and 2nd FB behind Hegarty) is now a walk up start for the rest of the season. His eye for counter attack opportunity and ability to find a hole in the wider channels is elite level. reminds me of a young James o’conner.

    Hamish Stewart has finally found his best position.

    for anyone who saw the trials, Hunter Paisami’s form is no surprise. I was hoping back then for a back line of mcdermott, Hegarty, daungunu, Paisami, Petaia, Speight, O’conner.

    I thought what we lacked most was potency and quality decision making from turnover ball and broken field play. O’conner at 15 was my fix.

    Jock campbell has changed this completely, and the the job done over the last 2 weeks by the PetaiaLess midfield of O’conner, Stewart and Paisami has been top shelf. Mackay deserves a serious round of applause for what he and his chargers have done.

    great to see Mcreight get a run also. his speed into contact coming back from injury is impressive.

    one swallow and a summer yada yada, but a lot to like for reds fans for the remainder of the season.

    • Reds Revival

      As Hoss has said so eloquently before, one swallow does not make a marriage.

      • Brisneyland Local

        But it is the grat start to a relationship

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well GAGR’s, as said in the preview I attend this one. And was very glad I did. The BL clan and a group of family freinds went to the game. The Crowd I thought was lower than the number published, but the atmosphere was really quite positive.
    Here we go:
    – I actually dont think the Moondoggies are that bad a team. But they were shellshocked ealry and didnt really recover.
    – Where has this beautiful passing game been in Aus rugby for the last 5 years. The slick hands passing was beautiful. Support players where they needed to be, Just great to watch.
    – Yes there was still the lack of discipline and errors. But the connection game was just enjoyable to watch.
    – Nic Berry Loto was still a factor but it didnt ruin the game. We saw atleast 4 shoulder charges, only one made the review. A lot of neck rolls too.
    – I must say I didnt think JOC at 10 would be a workable. BUt I am happy to eat my hat. He was the difference past night. One or two smalls errors but just talent, and knowing where to be when. I would be leaving him there, and blooding the young fella behind him. Just makes his years of stupidity and time in the wilderness such a waste.
    Lets hope they can build on this for next week. Over to you GAGR’s!

    • JO’C would say it was those years that got him here. And he’d be right.

      • Brisneyland Local

        You are probably right. It was good to watch.

  • numpty

    Well played and deserved, boys will be happy to get some just deserts after playing 3 decent games for naught. But, I still see the same issues that have plagued them the first 3 weeks – exits, clean attacking lineout ball, discipline. Noticed a variation in the exits with JOC belting it down the middle, not sure if its the best option but its a start. I thought Stewart might be the odd one out this season but man is he playing well, hitting hard in D and quality at getting the ball outside the 13 channel. Shame for Lucas who I think deserves a spot but don’t know who he replaces at the moment.

  • Nutta

    Cheers Ben

    My only additional point is how did Teo not see red? In all seriousness, based on current protocols, how was that not a red? @KARL?

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

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