Queensland Reds hold firm against Bulls - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Queensland Reds hold firm against Bulls

Queensland Reds hold firm against Bulls

The Reds come into this match with one win from two matches. And not even the most one eyed red glasses wearing fan could be very confident after last week’s win against the Brumbies.

The Bulls arrive with the same win/loss record, a similar points differential, a 12,000 km flight under their belts, and a suspiciously Brisbane City like strip. [Apparently it was a nod to the Pretoria soccer team to broarden their supporter base. WTF?]



Bulls came out firing and were turning down shots at goal to go to the lineout in an attempt to get the first points on the board. It came soon enough with Filipo Daugunu misreading the play and opened a hole for Warrick Gelant to stroll through in the 5th minute. The try was converted by Handre Pollard to take the Bulls to the lead with 7 points.

As the game progressed through the 15 minute mark the ball was swapped out for a cake of soap and the game switched to hit and giggle volleyball. After some back and forward the Reds got the feed into the scrum and the Bulls pack went into reverse. Scrum called. COME. ON. BOYS.

This seemed to spook the Bull’s pack and it took three goes to get the next scrum sort of completed with the Reds coming away with the penalty advantage for the Bulls collapsing. Eventually Tupou barged his way over the line but was held up. The advantage was still in play from the previous scrum so we just returned to the mark & reset. This time the Bulls got free kick …… and if anyone can fill me in as to why it would be appreciated.

Eventually James Slipper decided enough was enough and the Reds need to take some points. After spending 15 minutes bashing away at the try line, the Reds were on the receiving end of a penalty for the Bulls being off side. Tuttle took the shot and brought the score to 3-5.

Soon after the restart in play, the Reds lost the ball to the Bulls and then compounded the error with a massive brain fade in defence. Travis Ismaiel broke through the line & raced down field. With some excellent passing Andre Warner was over for the Bulls second try which Pollard duly converted to take the score to 3-14.

Eto Nabuli owes Liam Wright a few beers after Wright pounced on the ball for a turnover a few phases after Nabuli knocked on yet again as a result of being out of position close to the Bulls try line.

Eventually Caleb Timu was on the end of some nice passing to score on the left hand wing. Tuttle kicked the conversion and the score was 10-14. Reds were coming back.

The first half finished with some scrambling defence from the Bulls as the Reds threatened the line again.

Caleb Timu scores

Caleb Timu scores


The second half started as the first half finished with knock-ons a plenty (yes looking at you Nabulli), and the Reds looking like they were the ones who had flown half way around the world.

Six minutes into the second half, the unpredictable Daugunu split the Bulls defence, offloaded to Brandon Paenga-Amosa who put Toua into a gap to run over beside the sticks. Tuttle converted and the Reds were in the lead 17-14

Service returned to normal in the handling department until Tate McDermott penalised in the 57th minute for throwing a pass into a Bulls player. Was a good idea…. except the pass as forward. Ooops.

I would like to say that the humidity was making it difficult for both sides, but the Reds seemed to having more difficulty that the Bulls. However, the Reds scrum was still working well with the reserves on. In the 67th minute they just plain old demolished the Bulls pack. From the subsequent lineout the Reds played a couple of phases before Nabuli was in the wrong place again and lost the ball over the line. Lucky for him the pack like their work and the scrum again walked over the Bulls pack to win the ball back for another win. And a reset. And another…… And another…. Oh for crying out loud blow the whistle. Eventually a short arm went to the Bulls for McDermott not feeding the unstable scrum. Bloody heck!

Eventually a high tackle on Kerevi was penalised and Lance stepped up to take the shot from 37 metres out. Reds lead 20 – 14.

The Reds defence started to show their improvement late in the game. Or did they just get the better of the Bulls attack.

The Bulls were awarded a penalty 79:59 when Timu did not release the ball after he was tackled. They kicked to the corner and after several phases with the stadium holding their breath Alex Mafi made a hit on the Lood de Jager and knocked the ball lose. Phew.

Here endeth the story with a Reds win 20 – 14. Apparently the first time they have had consecutive wins since 2014.

Aidan Toua clears to end the game

Aidan Toua clears to end the game


The Game Changer

The game turned in the second half. The Reds seemed to get their act together and the Bulls were unable to score. The Reds bench is making a real difference late in the game. Maybe our depth isn’t that bad…. but we are yet to be tested by the Kiwis.


Taniela Tupou. Tupou has soft hands, makes huge hits in defence and breaks the line in attack frequently. It looks like the Thorn school of fitness is agreeing with him. Lance also had a very good game.

Wallaby watch

The outsider calls are going to be Filipo Daugunu (eligibility dependant) and Liam Wright. They have talent to burn and with some judicious coaching will be there before we know it. Other than that the usual suspects.

REDS 20 (A Toua, C Timu tries; J Tuttle 2 conv, pen goal, J Lance pen goal) bt BULLS 14 (R Warner, J Kriel tries; H Pollard 2 conv)

Crowd – 11827

  • idiot savant

    Speedy work SFR. A really enjoyable tense game to watch where the baby Reds showed real fight. Seriously, did the Bulls not just put on the most ridiculously consistent off side rush defence? They received a bunch of penalties for it but they should have been carded. If thats the future of officiating rugby its going to be a game in which few enterprising tries will ever be scored from structured play. The touch judges must have been borrowed from rugby league. There were whole passages with the Reds in possession where less than 3 metres existed between the sides.

    The Reds pack was outstanding. Nutbrown’s first scrum penalty was wrong, as was subsequently proved. And Nutborwn showed the same courage in the scrums as on the offside rule. How wasn’t a Bulls player carded when their scrum was consistently pantsed by the Reds?

    Kerevi played close to the best game I have ever seen him play. He made tackles and had no loose carries. Lance does 2 things better than any other Australian flyhallf. Tackling and kicking for touch. Daylight is second. And the backline need a defence organiser. Hunt is missed in that regard.

    • SuckerForRed

      Couple of thinks I have noticed in this weekend’s games:
      1. The Off-side line has apparently become a little more flexible. Certainly last feet just not sure which last feet.
      2. The crack down on high tackles seems to have ended. The number of tackles in both of tonights games & last night’s Rebels game, that would have been carded last week but were lucky to rate an advantage call this week was a little astounding. How did Mafi (?) only get a warning for knocking out Carter when Higgers has been suspended for 3 weeks for a similar, some might argue less severe tackle, a couple of weeks ago?

      But I guess I shouldn’t bitch. We won & no one was carded….

      • Alister Smith

        No point coming out hard in the first week and forgetting about it afterwards. Regardless of what the rules are they need to be applied consistently across all games across the season. So BL, IMHO, you have every right to bitch away to your hearts content (and no I am not a Reds fan but I am enjoying their new found determination and ability to graft out a win – you can add the flair in later but they had forgotten you to play tough grinding, winning rugby so its good to see that back).

    • Brendan Hume

      Completely agree regarding Jono Lance – I love Quade, so I’m disappointed to see him out of the line up, but for me, Jono Lance out plays Bernard Foley at the basics and would certainly not be amiss in a Wallaby set up that doesn’t have a complicated attacking game plan which is where we have been for a while now.

      Some positive signs in the forward pack – its certainly not at the standard of the 2011-13 era Reds, but the scrum has been strong, the work rate is high and the ball is being retained.

  • sambo6

    as I said last week…mthe reds might not yet be dynamic and thrilling. And the better teams in the comp won’t be too woried about us. But we are building the foundations…making our tackles, winning the breakdown, minimising stupid mistakes. The rest will come. So for now, I’m still ‘content’

    The exception here is Nabuli. How many drop balls is that in 2 weeks? When is perese back? Nabuli has to go. Not good enough.

    Also, i’ve been very critical of kane Douglas in the past as a seagull/ruck inspector. But Thorn seems to have lit his fire, and I think he’s really getting stuck in. Good to see.

    Finally. It’s scary t think how good tupou could be if he continues on this trajectory. Although, I do wonder, with his frame, surely he can’t maintain that explosives and speed he has into his late twenties? I hope he can, but will father time catch up with him quicker than some others just due to his size and the associated wear and tear.

    • Huw Tindall

      Doing the basics like the Rebels but without the experience of bunch of a score of Wallabies. Good promise.

  • SuckerForRed

    Thanks to which ever of Reg or Sully put this up for me. Technology was not my friend….. sigh….

    • Huw Tindall

      Well done on the writing at least then. Assume you hand wrote it and sent it to the G&GR typing pool? :D

      • SuckerForRed

        There is a typing pool? If that’s the case I will phone it in next time!

  • Nick

    Pleasantly surprised with this result. Fantastic win Reds!

  • Brisneyland Local

    Good morning GAGR’s. Excellent post SFR, and thanks for putting in the hard yards to get it up so quickly. Just got back soaking wet from my Sunday morning ride, which I was really motivated on the return journey listening to the Tahs get pantsed by the Jaguares! Yeah Baby. My points on the Reds game in no particular order:

    – The Reds scrum is now a serious weapon. How the fark a Jaguares players wasnt binned during the scrum I have no idea. Lets see how it goes against a Kiwi team.
    – Nabuli needs a week or two in the reserve grade. He is a liability.
    – The ball handling by both teams was atrocious. The Reds got better in the second half, not sure how much of this is the conditions or the Reds just being the Reds. more drilling of the players Mr Thorn.
    – I agree with what was mentioned in the previous posts by SFR about the high tackles. I thought there were at least 4 there that could have been carded.
    – We need Hunt back to organise the back line. But alas I dont think he should be allowed back, but damn we are missing his coordination of the backs.
    – I gather Thorn has been giving K Douglas a hard ride, because man did he have a Burr in his saddle. He actually looked good for once, instead of the passenger he normally is.
    Overall not a brilliant performance, but definitely building each week. And certainly a level above the Tarts! ;-)
    Over to you GAGR’s.

  • Alister Smith

    Only heard this on the radio but it’s great to hear an Australian team be dominant in a scrum over an SA opponent. I know we all want to play running rugby but good set piece is also crucial and the Reds (apart from one or two misses in the lineout – particularly the final one which must have given the odd Reds fan in the crowd a few palpitations) are performing solidly in these critical contests. Obviously plenty of room for improvement still. Great to see some encouraging comments around Douglas. He played excellently for the Waratah and Wallabies in the past but there was no doubt that he was off his game since returning to Australia via the Reds. He will be a great back up to the younger brigade at the Reds and the Wallabies if he continues in this vein.

    • Gipetto

      The Reds scrum is outstanding and the good scrummagers are excellent around the field too. We have one Ozzy lad and some outstanding ex-pats in the front row; Jean-Pierre Smith in particular.

  • Packy

    Well done Reds. You are beating the bad penalties and yellow card hoodoo. Coach Thorn can drink from the cup of cool lemonade all week long

  • mattyjinred

    So was at the game and it was fantastic to watch. The basics are there and its only a matter of time before the attack starts to click and we will de-construct.

    A quick comment. Did anyone at the game here the musical selection that started about the 65m. It started with Right Now by Van Halen. The song started as the reds packed against the bulls scrum and destroyed it. We then had Foo Fighters and Fat Boy Slim. All songs you would have in a pre-game pump up playlist if you were in your early 40’s.

    Each song was turned down for key Bulls moments but bumped back up when it was a key Reds moment.

    Is it just me or is the Brad Thorn mixed tape being played in the last 20 minutes to help focus the young team and remove the distraction of the crowd and the moment. Focus on the song and the training.

    I picked up it last week but this week it was more obvious and it worked.

    A pre-game mixed tape during your key moments, if its true it is fantastic.

    Finally, next two weeks are critical. Back yourselves and get some win boys. Then the crowds will come.

  • HJ Nelson
Queensland Reds

Rugby fetishist. Reds & Wallabies supporter. Have been known to watch all grades & levels. Warning - gets fired up! And yes I am a GIRL..........

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