Reds v Chiefs - insert bad racist pun here - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Reds v Chiefs – insert bad racist pun here

Reds v Chiefs – insert bad racist pun here

In another lifetime the Reds had the measure of the Chiefs, but not these days. Will it be business as usual or can the Reds buck the Kiwi domination? The first is much more likely than the second but I’m eternally optimistic.

The Match

Damian McKenzie tackled by Chris Feaui-Sautia

Damian McKenzie tackled by Chris Feaui-Sautia

The first 20 minutes of the game was all Chiefs. They dominated possession and territory to strangle the Reds game. Tries to Tyler Arden and Charlie Ngatai were a direct result of that dominance. The Reds didn’t help their cause, losing a tighthead and coughing up possession in contact. The only bright spot for the Reds was the head knock to the Chiefs linchpin Damian Mckensie which saw him ruled out of the rest of the game. Obviously, that was not a bright spot for Mckensie who looked very much under the weather.

Without their flyhalf, the chiefs weren’t nearly as dominant, but they still managed to go into halftime 24-0 up thanks to a Brodie Retalick try. For their part, the Reds never looked a chance of scoring. Not one player looked capable of drawing and passing. While all of them seemed intent on bashing into the Chiefs defensive wall time after time, like waves against a rock wall with about the same effect.

Aidan Toua

Aidan Toua

And it’s rinse and repeat. The Chiefs didn’t look like world beaters by any means but they only had to beat the Reds. Liam Polwart scored a try for the Chiefs just after the break and the Reds managed to get one back through a typical run From Samu Kerevi. Finally, after 60 minutes, the Reds brought on Moses Sorovi and the Reds immediately showed the urgency at the ruck and maul base that they had been desperately missing. It’s amazing the difference a good halfback can make.

That speed of delivery gave Kerevi the extra time to get up to pace for his second try. At 31-12 things looked like petering out, but, amazingly, the Reds decided to run the ball from deep in their half after the final whistle. This played right into the Chiefs hand and after five minutes they forced a lineout maul over the line to win themselves a bonus point off the back of another Reds bad decision.

I can’t fault the Reds player commitment, but I can question the decision made by the coaching staff. They are being hamstrung by very bad selections in key positions. Ben Lucas brings nothing that the other three halfbacks in the squad can’t do better and quicker. Jono Lance can defend like a demon, but he lost the attack playbook in 2011 and never found it again. Aiden Toua is a roadblock in all the wrong ways. Brad Thorn’s honeymoon is over and serious questions must be asked about his ‘new direction’ at the moment it looks like that direction is backwards. There are better players in all these key positions on the Reds book and we need more than Thorn’s platitude to justify their exclusions.

Caleb Timu offloads to Ben Lucas

Caleb Timu offloads to Ben Lucas


The Game Changer

Brad Thorn’s ridiculous selection policies.

The G&GR MOTM

The only Aussie players I can give any credit to are Izack Rodda and Samu Kerevi. Kerevi’s two tries get him the nod as Man Of The Match.

Never a Wallaby watch

Ben Lucas, Aiden Toua, Jono Lance

Liam Polwart scores for Chiefs

Liam Polwart scores for Chiefs


The Details

Crowd:

Score & Scorers

Reds: 12
Tries: Samu Kerevi 2
Conversions: Jono Lance
Penalties:
Chiefs: 36
Tries: Tyler Ardron, Charlie Ngatai, Brodie Retallick, Liam Polwart, Samisoni Taukei’aho
Conversions: Damian McKenzie 2, Marty McKenzie 2
Penalties: Damian McKenzie

Cards & citings

None

Jono Lance steadied by teammates, after a head-knock with a Chiefs player, as Jaco Pyper checks him out.

Jono Lance steadied by teammates, after a head-knock with a Chiefs player, as Jaco Pyper checks him out.

  • idiot savant

    That was quick Sully! You are bang on about Sorovi. I sat up in my chair after his first couple of passes and thought here is a Reds halfback getting to the ruck WITH the forwards and picking it up as soon as its presented and passing quickly off the deck. He has to start next week.

    But Gregan was right after the game when he said the Reds got exhausted early from trying to secure their own possession at the ruck. The same thing happened against the Tahs. This is poor coaching. When a forward takes it up there is rarely another single forward, let alone two, right with him. Which means that the opposition gets there first and the ball carrier is isolated and then the late arriving forwards have to push with all their might just to secure the ball with no gainline momentum. It also means they lose possession a lot and then have to tackle their guts out. All of it adds up to them being exhausted after 25 minutes. I cant believe an ex All Black forward can be such a poor coach of basic skills.

    But you are unkind to the Chiefs. They were special in the first 25 minutes. They ran very hard and actually gassed themselves a bit. They couldn’t keep the pace up in the second half and it would be been superhuman of them if they did. At half time the sweat was pouring off the Chiefs and they were blowing. That and the loss of McKenzie opened the door for the Reds and to their credit, even with their poorly coached breakdown techniques, they gave a much better account of themselves in the second half. With the tackling they had to do, they could’ve lost by a lot more so that was a good sign.

    Once again the line out fell apart in the second half. I cant see why Ready shouldn’t be given a chance now off the bench. Stewart failed to find touch again off a penalty. He did that in Argentina. He cant keep making that mistake. Also the Reds backs coaching is pretty uninspired as well. The Chiefs used a beautifully simple 3 option play most of the time and the contrast with the Reds who simply just catch and pass couldn’t have been more stark. I think the coaches need to give themselves an uppercut.

    • Adrian

      Mentioned the Red half back issue last week.
      The only one of their 4 half backs that can pass quickly is Sorovi.

      Need Duncan P in there surely. I think he could play at 10 with a fast passing 9, though I think he’s best at 12,….or 15,…or anywhere

      • idiot savant

        Yes Adrian you are on the ball. I agree DP is best at 12. Unfortunately Kerevi is best at 12 also. I cant see Thorne replacing Kerevi at 12. DP has apparently been playing 15 in club rugby so maybe Thorn is thinking of bringing in him there. But really the coaching is pretty dire – backs and forwards.

        • Adrian

          I hope he does something.

          Interestingly, BT’s main mentors did use big forwards (and backs), but they always had some very creative players too, whether their name be Lockyer or Carter

        • Brisneyland Local

          Oh so true on the AB’s front, have no idea who the other guy is! ;-)

        • Bernie Chan

          Some bloke who played a bit…fullback-5/8…up north of the Tweed he was considered a bit alright…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think at this point you basically need Paia’aua at 12, and you need Kerevi in the centres too so he goes to 13.

        • SuckerForRed

          DP currently on the injured list. Saw him on Saturday night and he was very lame.

      • Bernie Chan

        Sorovi has a great pass…has he rediscovered his running game? BT can talk about changing the culture etc etc but the isolation of QC (and what’s happened to DPA…?) is starting to look really daft. Did Ready kick someones dog? As noted by Sully, Lance is not the flyhalf we need…the attack is so clueless….
        Sorovi-QC-Kerevi-CFS-Perese-Dganau-DPA…if we are going with ‘bash brothers’ centres, at least have a couple of decent passers of the ball to put them into space at speed. Park QC at flyhalf, insist he defends there…no shuffling unless it is the Link strategy of having QC initiating counter attacks on kick return.
        And…the Chiefs were missing 6 props?

        • Adrian

          Yes, beginning to look a bit silly in Qld….. again

        • Bernie Chan

          QRU are experts on the specialty field of “silly”. Methinks they gave BT too much rope for a novice Coach. He was a truly great player, but all codes of footy have examples that show great players rarely make great coaches. What has happened to DPA? Is he is the doghouse? I imagine every outside back in the Reds would prefer to have QC guiding the backline…? Jeez, they’d probably offer to do his tackling for a try scoring op…

        • Adrian

          Something going on.

          Too soon to say it is like previous 4 or 5 years, but…. maybe

        • Gallagher

          I’ve watched all the Souths games with quade this year, in case you where wondering he has been defending at 10 and hardly missed a tackle if at all.

    • Fatflanker

      I think Gregan nailed it, TBH. The rucks are ponderous – we are either fighting to secure the ball or waiting for someone to arrive who’ll actually pick the bloody thing up while it sits there on the ground. On the rare occasions we get the ball moving fast from the ruck we consistently get across the advantage line.

  • Parker

    Sad news about an honourable Wallaby https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/43849696

    • onlinesideline

      I wonder how comprehensive the income insurance really is for these blokes.

    • mikado

      Yes, terrible news.

  • Custard Taht

    Brad needs to eat a slice or two of humble pie, and accept that the team is now heading in the wrong direction.

    Time to change some of the players and start travelling in a new direction. One direction is a fine name for a boys band, but a poor strategy for a rugby team.

    For the life of me, don’t understand the continued selection of Lance. The season is done, trot out Stewart for the remainder of the season and see how he goes.
    It is time to try some different players and combinations.

    • Gallagher

      Classic One Direction comment

    • Gipetto

      Stewart came on and immediately missed touch with a penalty kick. In the NRC Hamish tackled adequately in the #10 channel and gave the ball to Paia’aua as soon as he could.
      Stewart is somewhere between shit and inconsistent as a Super level kicker; He should look for a job overseas like McIntyre. I will be some time before he is a Super rugby level playmaker (that deserves selection)… if ever.
      Hamish ran well in the NRC from time to time because he had the element of surprise- all eyes were on Paia’aua. The top shelf players.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! Just back from my Sunday morning expose in lycra, scaring all of the natives out for their early morning walk along the beach. I spent the 55km thinking about last nights game. Here are BL’s ramblings of a mad man:
    – Credit to the Chiefs, even with a truckload of players missing they are still a dominant force.
    – That was really, really dissapointing. The only thing that concerned me was at half time I screamed “we have to score some points or I will never be able to speak to a Tarts fan ever again!”.
    – As mentioned by a lot of the other posters the lack of tactics by the forwards is scary.
    – Lance great defender, but can not direct the play. Gee I wonder where we can find a 10 that can do that.
    – BT is losing the fans at a rapid rate. A significant amount more than he did when he dropped Quade.
    – The talking heads (ex-players including Ella and Horan et al) are already saying BT has to swallow his pride and bring back QC. After last nights effort the voices are only going to get louder.
    – You want to silence the critics, then win. If you cant win, come a close second and look like you are moving the team in a direction towards competitiveness. We are no where near there! ANd we are not headed in that direction.
    – I want to keep Thorn as I think he is part of the solution, but his player selections are starting to become confusing and downright dissapointing.
    – The forwards are the engine room, and the 9/10 combo are the drivers. We are not firing in either that department except for the scrum.
    – Time to go back to the drawing board!
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Custard Taht

      Did Thorn play under Deans, if so, not surprising that his selections are confusing!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah he Did. Deans coached the Crusaders from 2000 I think and Thorn started there in 2001. So yep I think they overlapped.

        • Red Block

          I think you’ll find the main opposition to QCs selection comes from Tony McGahan, who was assistant coach to Robbie Deans so-called ‘toxic ‘ environment. McGahan saw the writing on the wall and quickly got himself a gig as Rebels head coach. So Quade obviously has to compete with Deans and McGahan chatting in Thorn’s ear.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yay, so we get an assistant coach who was a fucktard as head coach and achieved very little!

        • John Tynan

          Agree. Import another losing record, as well as a poor selector. I’d lke to see TMc and RG record side by side.

        • Custard Taht

          But he is a good bloke…..

        • John Tynan

          I would give you multiple “ups” for that if I could…

    • idiot savant

      All very good points BL save for QC. I cant see going back to him as a step forward. Yes fans may drop off but if the group stays tight, and the coaches have the brains to get the players to understand the learnings these hard times might just forge some steel for the future.

      Its really the coaches (and selector) who have to lift their game the most. Better forward ball security techniques, faster ball from halfback, another inside ball player to help Lance, more variety in attack options, better line speed defence. These are all coach and selector responsibilities. Most of these players are young and are trying hard but could do with better instructions.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I agree. But I dont think Lance will ever have the insight and attacking play nouse Cooper had. But we will see where it goes. The difference Thorn had a few months of grace, I think his grace, rightly or wrongly, is wearing out quickly.

    • Brumby Runner

      Lance made a huge mistake when he left the Rebels to return to Brisbane (career-wise, that is). Had he stayed at Melbourne, he would have Genia, Meakes, Hodge, Koriobete, Naivalu and DHP, all Wallabies, around him in the backline. It’s my guess he would still look like a potential Wallaby had he played with all of them to make him look good.

      • idiot savant

        Totally. Lance has become the whipping boy because he is the only playmaker in the entire side. He has no one at 12 and no one at 15 to help him. He is actually doing an Ok job considering that. Remember QC had DP land K Hunt last year. This year its just Lance. Even the great God QC would struggle with the speed of ball and no other ball players.

        • John Tynan

          But he’s the one calling the moves, and they are downright telegraphed, and played from WAYYYY back in the pocket. He’s also doing too much defensive load, and his passing suffers for it. Finally, it also looks like he has no way to react to whats in front, and the play gets run regardless – Timu got the poleaxe once, but there was at least two others prior where they should have learned from it.

        • idiot savant

          Mmmm maybe. Timu was actually standing too deep cutting off the option for Lance to use the second line play. And the Chiefs were offside a lot. On the other hand Lance changed the direction of the play which set up Kervi’s 2nd try so hes not clueless. Lance has also set up a number of tries this season. I agree his passing is ordinary.

          The point still stands. Foley has Gordon, Beale and Hegarty. Debra has Genia, Hodge, Maddocks. Hawera has CLL and Banks. Lance has?

    • Richard Patterson

      Always good thoughts BL. I figure the cadence this morning was a little higher with emotions running high.

      To me, the most noticeable feature when I watch an NZ team play an AUS team right now is the very subtle differences in ball work – especially in very tight spaces or with very limited time. We saw it again last night.

      So often with the NZ sides – or the Chiefs last night, the ball is so often where it needs to be for the player in possession or about to become in possession. The timing of the pass is good. The delivery of the pass is good – but what sets it apart is the position of the ball for the catching player allows greater effectiveness in his next execution (whether to A/ run B/ take a tackle and offload C/ distribute further). Recall as highlighted above – much of this is done without the luxury of either space or time.

      Watch the Chiefs last night. So often passes are “on the money” and allow much greater effectiveness for the next player (and so on until space and time opens up).
      Then watch the Reds. Too often passes are not accurate and therefore require more work/time from the receiving player before he can be effective once in possession. Too often it’s that loss of time that reduces A/ his effectiveness or B/ the effectiveness of the Reds to create continuity, build pressure, challenge the defense or score points.

      Rugby is a game requiring lots and lots of simple things done effectively. Simple things done effectively over and over again. Simple things done effectively whether mentally or physically fresh or fatigued (you can relate to that from your military training). Right now the NZ sides have it and the AUS sides do not. Last night in Brisbane was just the latest chapter.

      There is a bright spot though. All this is great video for analysis for coaching clinics across Australia. These skills can be taught. What starts at age-group level becomes second nature at the professional level.

      Last point… Extract out the Blues from that list of NZ sides. People ask why they are consistently the weakest of the NZ sides. Go watch their error rates when trying to execute under pressure. There for all to see.

      • idiot savant

        Agree Richard. I dont think I saw the latch applied once in the first half by Reds forwards. I saw it a few times in the second half and the difference was considerable. The extra drive and ball protection presented quicker gainline ball. There should be a rule for the Reds forwards. Dont run with out a latch.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Really good points. My Skydiving coach always used to say “Perfect speed, is being there!” Same in Rugby, be in position on time and the 9/10 combo dont have to push passes, the players are there expecting the ball, waiting for it. We dont have that. We are a long way from being there.

  • onlinesideline

    Tell ya what another 2 losses on the trot and QC will be a haunting close up ghost face terrorising Brad Thorn nightly. He could end up looking like this.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d48e2c7b2899593c11c53a3c875ec8c570633a46eb0a973df813476c0dd0c3e1.jpg

  • John Tynan

    Sully, I can add nothing to your wrap, except maybe a different opinion on Toua. I think the Brums got the best out of him by basically ally point and shoot. He’s not a play maker, and they are relying on him too much for these. He should be used for his left boot for clearances, and every other instruction shod basically be run it. He clearly doesn’t know what he should do when he gets the ball at the back. He should just run it but try to link up somewhere.
    The rest, as you say sits squarely on the coaching and selecting.

    • Toua seems to have one of the lowest rugby intelligences I have ever seen.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Nice write up Sully, I can feel your pain coming through. You know I think one of the biggest factors the ABs have over other teams is the speed the ball gets from a ruck/maul/scrum/lineout into the 10’s hands. Smith, Perenara and others are all incredibly fast and accurate and that provides that split second of space. I noticed when Phipps came on for the Tahs it also improved the time available. They just couldn’t do anything with it. I hope Thorn and everyone pick up on this

    • John Tynan

      Same when Sorovi came on for Lucas. Both speed AND accuracy picked up and we had some front foot and time to make a decision before we turned it over.

  • Mike Mike

    The reds were never in it, the chiefs were very sloppy with dropped passes and way ward passing, seemed to indicate they thought they had the measure early. Over the 3 games the conference teams amassed a stunning 3 points combined in the first half of the matches. Something not right with bringing any pressure from the get go.

  • idiot savant

    Its time for some positives!

    -Sam Scott Young is a keeper. For a 20 year old in only his second start? against top quality Kiwi opposition, that was pretty damn good.
    -Sorovi, as everyone has said, really stood out as a step up in ability from the other half backs in only his second game.
    -Petaia has some good feet and the fearlessness of the very young. Id like to see more.
    -Gotta love Timu. His workrate and toughness are first class. Add an ability to take a giant hit and still be able to retain possession and present the ball for his side. Gold.
    -Perese made some smart defensive decisions and really can tackle. He also loves contact and gives it his all as seen in his bump on Hooper last week.
    -The Reds didnt give up in the second half this week and didnt drop their bundle when the Chiefs scored again. Theres something to take away from that.

    All in all theres some talent and potential in this side. Wright, Rodda, Tupou (who has gone missing a bit lately), Daugunu, Tui all have significant potential for the future.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I agree on Sam Scott Young. I thought he played very well. I agree on your others as well although I think having some of them on full time will expose their experience.
      I think if Thorn came out and said something like “we are building for the future and it’s going to take 3 years” then he’d be forgiven for his selections and the losses. I still think they’ve exceeded expectations from the last few years

      • RobC

        He did this speech in round 1, Kiwi

    • Harry

      Well I agree Sam would have gone better than most of the present Reds squad, though he’s getting on a bit. His son Angus is a good prospect but IMO not ready yet to start SR, perhaps next year.

    • McWarren

      My jury is still out on Scott-Young just yet, I’m not sure he is physically developed enough. Messam made short work of him. He gets bumped off in defence too often at present, but that seems to be a team trait. I agree on all other youngsters. My concern is the lack of senior leadership to guide them. It’s really only Slipper and Smith now. And for years we’ve developed talent only to let it slip away. I’m thinking Tom Banks, Liam Gill, Higgers in his prime, the big ranga winger from last year and more. I’ll consider this year a success if we manage to hold the squad together for next year.

      • idiot savant

        Im not saying hes the finished article by any means. Of course he has a lot of development to go – physical and mental. But his effort and his energy and his physical commitment were of the standard required. The Chiefs delivered the Reds an intensity lesson and Scott Young was the one of the few Reds who had intensity.

  • Fatflanker

    Reds scrum was disappointing…not sure how much of that was down to Slipper getting hurt but I certainly expected more from them. They’re a team that needs the go forward from scrum penalties to prosper, ATM.

    • McWarren

      I think they’ve been worked out there. Teams are playing silly buggers at engagement time and slowing it down. If a penalty isn’t given for a collapse the refs are just forcing the 9 to play on for fear of having to go through another 5 resets

  • Gipetto

    The worst selection for the Reds in 2018 was made by he QRU when they picked that dud coaching panel. Lance would be a good fullback and someone has to stop Souths winning the Brisbane club premiership by putting Quade back in the Reds. The worst moments for me were the useless first half kicks by Lucas, Lance and Toa to the Chief back three. Paia’aua would be a far superior fullback. In South Africa, no entity with broadcast rights would show a knock on by the home team before the conversion went over. The SA broadcasters show endless replays of suspect tackles by the visiting team. The grinning kiwi goon should go unless he can come up with a better explanation for his disastrous selections. He is worse than Richard Graham but at least Nabuli is out of the picture.

    • Gallagher

      I’m gonna lose it if it takes an ENTIRE season for everyone to realise Thorn hasn’t got a clue what he’s doing and dump him, bring back quade as VC to run the backs with duncan, every other back, and tupou can then run at the gaps and we will start scoring tries. A fast service nine can be found but it isn’t a deal breaker with the great pack we have (Stiles sorted that, not Thorn). Thorn is rubbish, cant build a strategy let alone piece a sentence together to show anyone he can do more than be ‘disappointed and frustrated with the effort’ when they lose.

      • Gallagher

        By the way we are still maintaining the worst attack in the Comp, and have slid to 9th in defense, he’s now mentioned he may ‘tinker’, let’s hope…

  • HJ Nelson
Queensland Reds
@Only1Sully

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

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