REVIEW: Reds v Cheetahs - Reds lose their luggage - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

REVIEW: Reds v Cheetahs – Reds lose their luggage

REVIEW: Reds v Cheetahs – Reds lose their luggage

The Reds came into this match knowing it was all for them to do after their brothers from below the Tweed, the Waratahs, had given them the leg up they needed by putting away conference leaders, the Brumbies.

The Match

Photo by Jako Pienaar

Photo by Jako Pienaar

The Reds came out on full attack and it appeared to pay dividends, with Rod Davies winning a foot race to put the ball down for the opening try. Craig Joubert was not sure and sent it upstairs. From there, the Referee team had some comms issues that must have changed the question asked as it appears the TMO, Sean Veldsman, thought he must have been asked to find a few reasons why the try should not be awarded, eventually he managed to be heard by Joubert and the try was not awarded due to a knock on AND obstruction.

Halfback Piet van Zyl replied with try from a charge down and a good run, evading everything the Reds threw at him including one that would not have done Quade’s new reputation for contact any favours, as he slipped off a simple one allowing the Cheetahs Halfback to get easy points on the board.

Seemingly not being able to get things together, a loose pass from the Reds lock Rob Simmons led to a turnover, the Cheetahs wasting no time putting it through the hands before earning a penalty in front. Giving the Cheetahs an easy kick for goal, making the score 8-0 to the home side. This was soon returned by a couple of penalties to the Reds as they took advantage of some suspect mid-field deffence and poor accuracy of the home team at the breakdown, getting some respectability into the score at 8-6.

Piet van Zyl made some great use of some clean set piece ball for his second. He was delivered clean ball from a line out with just a touch of space, but he made a huge run, evading everything the Reds put in front of him (though, it wasn’t much really, very poor from the Reds) to touch down for his second. Watts did not miss the conversion this time.

All in all, with over 60 percent of the territory and two thirds of possession 30 minutes into the half the Reds did not do nearly enough with the game and lacked accuracy. The Cheetahs on the other hand looked dangerous every time they got the ball, taking an 18-6 lead into the break.

The halftime talk from Link appeared to do nothing to turn things around, with an early penalty giving the home team an early 3 points.

The Reds hit back with another disallowed try, though this time it would have been hard to give with Genia looking short of the line. From the Scrum though, some good ball movement and a little magic from Cooper saw Luke Morahan go over for another, this time the Veldsman called the pass forward. Though it appeared to drift forward with the momentum, it was clearly passed backwards. Another let off for the home team.

The Reds continued to chance their arm and attack hard. The Cheetahs were up to it at every point though, seeming to close down the space and any attack made by the visitors, all the while adding penalties and taking the match, and the top of the Aussie conference, further out of the reach of the Reds.

Of course this wasn’t all the Refereeing teams doing, the Reds were their own worst enemy. A complete lack of accuracy from the whole team allowing the Cheetahs to do their thing.

The TMO had one last trick up his sleeve and he was called on after Ben Lucas had put the ball down to check for a forward pass. Upon reviewing the tape I thought it was the clearest non-try of them all, looking like Ed O’donoghue got a hand to it and knocked it on, but I was wrong and the try was awarded. Quade Cooper added the extras from the sideline but with only 2 minutes to go the game was out of reach. The score then, and at full time, was 27 – 13 to the Cheetahs.

To put it mildly, there were some shocking refereeing decisions in this match that had they gone the other way things could have been very different. That’s a tough call to make though, as the Reds were very bad. To put it into perspective, according to Ruckin Good Stats, the Reds made 12 forays into the opposition 22 and only once came away with points so it was clear that even without the TMO’s help they lacked the accuracy required to convert the points. The Cheetahs on the other hand entered the 22 only 4 times but came away with points on three of those occasions.
The Reds will want to move on from that performance quickly.

The Game Changer

Unfortunately, it seemed to be the non-awarding of the first try that changed this game. The Reds appeared unable to get their heads together after that.


jake schatz red profileJake Shatz. The young number 8 works hard week in and week out for the Reds and this week was no exception. While everything else was heading south around him, he stayed accurate and busy all match.

Wallaby watch

Hopefully Robbie Deans was asleep for this one, because no one was doing their reputations much good in this match. Liam Gill made some good steals and played with plenty of poise, which is good news if George Smith’s knee doens’t pull up so well

The Details

Score & Scorers

Home Team: Cheetahs 27
Tries: van Zyl (2)
Conversions: Watts 1/2
Penalties: Watts 5/5

Away Team: Reds 13
Tries: Lucas
Conversions: Cooper 1/1
Penalties: Cooper 2/2
  • Gus

    I thought Cooper played quite well (I’ll even excuse the missed tackle as he hadn’t been on the park long enough to know how slippery it was) as well as the back row who are incredibly consistent.

    I think this one really is a black mark on Genia and Horwill. The reds played plenty of enterprising rugby and were making tonnes of ground on first phase but consistently were impatient after breaks, never able to string together the 2 or 3 extra phases needed to score a try. Add to that some of the questionable penalties they passed up forcing them to chase the game and the team packing it in after 65 minutes and you start to see the problem. This team needed some leadership and it just wasn’t there.

    Sure the Cheetahs seemed to get a few calls and the bounce of the ball but the truth is the Reds attacked and defended well enough to be in the game but they just didn’t have the poise to capitalize on literally 90% or the opportunities they made.

    Also the bench (excepting Hanson) still looks a bit useless, Daley in particular. This Reds team is still going to make the post-season and still has a lot of the pieces they need to be a contender but unless they start putting things together its going to be a quick exit.

    • Steve Timms

      Nicely put.

      Compare the 65 minute check out with the second half and the grit of the Blues match and somethings not right. Include the second half fade from last week and there’s some worrying signs.

  • Jimmy

    I get the imprwssion the Reds seem to feel that they don’t have to do the hard work in order to win. they got away with it against the Sharks and in some other games this year but not last night. With regard to the refereeing, I always thought the Kiwis were the worst but after watching this year I’d have to say that if you tour SA, you are giong to have to expect to be playing 16 opposition (19 if you include the linesmen and the TMO). Any games you play their are going to be made very tough – I still can’t believe they are not using a neutral refereeing model. It’s unthinkable that you would even allow the perception of bias to creep in.

    Doesn’t look like the Reds and Brumbies fans are going to be able to whinge too much when the Tahs are picked to take on the Lions. they really are the form Aussie team at the moment.

    • bill

      I fear you shall be dissapointed. If Hooper’s picked ahead of Gill, madness. Reading Harris in the aus TPN was in the 22, but his lineout throwing’s gone backwards in the last year or so. Prior to that he’d improved it a lot. Hate to say it but Aus may have dodged a bullet with him out. McGeachan’s saying the Lion’s should target the Wallabies lineout and I think he’s talking sense.

      • I thought the same, his mongrel is great but his throwing last year was less than impressive for that level of rugby.

      • Patrick

        I also felt bad about thinking it but I too thought that Australia might have dodged a bullet with TPN out. As they say these days, with Robbie one has to manage one’s injuries well to get the right team out there ;)

    • You are the worst Tahs fans disguised in Red going around Jimmy!

      In all seriousness though, does four weeks of great form from the Tahs really mean their blokes deserve to get picked over the Brumbies and Reds, who have been at the top of the table (of the Aussie conference and the whole competition) for most of the three months of the competition?

      • Jimmy

        Mate I’m just being honest and trying to see both sides. Overall, the Reds haven’t been great recently other than the superb first half last week. I actually felt like heading home after the first half.

        Tahs are looking better and have a solid pack, something we need against NH opposition. Given, their lineout is a disaster at the moment.

        Brumbies pack got bullied by the Saders. Stormers tried to do the same to Tahs last week but failed.

        • So a few good weeks does count for more than overall performance when it comes to national selection?

          I think what will upset people is if the bulk of the Tahs side is picked, instead of a ‘traditional’ mix of the best players from all sides.

          By your logic if the Wallabies squad was picked 2 months ago, the side should have been all Brumbies and no Tahs.

  • bill

    Well I guess if you live by the Ayoub, you die by the Ayoub. I knew as soon as we got a few gifts from George A. that somewhere down the line we’d get screwed over by another TMO.

    The first nontry fair enough on Ant Fainga’s obstruction, poor play from Ant, and there’s been a few of these cheap shortcuts from him this year. But the TMO seemed real keen to disallow that try, the grounding only got one look, and unless he looked again without televising it it wasn’t conclusive.

    The pass from Cooper to Morahan, just daylight robbery. The Lucas try, or nontry, I think he knew he’d been a hometown hero and was trying to muddy the waters.

    Impressive communication again from Joubert.

    • Graeme

      Tmo’s this season have been absolutely shocking. And, I’ll admit, mostly in Australian teams favour (although I thought the Phipps try this weekend was correct and a good call). But this game had another couple of absolute shockers. The replay, and I just checked it again, showed Davies definitely grounding the ball correctly at the 1 minute mark, that was black and white. It would be irrelevant since the TMO also ruled obstruction, which seemed a pretty arbitrary call as the players were running back into the line and were meters away from Cooper. Coopers pass to Morahan was probably fair. The other shocker was the try given to reds at the end. Given that the player who tapped the ball on was stationary and the ball travelled a meter forward, there could be no question of players momentum, it was definitely a forward pass. It almost seemed like the TMO wanted to give a consolation try since the game was already lost.

      I’m not sure, but I think it was the same TMO who made a couple of absolute clankers in a Waratahs game a few weeks ago. He really shouldn’t be adjudicating anything higher than under 15’s.

      • Mica

        The worst for the weekend was the Serfontein non try in the Bulls v Highlanders game. Didn’t have any effect on the result but I thought the TMO must have been from league with that call

  • bill

    Morahan looked a lot better at fullback than he did at wing this year.

    Overall I thought the Reds played well, just one of those games. Like the sharks in the first half last week, plenty of endeavour but things kept going wrong. Next week.

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

    I was hoping for a Red’s win but, and it’s only my opinion, the Cheetahs played the better Rugby and deserved their win. So many turn overs just cost Qld any realistic chance.

    Also thought ‘Jubers’ reffed well. However must agree with Jimmy on his point about neutral Refs and the perception of the whole thing. Is it a cost saving exercise? Seems to me Aussie & Kiwi Refs could also need the experience of the pressure in Sth Africa.

    I don’t know who match of the match was but I’d like to give it to the Cheetahs Captain. He was a real nuisance, scrummed well, took several intercepts & showed a decent turn of speed for such a large gent.

  • Very difficult to take any positives out of this except like Gus, I thought Cooper had a pretty good game, as did Morahan. For me, Genia played his worst game in 12 months with some very poor decision making and very average service. I don’t have the same platitudes for the back row as Timms. Clearly we weren’t setting a solid platform for the halves to work from, and the Cheetahs nailed us to the wall by our underpants around the fringes of the ruck.

    Was a tough day to be a back, to watch some pretty mediocre forward play continually blow field position.

  • R5169

    One of the most frustrating games I’ve watched in quite some time, the added bonus of it being at 3am just rubbed salt in the wounds…

    Cooper played strong for me, held it together, lined up many breaks, was good in defence bar 1 early incident. Horwill let his team down if I’m honest, his captaincy was nowhere to be found, had no voice on the pitch and the only time you heard from him was when he was being naughty at the breakdown.

    Joubert calling any play by the reds upstairs was bullshit, the attacking team should get a little benefit of the doubt. From the first TMO call (which was bullshit, hand on ball, on ground and interference off the run of the ball so irrelevant) I knew it was going to be a task to get any positivity from the umpires.

    One to forget, bring on the Stormers, take it out on them and try for the bonus point, only thing the lads can do, some pretty threatening games coming up and the B&I tour will take its toll.

  • Catchphrase Jones

    Wibble. Queenslanders starting to match our Seth Efrican mates with their conspiracy theory rubbish. You lost. Deal with it.

    • Steve Timms

      I know, I should have balanced my statement of:
      “To put it mildly, there were some shocking refereeing decisions in this match that had they gone the other way things could have been very different.”

      With something like:
      “That’s a tough call to make though, as the Reds were very bad.”

  • SAus

    A while ago a NZ commentator made the point that the TMOs are in a worst position to call a forward pass and that you shouldn’t be allowed to go upstairs for it. Never thought I’d say this but I agree with them…

  • I counted 12 times the Reds mounted a campaign into the Cheetahs 22 & only got points on one occasion (the try at the death as Cooper pens were outside 22). Mounting ten campaign is rare so they had all the right ingredients to get there. In comparison the Cheetahs had 4 campaigns coming away with points on three times.

  • ben

    Funny. Everyone was taking potshots at dave rennie over his questions about the tmo chiefs v rebels (and he was right) and the chiefs won! now the shoes on the other foot!

  • Rex Munday

    The Reds were poor. Just poor. A decision here or there might’ve made it closer but I very much doubt it would’ve changed the result.

    Cheetahs played good footy and shut the Reds down really effectively.

    I’m now starting to think that Genia should be captain. He plays better and so does the team as a whole when he is.

Queensland Reds

Steve Timms, He likes watching the odd game of Rugby, occasionally writes about it.. Proud member of the original Mudchooks.

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