REVIEW: Reds v. Force - Green and Gold Rugby
Northern Provincial Rugby

REVIEW: Reds v. Force

REVIEW: Reds v. Force

Brisbane turned on a scorcher for the Reds’ match against grudge team the Force. These games are interesting because though the Reds have won more, the Force have a better overall for and against. It seems if the Force get going, they get the job done. That said, the Force have never before managed a win here.

The Match

The match ebbed and flowed for the first quarter as the teams traded penalties and the ref worked on getting the breakdown to the standard required. There was a moment of excitement as Chris Alcock charged down a Quade Cooper clearing kick and led the chase as the ball held up in-goal. Winger Chris F’Sautia won the footrace through and knocked the ball dead. That seemed to spark something as we saw an apparent rise in the energy level.

This energy paid off for the Force when Alby Mathewson took on the line and managed to slip the tackle of Saia Faingaa and made good metres before the ball ended up in the hands of Alfie Mafi who was taken down just before the line by a flying Will Genia. However, momentum carried him and he finished it well. Sias Ebersohn added the extras and the score was 13-9 to the visitors.

Kyle Godwin shuts down one of the Reds scoring chances.

Kyle Godwin shuts down one of the Reds scoring chances.

The Reds took until the last minute of the half to come out of their shells, but it happened when Liam Gill swooped on a loose ball and threw a Cooperesque pass to Ben Tapuai who hit it at pace. Some quick hands followed and the ball ended up in Chris F’Sautia’s hands heading for the line. It would have given the Reds the lead heading into the break if a fantastic cover tackle from Kyle Godwin hadn’t put an end to the play.

The other thing that happened on the half time buzzer was Patty Dellit deliberately knocking the ball dead. Normally this would have earned a penalty to the Reds from nearly in front. Had they got that kick it would have been lead change going into the sheds. He got away with it though, so they went for oranges with the Force leading 13-12.

Alby on his way to GAGR's MOTM

Alby on his way to GAGR’s MOTM

The teams came back from half time and it seemed the Force had made the best of it. They seemed to be able to break the Reds’ line almost at will. The frustration started to show when a no-arms tackle from the Reds No. 6 Eddie Quirk on Force centre Kyle Godwin earned Eddie a yellow card. It would have been missed in the past but the TMO called it and Eddie got to spend 10 in the bin.

One of the breaks was sure to pay eventually and it almost looked like it had when Junior Rasolea managed to get on the end of a break and appeared to put the ball down. But it was deemed he had knocked it on.

The Force continued to work the line hard, and for 16 phases they were hard on attack. The Force were enjoying the benefit of being ahead on the scoreboard and had been buoyed by some great line breaks. The Force pack was rumbling hard on the line but the Reds’ defence held for 16 phases before the Force made a mistake and Chris Alcock knocked it on.

The Reds had their chances to take the game, but they just weren’t up to it. They looked quite disorganised in attack and their defence leaked almost like the proverbial sieve. The Force on the other hand made the most of every opportunity and fought hard. They completely deserved this win.

The Game Changer

Kyle Godwin’s try-saver. A flash of enterprising play from the Reds as they threatened to break out. Chris F’Sautia in full Beast mode hammering down the line when Kyle Godwin makes a classic cover tackle and drives him over the sideline.


Alby Mathewson. Aussie Alby Mathewson (Pity we can’t claim him…) was on fire and gave the Reds a real hard time.

Wallaby watch

Hugh McMeniman relished his return to Suncorp and had a massive game. Given the uncertainty of the Wallaby locks at the moment, he did his chances no harm.

The Details

Crowd: 26, 709

Score & Scorers

Home Team: Reds
Penalties: Cooper 4/5

Away Team: Force
Tries: Mafi
Conversions: Ebersohn 1/1
Penalties: Ebersohn 4/4
  • Rex Munday

    Good honest win for the Force. Force backrow was excellent, as was Matthewson.

    The Reds were dreadful, particularly in the backs. Cooper was simply awful. They should seriously consider Jono Lance at 10 and give Quade some time on the pine.

    • SuckerForRed

      I will address the elephant – Will Link have the guts to put QC on the bench, Lance in 10? I think it will be deserved.
      9 Genia
      10 Lance
      11 Digby
      12 Taps
      13 Ant
      14 Shipperly/CFS
      15 Morahan
      Doesn’t look that bad….

      • David

        Lance isn’t th answer at 10…I would say that he would struggle to make the 22 again – he looked slow and predictable.
        The problem on Saturday night was from 1-15…no energy, no enthusiasm, no execution and if it wasn’t for NSW it would be the worst performance in super this season.
        Link needs to make changes: Hansen for faingaa, horwill, radike.
        Quade played poorly and needs to work on passing earlier, giving taps et al more time and space, kicking less and attacking with pace. They all need to improve how they counter attack: with pace and purpose.
        Lucas back in somewhere, Chris f-s to 13 and diggers and shippers on the wing.

  • Brackets

    I thought that Genia’s return was meant to make Cooper even more dangerous … he was more of a danger to his own team! How many times did he cost the Reds the ball? Well done by the Force, and without some of their big names like Cummins.

    • Gottsy

      I’ve got a sneaking suspicion they studied the tapes of the reds brumbies game at the start of the season.. Whenever the pressure was applied they really dropped their bundle, they’ll be back to playing well once they get their heads right I reckon!

  • Wheatman01

    Well done Force. Outplayed the Reds at nearly all facets of the game. Alby Matheson might be the best O/S buy in history for Australian teams, was my MOM. Hugh McMenimen played very well too.
    As for the Reds, felt they went well at set piece but everywhere else were off the pace. No flare in back line, no 1st phase plays, forwards struggling to get over advantage line. They’ve lost their freedom somewhere. Frisby – what was that chip kick??!! Harris – I thought his lack of pace allowed Godwin to make the covering tackle on FSautia. Really missed Diggers & Ant Faingaa’s enthusiasm out there.
    Now I’ve seen the cricket and cowboys score I’m thoroughly depressed…

  • Piggy

    The loss of FTA showed, Harris is far from a 13. A few little touches and moves tried in the opening 20 minutes just didn’t stick. Bringing F’Sautia in off the wing may have been better in hindsight.

    Well played Force though, good disruptive ruck play and physicality. Reds ruck defense was poor, Alby sniped beautifully. Reds defense was good again, some good tackles by Quade on Lynn in tight and then out wide again, but poor combinations in attack again. I don’t think we’ve had the same backline two weeks running.

  • Bimbo

    Gill was good but

  • All I can say is. Why? Besides the useless kicking, why couldn’t they just pick and drive like they did in the red zone in the second half. Where was the intensity in defence and attack. There was only one time we had intense defence which was the 17 or so phases the force had in our 22.

    Quade was trying to place it in the corner (Which was poorly executed), but there was no pressure on the Force fullback with chases. Not much tactical kicking. The ball security looked like the waratahs, and forcing the pass nearly every time. No pressure was created.

    Gilly had to save our asses on a number of occasions, so thumbs up for him! However there was always a huge gap between Gilly and the ruck in defence for the scrumhalf to snipe at, which he did. It just looked like we were hoping for a miracle to happen every time we had the ball, by kicking it away or forcing the pass after the 3rd phase. There were no patience or build up at all.

    So basically to beat the reds, all you need is to kill our breakdown and it does help when we keep giving the ball away to you.

  • misplacedcanuck

    Not my preferred shade of blue but i did enjoy the result… redruM redruM redruM

  • Tangawizi

    How many knock ons from Schatz tonight? Shit!

  • Rob

    Such a sweet victory, considering how cocky the Reds fans were before the game. A bonus point victory was in store – they just had to show up, right? Heh…

    • Muffy

      Please point out to me and my fellow hillbilly redneck (insert your prefered cliche here) kinfolk exactly where this cockyness is, I cant find it… In fact I can only find hope that Gennia might spark an improvement in coopers play….

      • servo is where you’ll find most of them. I really did enjoy the Reds 2011 and made me proud as an Ozzie when they won the competition. But after that the Reds fans think they won’t it like 100 times in a row. They’ve become more arrogant than ever. Funny enough one of them thought that the Reds have won more championships than the Brumbies!

        I like this forum because of the constructive criticism. We’re here because it’s good to see each others views. We might not completely agree but at least people here justify their views instead of the “the *insert team here* are crap” comments.

  • stillatragic

    Well played Force. Reds: what were you doing? That aimless display harked back to the days of Eddie Jones. Aimless kicking, poor handling, turnovers at crucial times. And after being pummeled in the first half, there were no change of tactics in the second. The Reds never equaled the passion and intensity of the Force.

    Again, well played Force.

    What was wrong with running the ball? Cooper would run from anywhere once, but now he’s cloned into Berrick Barnes. Far too much kicking to open space only to have it run back, or just plain dumb kicking. Like that lazy kick from inside the 22 that nearly resulted in a try.

    Even in the days of late Super 12 and early Super 14 when we habitually were bottom dwellers, I could come away with positives from a game. (Yes, sad I know.) Not this game. If they keep playing like that, we will become the northern Waratahs. The Reds have won games this year they probably didn’t deserve to, but this game was a shocker, and a lucky escape would have been a travesty.

    • Andrew

      Quade is not half the player he was prior to his ACL injury. Appears to be scared to take the ball into contact. His silky passing skills are only dangerous when he has the defence second guessing themselves as to whether he is about to snap step them or not.
      Lucky for Australian Rugby that we have the Brumbies inside backs doing the basics right. Taking the ball to the line and using runners from depth to get over the advantage line, kicking only when it is the best option-not when there appears to be no option.
      Whatever game plan Jake White has come up with down there, it’s a cracker, and more importantly, the players believe in it, which I believe is the difference between the brumbies and the other Aussie teams at the moment.

      • Jimmy

        Quade has never been good when he is under pressure. Since the WC teams have worked out that he is flakey. He shouldn’t be the Wallabies 5/8th and probably not even the Reds.

  • Jimmy

    Too many big egos unsupported by desire and ability to handle pressure at the Reds – a bit like the Warratahs. Cooper is a liability and cannot handle pressure. How many times have we seen this. He has no backup plan if his team isn’t on the front foot. JOC, either the Brumbies 10 or 12, or KB for Wallabies 5/8th position. If Deans picks Cooper it’s a joke and he is trying to lose.

  • RedAnt

    Sorry, I’m struggling to get past 4 stars being a Corona with lime.

    • Alex

      No kidding…..

      So why should Patty Dellit deliberately knocking the ball dead warrant a penalty but CFS doing exactly the same thing (and with the benefit of scrutiny from the video ref) not warrant a penalty and, in fact, a penalty try given that if he had not knocked it dead Alcock would have scored?

      • Tony D

        CFS placed it, didn’t knock it

        • Alex

          check the tape – whether it was intentional or not, when he dived his hands hit the ground before the ball and went under it – he pushed it up and out, not down.

      • SuckerForRed

        The word you used – ‘ deliberately’. CFS was at least trying to ground the ball. Dellit’s was a deliberate intentional act.

  • RedAnt

    As for the game, good effort across the park for the Force and pretty shit across the park for The Reds. I do think they thought they just had to show up to get the win. QC looked like he was half asleep. The only positive from a Reds and Wallabies point of view was the return of Sanchez.

  • redsfan1

    Quade Cooper is the most overrated & overpaid player in the comp. yet he keeps getting picked & the media is quite lenient with him. I can’t understand it. My only guess is that McKenzie feel obliged to pick him cause he cost $830k & will have a sook if he is dropped. Good riddance if he left

  • Muffy

    Get cooper to the bench, he is playing on reputation only, Harris is a joke, the props were running faster than him, if he is not kicking, he has no place! Where are our famous tactics that won the gong in 2011? Reds look aimless and clueless. It was like watching the wallabies at the WC… Common denominator – look no further than 10

  • Pclifto

    Cooper was dog-shite awful. He has to be about 5th in the running for the Wallabies’ no. 10…

  • bill

    On the restart from Mafi’s try Cooper looks like feels he needs to make something happen, we get the ball back , the corner kick looks the better option, he passes when nothing is really on. Turnover, we turn it back to us straight away, this time the pass is on and Cooper maybe still admonishing his selfishness/impatience kicks it.

    Maybe that’s all in my head from the omniescence of my daybed but he did look like he was 2nd guessing himself.

    It does remind me of an NFL adage, a good cornerback needs a short memory. You’re going to make mistakes but you can’t afford to worry about them.

    Maybe a spell at fullback wouldn’t be a bad thing for him. We don’t seem to be useing angled/inside runners well this year. We seem to be focused on looking for contact, quick recycle overlap as the only way to break the line.

    All in the execution I guess, as the Cheetahs’ chipkicks show. That last chip from Cooper almost came off, hopefully he keeps practicing that.

    The Force played well, in contrast to the reds they carried the ball seemingly quicker and shifted it through the hands well, and looked like they wanted to beat their man rather than mancuddle.

Northern Provincial Rugby

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

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