Reds take poor record to Dunedin

Laine Clark Roar Guru

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    Even Queensland players were surprised when told this week that the Reds had not won in Dunedin in 32 years.

    But the way Reds coaching boss Ewen McKenzie sees it, Queensland will go into Good Friday’s Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders with an unbeaten record.

    Not that McKenzie is ignoring history.

    In fact, McKenzie hopes ramming home the horror stat to his team will help inspire them to erase another “record” from their books.

    However, McKenzie believes playing at Dunedin’s new indoor Forsyth Barr Stadium – rather than “House of Pain” Carisbrook – ensures both sides will start all square on Friday.

    “If you want to look at the funny side, we are playing at a new stadium so, technically, we haven’t lost there,” McKenzie smiled.

    “In terms of the Reds winning in front of a Dunedin crowd, we haven’t done it in the professional era so we need to sort that out.

    “It’s a piece of history we are not happy about.

    “I spoke to the team about it yesterday and even they weren’t aware of the depth of that statistic.

    “But we have been very good about creating our own history and knocking off those unwanted records.”

    Queensland have won seven of their nine home games against the Highlanders, however, the Reds have not emerged victorious in Dunedin since a 27-18 triumph over Otago in 1981.

    But as a player, former Wallaby McKenzie reckons he only had fond memories of Dunedin’s former home ground Carisbrook.

    “For me, it was a fairly successful venue. I managed to win a Bledisloe there and a few things like that,” he said.

    “It wasn’t quite the House of Pain for me personally.

    “But we go indoors now and that takes out the weather which is interesting.

    “They are a side that likes to run and so do we so it should make for an exciting game.”

    McKenzie believes the indoor venue had posed problems for goalkicking and on-field communication for other teams in the past.

    But he reckoned he wouldn’t be bothering Brisbane NRL coach Anthony Griffin for tips after the Broncos played the first rugby league trial there in February.

    “I won’t bother ‘Hook’. He’s got things he has to sort out,” McKenzie said of Griffin whose Broncos have slumped to a 1-2 season start.

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