You can’t give codehopper Karmichael Hunt an accurate Super Rugby rating after that woeful Reds performance.
That was the coach and player post-match response after the Reds’ 47-3 thumping at the hands of the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday night.
With the Reds forwards severely outmuscled by a more enthusiastic Brumbies pack, Hunt had little opportunity to shine – let alone steer the ship – in his debut at five-eighth.
“The Brumbies were just on their game,” Hunt said.
“They definitely cut down our space with their line speed.”
His opposite Matt Toomua on the other hand had the ball on a string and directed the Brumbies with aplomb.
He ran through Hunt in the second half to score the Brumbies’ third of six tries, not to mention giving him one of his trademark bone-rattlers in the 11th minute.
“But (Hunt) got me back later in the game and I lost the ball, so he squared it up,” Toomua said.
“The possession stats were heavily in our favour, which makes it very hard for a No.10, let alone a guy playing his first game.”
Brumbies coach and World Cup-winning five-eighth Stephen Larkham said the dominance of his forwards meant Hunt “didn’t feature too much”.
“He wasn’t really a threat in attack, because our defence was so good in that area,” Larkham said.
“Defensively, he was very solid. He put some big shots on, but it’s very difficult when the weight of possession is against you.”
Reds coach Richard Graham said the game “was a bit bigger than Karmichael”.
“There were 15 guys in red jerseys under a bit of pressure, and it’s hard to come back and discuss any one performance,” he said.
Even Hunt declined to give himself a self-assessment.
“You can’t really judge on that. We’ve just got to regroup now,” he said.
In the dressing sheds, Hunt told his Reds teammates that they had to find a way to put that performance behind them.
“You have to. I’ve been on the back end of some pretty bad results, in AFL and league, and the only way out of it is having the right attitude on Monday,” he said.
Hunt and his Reds teammates will now turn their attention towards taking on the Western Force in Brisbane next Saturday.