Slipper: Reds a work in progress



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    The “magnifying glass” of the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens revealed a Queensland Reds side that still has plenty of work to do, according to former captain James Slipper.

    But the Wallabies prop believes they are at least on the right track despite two defeats on the opening day of the pre-season tournament.

    There were good and bad elements in their first outings under new coach Brad Thorn – not counting last week’s internal trial at Ballymore.

    The Reds coughed up five tries and struggled to maintain possession in a 29-7 defeat to the Blues, then twice gave up the lead to fall 21-17 to the Melbourne Rebels, who snatched the win with a post-siren try from Mahe Vailanu.

    Slipper, returning from an Achilles injury that saw him miss nearly all of the 2017 season, was rested from the latter fixture but said there was clear evidence of the team’s renewed focus on defence in scramble situations.

    “We’ve worked pretty hard on it,” said Slipper, who has been replaced as skipper by Scott Higginbotham.

    “Obviously having (Tony McGahan) come in and work on defence as well, we’ve identified that as a place where you can show attitude, intent and care for the place.

    “Thorn wants players caring about the club and there’s no better way to prove that in defence as a team with the Reds jersey on.”

    Queensland has a full 15-a-side trial match against the Fiji Warriors slated for next week and a beefed-up Slipper, who used his injury lay-off as a chance to pack on muscle, said it would be an important step in his return to full match fitness.

    The 28-year-old played a handful of minutes in the NRC and said he was trouble-free so far this pre-season ahead of what looms as an important year for him as he looks to regain his Test spot.

    “I haven’t been in rehab which is great and touch wood I don’t end up there. It’s given me a bit of a running start,” Slipper said.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • February 10th 2018 @ 9:39am
      Gepetto said | February 10th 2018 @ 9:39am | ! Report

      The Reds looked like the Aussie 7s team without Stannard… guileless in attack. Coach Concussion better start winning. His post game excuse making is not up to Deans and Cheika standard. The Red’s board have heard from excuses from the likes of Richard Graham and Nic Stiles for years. Local fans want to be entertained.

    • February 10th 2018 @ 10:36am
      Train Without A Station said | February 10th 2018 @ 10:36am | ! Report

      The results are almost meaningless.

      The only take away was aspects of the loss to the Blues were disappointing and showed signs that could flow over into real games.

      Not a great start in that regard with the strong team.

      • February 10th 2018 @ 12:10pm
        Ruckin' Oaf said | February 10th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

        The loss to the Rebels also showed some poor discipline and poor defensive nous.

        Two traits that were notable last season.

      • February 11th 2018 @ 4:19pm
        Dave_S said | February 11th 2018 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

        Yes not much can be extrapolated from the 10s to SR 15s. A bit like 20/20 vs test cricket. A chance to see what some outside backs and ball-playing backrowers look like, that’s about it.

        TBH I’m not convinced it’s even worth the SR teams entering a team in the 10s, as far as pre-season prep goes.

        • February 11th 2018 @ 5:01pm
          Train Without A Station said | February 11th 2018 @ 5:01pm | ! Report

          Yeah. The biggest negative (or maybe it’s a positive) is that the effort and intent looked better with the fringe options than it did with the full squad members.

          We put up a very strong team first up. The team vs the Chiefs was much “weaker” but seemed to do a lot better in that regard.

    • February 10th 2018 @ 11:37am
      Rhys Bosley said | February 10th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

      It is quite clear from his use of substantially different teams in each game, that Thorn is using the Tens as a trial for the fringe players. The fact that he has also left out a number of key players, Higgers and Pai’aua stand out, reinforces this view. The results are disappointing, especially the Blues match, but they are probably more significant for the blokes competing for spots than anything else. And the tournament might serve as a timely wake up call to the team in general, that they still have a lot of work to do.

      • February 10th 2018 @ 11:39am
        Train Without A Station said | February 10th 2018 @ 11:39am | ! Report

        The scores are almost irrelevant for that reason.

        It was a little disappointing the loss to the Rebels because even though it was our B team from the 10s squad, it was much stronger.

        Intent, attitude, defensive structure, etc are all that should be judged given winning reasonably won’t be a high priority.

    • February 10th 2018 @ 11:44am
      Malo said | February 10th 2018 @ 11:44am | ! Report

      It shows the reds have no depth and have two hands on the spoon

    • February 10th 2018 @ 12:17pm
      hmmmm said | February 10th 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

      No surprises

      Kiwi domination of Aus sides and consistent insipid Reds performance.

      Only thing more disappointing than the results from Aus sides is the crowd turn out.

      Meanwhile Quade, the one reds player who could be bring some interest in this format is nowhere to be seen. The Rugby tens promoters must be disappointed.

    • February 10th 2018 @ 2:51pm
      Train Without A Station said | February 10th 2018 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

      Good result against the Wild Knights. Interested to here what the performance was like besides the result