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Rebels rout Reds to open Super season


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    Melbourne recruit Will Genia has put his love of Queensland aside to steer his new Super Rugby side to a 45-19 demolition of the Reds in their opening match.

    Much was made during the pre-season about the influx of Western Force talent from the axed club but Friday night’s performance by the Test halfback at AAMI Park showed the importance of his signing.

    Genia played nine seasons with the Reds before a two-year stint in France and he wanted to return home but with the Queensland books full, the Rebels pounced.

    Despite playing his first game since November after suffering a back fracture, Genia’s pin-point passing and kicking helped set up most of their seven-try haul.

    It was the most points the Rebels had ever scored in a Super Rugby match.

    Rebels coach Dave Wessels said the 88-Test veteran set the standards on the field and at training.

    “I’m pleased he’s playing for us and not for them,” Wessels said.

    With so many fresh faces, the Rebels looked like they were meeting for the first time, with errors marring their game early but they started to build some promising cohesion.

    With the Rebels only winning once in 2017, Wessels said getting the win was important for the team to reinforce the belief.

    “To start the first game of the year with a new group and win it with the most number of points ever scored it’s something to celebrate,” he said.

    “But most of our conversation in the dressing room was about how much we need to improve.

    “We need to enjoy the win but we also realise the performance wasn’t perfect.”

    The season couldn’t have started worse for Queensland – also with a new coach in former All Black and Brisbane NRL great Brad Thorn. Their skipper Scott Higginbotham was sent off in the ninth minute for a shoulder charge on Matt Phillip.

    While the Reds were first on the scoreboard through centre Duncan Paia’aua, they suffered another huge blow in the 22nd minute when lock Lukhan Tui was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle.

    While they managed a try to Samu Kerevi in his absence, the Rebels scored three against the 13-man defence, with winger Sefa Naivalu crossing twice.

    Wallabies fullback Dane Haylett-Petty then heaped more misery with a 38th minute try for a 26-14 halftime lead.

    He added another in the second while five-eighth Jack Debreczeni also finished with a double.

    Thorn said the cards were difficult to come back from.

    “Not much went our way but I took a lot from it,” he said.

    “I loved the fight from the guys and the way they kept competing.

    “It was a lot to take on for the young guys.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (125)

    • February 24th 2018 @ 5:40am
      Realist said | February 24th 2018 @ 5:40am | ! Report

      Surely this is the lowest the Reds can go.
      A provincial powerhouse in the 80’s and 90’s – they have not adapted well since the plastic expansion teams started raiding their promising juniors and testing their depth. The 2011 title came from nowhere and luckily without the likes of James O’Connor (wasting away at the Force) before the ARU started enforcing a salary cap on the roster.
      Enter Richard Graham who is rugby’s version of meningitis & a Tah-fanboy coach in Michael Chieka – alienating the likes of Cooper and Gill from test selection and prompting even Magnay to take off at the beggining of his career and you get the perilous position this side is in.
      The team list should have Pocock, McMahon, and Gill in the back row or bench and now have to put up with flakey journeymen like Korczyk.
      Genia, Cooper (even Mck Mason), Toomua, Magnay, Morahan replaced by the likes of Jono Lance and Paia’aua.

      There is going to be a lot of pressure on Sam Cordingly to retain the good young players as there might not be any left if the Reds continue to be the embarrassing, soulless rabble they’ve been for 5 years now

      • February 24th 2018 @ 7:18am
        Luck12 said | February 24th 2018 @ 7:18am | ! Report

        Good post. But exposes the fact we can’t hold what we produce. Since the day Sharpie and Squeak walked away the qru has been pathetic.

        Thorns post game quotes are frightening

        • February 24th 2018 @ 12:07pm
          Fionn said | February 24th 2018 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

          What did Thorn say?

        • Roar Guru

          February 26th 2018 @ 7:01pm
          Timbo (L) said | February 26th 2018 @ 7:01pm | ! Report

          2 Sides to the argument, Sure, in the past players were lured south and west by briefcases full of cash but In recent times the Force picked up Tahs and Reds rejects and trained them up to be serviceable players. The lack of some of that depth can be blamed on a wafer thin/luke warm/ineffective pathways programs. Both Banks and Mason spent time with QLD teams in the NRC but headed elsewhere seeking opportunities.

      • February 24th 2018 @ 8:15am
        tyrone said | February 24th 2018 @ 8:15am | ! Report

        they can go lower, we still have to play teams from NZ

      • February 24th 2018 @ 11:52am
        Charlie Turner said | February 24th 2018 @ 11:52am | ! Report

        Sadly 2018 will be explained with a series of constipated grunts and cliches from the gormless hard man, Thorn. Everything’s an “opportunity”, from firing Cooper to Hunts arrest and the cards last night. I wasn’t a fan of Stiles but at least he was a loyal servant of Reds rugby with 93 caps. Thorns appointment was not unanimous so I can imagine some colourful Monday morning meetings at Ballymore this season. Maybe the answer is more star jumps, burpee’s and push-up’s from The CEO……yeah that’s it Barker, drop and give us fifty!

    • February 24th 2018 @ 6:34am
      Malo said | February 24th 2018 @ 6:34am | ! Report

      books full? Where did they spend all their money. Oh on qc. Qld must be under the salary cap because their players are crap. Spooners. The 90s their players were tough as , as well as skilful . Wtf happened, you won’t beat the Sunwolves .

      • Roar Guru

        February 26th 2018 @ 4:51pm
        Timbo (L) said | February 26th 2018 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

        I don’t think there is a salary cap this year. If you can find the money, you can have all the players you want.

        • Roar Guru

          February 26th 2018 @ 4:54pm
          Timbo (L) said | February 26th 2018 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

          The Rebels were quite clever leaving their books empty. If they got axed, less players to sack, if they didn’t, they got the spoils of war and the pick of the force litter with the ARU and Vic government picking up some of the Tab.

    • February 24th 2018 @ 7:30am
      bigbaz said | February 24th 2018 @ 7:30am | ! Report

      Dumb and Dumber

    • February 24th 2018 @ 7:53am
      Paul D said | February 24th 2018 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      While the cards were fair, they did rob us of a proper look at both sides.

      All that can be said is Genia was great, everyone else was average to poor. A serious let down of a game after the Blues v Highlanders.

      • February 24th 2018 @ 8:06am
        Ben said | February 24th 2018 @ 8:06am | ! Report

        Yes.. just the pace of the game was most notable compared to Blues Highlanders game..down a few notches.
        There seemed to be more dropped ball in that first 6mins than the entire Highlanders match.
        Thought the red was over the top..yellow but not red.

      • February 24th 2018 @ 9:44am
        Train Without A Station said | February 24th 2018 @ 9:44am | ! Report


        Hard to see where either really stand.

        That said, I saw a fancier Glasgow lose to a much weaker Edinburgh who last a man at the exact time in December. So it’s not a foregone conclusion a man down for 70 minutes.

        • February 24th 2018 @ 12:45pm
          Fionn said | February 24th 2018 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

          All we know is that discipline was atrocious.

          Your centres seemed to function fairly well together. There was some good interplay between Paia’aua and Kerevi at times.

          • February 24th 2018 @ 1:16pm
            Train Without A Station said | February 24th 2018 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

            Yep. Was actually evident in the pre season too.

          • February 24th 2018 @ 1:32pm
            Dave_S said | February 24th 2018 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

            Obviously as per previous seasons, discipline and 80min application looked lacking.

            But I agree with Paul that it’s not a game that give you much of a read on the rest of the season.

            TBH I thought the backs looked decent, certainly better than I expected. Lance looked like he can be a decent 10, some nice runs, and generally decisive in what he did. Toua looked decent at 15 too.

            Tough gig when you lose a player at 10min who is the captain and 8. Doesn’t help when its 13 v 15 for 10min either.

            Yes theoretically you can soldier on with 14 v 15, but realistically you are far more likely to lose from there when the teams were about on par at the kick off.

    • February 24th 2018 @ 8:32am
      Geoffwho said | February 24th 2018 @ 8:32am | ! Report

      As a Reds fan, I failed to see much change in direction from 2017. Pregame the commentary talked up Lance defending at 10, as Thirn is no nonsense coach that will make players defend in their position (hence Quade had to go etc). Lance spends most of game defending on wing. Reds most carded team last year. Red card at 9 mins and yellow at 21 mins. Reds look valiant for about 30 minutes, with moments of flair, but due to poor discipline and losing players too cards, are too gassed and get steamrolled. That game was definitely out of 2017. Was it an abberition or is it Groundhog Dayin 2018?

      • February 24th 2018 @ 9:38am
        Adsa said | February 24th 2018 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        That’s the one that irks me, the most carded team last year has two off the field by the 23rd minute. Absolute shocker.

        • Roar Guru

          February 24th 2018 @ 9:47am
          PeterK said | February 24th 2018 @ 9:47am | ! Report

          no surprise to me.

          Thorn tackled chest height and higher as a preference , looks like he forgot to coach to the new laws on this.

          • February 24th 2018 @ 10:46am
            Ruckin Oaf said | February 24th 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

            Thorn’s comments,as reported in the Courier Mail today, indicate that he still doesn’t really see a problem with a high tackling style.

            • February 24th 2018 @ 11:25am
              Gray-Hand said | February 24th 2018 @ 11:25am | ! Report

              Don’t know why he had a problem with Quade then.

            • February 24th 2018 @ 1:15pm
              Harry said | February 24th 2018 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

              Not surprised to see Reds forwards copping cards for high and poor tackling, the only surprise to me is that it was not Tupou and Timu. Both have poor techniques and continually go high. They weren’t caught last night, that was Higgers and Tui, but assuredly they will be as the season progresses.

      • Roar Guru

        February 26th 2018 @ 5:03pm
        Timbo (L) said | February 26th 2018 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

        I didn’t notice that Jono was making his tackles on the wing, you might be right, but the ones I saw were near the gain line, near the ruck, up front where they really count. That gets a big tick from me. You also need to appreciate the restructure that happens when you are a man or 2 down. The expected patterns go out the window and you move into a disaster recovery strategy that has players out of normal positions.

    • February 24th 2018 @ 8:40am
      Cynical Play said | February 24th 2018 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      Monumental fail from Higgers. Robbed his team instead of leading them. Still some obvious attacking options for the Reds if they can get the ball. Lance should be captain not Kerevi.

      Rebels could be very good this year. Work to do on front row and at 10 where Jack D was shite 75% of the game. Why not start Meakes ? He’s so effective.

      • Roar Guru

        February 26th 2018 @ 5:10pm
        Timbo (L) said | February 26th 2018 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

        Do you want to start Meakes over Hodge at 12? Or push Hodge or Meakes into 10?

        I saw a lot of handling errors, and Jack D’s rate was on par for the game.

        I would like to see how MacGregor goes at SR level but I fear he won’t have the big game experience and needs to be weaned into it, playing the last 20 minutes of a few games.

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