Thorn’s ‘new direction’ Reds look eerily similar to old, bad Reds

Jack Quigley Columnist

By Jack Quigley, Jack Quigley is a Roar Expert

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    Sorry Brad, we're not buying it ( AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

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    Queensland Reds fans are getting restless. And rightly so.

    Reds coach Brad Thorn this week rebuffed questions about the possibility of reintroducing Quade Cooper to the fold as their season quickly slips away from them. Thorn maintained his hard line, stating the Reds were “going in a different direction”.

    But what that direction is still remains to be seen and, in truth, it looks strikingly similar to the direction the Reds have been taking for several years now.

    While Thorn has to be commended for his willingness to draw a line in the sand and back his methods, the continued exclusion of Cooper remains at best confusing and at worst embarrassing for Thorn, the Reds and Rugby Australia.

    The details of Cooper’s salary and his willingness to pick it up while playing club rugby (and good on him for doing so) have been well documented, but it’s the growing portfolio of examples as to why Thorn is in the wrong on this matter that – combined with his headstrong attitude – has fans frustrated.

    Boldly proclaiming you are taking a team in any direction when you’re losing more often than you’re winning is an odd strategy. Or, if you are going to tow that line, it may be useful to have some sort of substance to back yourself up and lead fans to believe that better results aren’t far away.

    If the line about the different direction was in reference to Cooper being 30 years of age and a hint that the Reds are perhaps looking to the future, it makes 37-year-old George Smith’s recall this weekend even more bewildering.

    Even if age has nothing to do with it and Thorn is attempting to build a way of playing (or ‘culture’ – the current buzz-word in Australian sport) that will carry the Reds into 2019, it seems silly to do it with Jono Lance as your primary play-maker given that Lance is off to Worcester at season’s end.

    The Reds appeared to have a long-term replacement for Cooper lined up in 20-year-old Hamish Stewart. who made four appearances for the Reds last season, but he has found himself stuck behind the soon to depart Lance and his development – from the outside – appears to have stagnated.


    Why can’t Quade Cooper get a run for the Reds? (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Thorn’s calling card during his eight wins in ten games as coach of the Queensland Country side in the National Rugby Championship was defence. The talk in pre-season around the Reds was that the focus was all fitness.

    The Reds are currently second in Super Rugby on the ladder for tackles won percentage – whatever the hell that means. The issue is it isn’t working because the Reds can’t score enough points of their own because their attack is lacking in penetration.

    The Reds are averaging 26 points per game against them, 36 per game over their last three losses. Combine that with the fact they sit dead last on the ladder in tries scored with 13 – the Sunwolves have scored 20 – and it’s not a recipe for success.

    Lance is a solid, if somewhat unspectacular, fly-half. If you are keeping teams to 20 points per game then he might do enough to get you over the line, but if you are conceding close to 30 points per game you’re going to need someone with a greater ability to unlock defences. Someone like Cooper, perhaps.

    I wrote in an article several weeks ago that you can play boring football so long as you win. Winning buys you time. If you are losing, but play an entertaining brand of football, you will get less time, but you will get some time.

    If you are losing, and boring the socks off of anyone watching while doing so, you will find that you have little to no time. After three straight losses, the latest an embarrassingly bland performance in a ‘rivalry’ game against the Waratahs where the Reds managed just one try, off an intercept, Thorn’s time has run out.

    The Reds host the Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium this weekend and it’s hard to even visualise anything other than another Reds loss. If that is the case, Thorn had better prepare for more Cooper questions at next week’s press conferences, as with each Reds loss, Cooper’s stock rises further.

    Jack Quigley
    Jack Quigley

    A long time sports writer and podcaster, Jack has spent the majority of his media career covering football and rugby. He recently joined The Roar on the back of penning a viral Facebook rant aimed at the Wallabies which attracted 60,000 likes and more than 6,000 shares. You can follow him on Twitter @Jack_Quigley.

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    The Crowd Says (177)

    • April 20th 2018 @ 7:06am
      Adsa said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:06am | ! Report

      I admired Thorn as a player Jack, and enjoy watching Cooper play for the Reds, even when last year he had a bit of a shocker. Ultimately I never ceased to be amazed by the QRU to continually disappoint it stakeholders, how did they get into such a stuff up.

      • April 20th 2018 @ 7:26am
        Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:26am | ! Report

        I’m just waiting for the next world wide search for a coach – that ends up finding a guy already at Ballymore.

        • April 20th 2018 @ 7:28am
          Fionn said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:28am | ! Report

          QC to coach the Reds 2019.

          You heard it here first.

          • Roar Guru

            April 20th 2018 @ 8:17am
            Hoy said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:17am | ! Report

            At least that would be a change. Two world wide searches produced the same underperforming coach we already had, and both times they were gone before years end. I don’t know who is conducting these searches, but they won’t find their noses anytime soon.

            • April 20th 2018 @ 4:15pm
              Cuw said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

              maybe they shud look at some of the coaches who are ending their contracts in Aviva .

              ok – they are not that successful and maybe that is why didnot get new contracts.

              but given Reds are also not that great – it cannot get any worse.

          • April 20th 2018 @ 8:52am
            Jacko said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

            Forget defence then….Just wait for the Toxic environment….Then QC will drop himself like all his coaches do eventually

            • April 20th 2018 @ 4:08pm
              pk said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

              Forget Defence ?? .haha They have . The 2018 Reds currently have conceded more points than the 2017 team at the same stage . haha.OMFG. HAHAHAHA

          • April 20th 2018 @ 9:00am
            bigbaz said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

            Captain/coach , back to the future.

    • April 20th 2018 @ 7:28am
      Onside said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:28am | ! Report

      It’s the players Jack, not Thorn. The Cooper conundrum is a diversion.

      Maybe the Reds would have more entertaining loses including Cooper.

      Thorn needs time, two or three seasons to develop his particular style.

      The Reds early wins, ‘good coach’. Three loses in a row ‘bad coach’

      • April 20th 2018 @ 7:30am
        Fionn said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:30am | ! Report

        I’m sorry, in that comment you both said it was on the players… and then you immediately stated that Thorn hasn’t yet developed his style.

        I’m not giving my opinion of Thorn’s coaching, but which is it to you, Thorn or the players??

        • Roar Rookie

          April 20th 2018 @ 7:59am
          Don said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:59am | ! Report

          The players Fionn.

          Watching our hookers unable to throw straight to the lineout last week when we were in good attacking positions can’t be blamed on the coach.

          Plenty of times we had players in the right defensive positions last week only to see one on one tackles missed.

          And it was criminal that when half breaks were made we didn’t have support.

          Player effort has to be better.

          • April 20th 2018 @ 8:16am
            Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:16am | ! Report

            Hey Don,

            So what does a coach do exactly?

            ‘Cause in my definition of a coach developing player skills and endeavoring to have the players mentally ready for a game would be part of the job.

            • April 20th 2018 @ 8:54am
              Jacko said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:54am | ! Report

              Spot on RO but with his players being so young surely you could see that it will take time to teach those things then experience to make it consistant.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 9:00am
                Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

                Hey Jacko,

                So who’s selecting young players before they have the stills or headset to be effective on the field ?

                Sounds like a great way to burn young talent before it has a chance to develop.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 9:23am
                Jacko said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

                What else do you do RO? The Aus setup already has too many non Aus players in key positions EG Harewa at the Brumbies, Mafi at the Rebels, so at some point you have to bring in young guys. Clearly the depth in Aus is lacking at the moment so why not develop from the NRC which is exactly the reason a good lower level comp exists. i dont see these guys as getting burnt as they are doing very well in the forwards…so gain confidence from that and the backs will do fine when they get the main positions filled with some experience next season.
                I just hope they dont win this weekend ……… go the Cheifs…

              • April 20th 2018 @ 9:43am
                Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:43am | ! Report

                Hey Jacko,

                So the young guys are doing very well in the forwards.

                That seems a little at odds with your earlier comment that time and experience is needed.

                How come the forwards, without the necessary time and experience, are doing well but not the backs?

                Could it be that the coaching set up is better tuned to coaching forwards rather than backs?

              • April 20th 2018 @ 11:00am
                Jacko said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:00am | ! Report

                No RO you take young guys then coach them well and give them time and experience to mature into consistantly good players…Lose a few along the way as some cant handle it.

                Maybe they are better at forward coachingf..maybe the backs arnt following the instructions…maybe some of the backs wont make it…I dont know those answers but I do know that QC is not the answer because if he is then you have the same problems of inexperience next year when QC is just as past it as he is now

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 11:03am
                Train Without A Station said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:03am | ! Report

                What else do you do?

                Pick the experienced players you have… Not choose not to.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 12:48pm
                Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

                Hey Jacko,

                If you pick an experienced player then you get the value of experience.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 12:48pm
                Reverse Wheel said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

                So you continue to pick the experienced players who have not got the job done over the last few years, until eventually they retire and you replace them with young guys with no experience and build from there. So basically exactly what Thorn is doing now, but you get to enjoy a few more years of failure first.

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 1:12pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 20th 2018 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

                Who says the inexperienced will get better with experience?

                The fact is that with the exception of Tupou, Tui and Rodda, the inexperienced options have done less at their age, than the experienced options had.

                Why will they be better when they get older?

              • April 20th 2018 @ 3:56pm
                Jacko said | April 20th 2018 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

                The experience you are talking about tho Twas is not up to scratch and getting worse….Pick some youth and give it a chance to develop into the experience you desire

              • April 20th 2018 @ 4:21pm
                Cuw said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

                that is silly – sorry.

                super rugger is not a stage for rookies to gain experience enmass.

                it is supposed to be a business as well – and a business expects performance and returns , in this case wins.

                do u start a bank with a bunch of college graduates and say – ok they will get experience in a couple of years and then we shall make profits? they will go bust before long !!!

                my game is cricket – and Tony Greig made a nice statement commenting on a test.

                ” if they come to a test match and cannot catch a high ball – they dont belong here !”

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 5:50pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 20th 2018 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

                So pick some youth then use that as an excuse for performance.

                Circular argument champ…

            • Roar Rookie

              April 20th 2018 @ 8:56am
              Don said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:56am | ! Report

              We aren’t in disagreement here. I absolutely agree that improving player skills are part of a coach’s remit.

              But when we have already seen a far better standard of play from each of these players earlier this season, then we can rightfully question their effort rather than the player skills.

              And if I am being totally honest, I believe that fundamentally any guy playing SR should not have skills deficiencies. This is the tier below test footy and to see players continually put a pass behind their support without any pressure is unacceptable.

              The SR coach should be working on improving their skills in pressure situations and match scenarios. He should be coaching a game style that best suits the talent available and that can be tweaked depending on the opponent each week and improved on to win more games.

              It is the glaring difference when you compare the NZ sides with ours. The player skills in passing and catching at speed are largely better through their squads.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 9:05am
                Ed said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:05am | ! Report


                Here is a good article about the difference in the alignments of the backlines of NZ and AU SR sides.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 9:06am
                Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:06am | ! Report

                Hey Don,

                I believe that getting the players “up” for a game is also part of a coaches job.

                And if skills are declining over the seasons it would suggest to me a massive stuff up in player management somewhere.

                Which could be as simple as the difference in travelling and scheduling of Super Rugby rather than the NRC.

                I absolutely agree that the SR coach should have the players on an improving trajectory with a smart game plan, varied appropriately to the playing situation. To me that was a hallmark of the McKenzie era.

                By those standards though, at this stage, Thorn is failing badly.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 20th 2018 @ 9:51am
                Don said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:51am | ! Report

                Maybe I’m cutting Thorn too much slack.
                You fellas are making a strong case for me to alter my thinking.

              • April 22nd 2018 @ 8:43am
                Bakkies said | April 22nd 2018 @ 8:43am | ! Report

                RO Queensland always have the knack of producing forwards which makes the recruitment of Dad’s Army and Douglas more bizarre. What a dud recruit Douglas has turned out to be.

                In my lifetime the Reds have multiple teams full of talented backs but bar a couple of years have rarely looked fluent as a unit compared to various NSW and ACT/Brumbies teams. Particularly under Knuckles they made try scoring look a chore which pretty much explains why his World Cup winning Wallaby laden squad barely swung a cat at winning a Super 12 title.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 3:57pm
                Jacko said | April 20th 2018 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

                Don their theory is based on QC being a winning no 10…which we know based on the past that he is not

              • April 20th 2018 @ 4:05pm
                Fionn said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

                Except, as been explained to you, the Reds had a better points for/points against record when he played in 2017 vs didn’t play.

        • April 20th 2018 @ 8:29am
          Onside said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:29am | ! Report

          The players Fionn. But I see the trap of my chicken or egg assessment

          I think Thorns style doesn’t suit the personnel, so should Thorn adapt.

          The QRU employed Thorn, as much as anything, to develop a style* of
          play that had longevity, some resilience. Takes a while.

          Hypothetically , which SR coach is more suited to The Reds personnel.

          * maybe the curse of assumption

          • April 20th 2018 @ 4:08pm
            Fionn said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

            Cheers, Onside. I agree that coach’s will often need to alter their approach to suit the personnel they have available to them.

            For example Australia traditionally opts to play home Federation and Davis Cup ties on lawn (grass). However, with the current Federation Cup team I believe they would do well to choose hard. Barty is excellent on lawn, but Stosur and Gavrilova are best on clay and neutral on hard. We cannot go for clay though given that it is Barty’s weakest surface and many of the Europeans’ best surface.

            • April 22nd 2018 @ 8:53am
              Bakkies said | April 22nd 2018 @ 8:53am | ! Report

              Even more ridiculous is that due to a handful of grass tournaments on an annual basis there is now a generation of players who don’t develop their game on the surface. TA are only getting to the program. They neglected clay court Tennis for decades.

              It made sense when blokes like Rafter played as they developed serve volley games on grass as a junior and played more doubles. Even Scud with his power game was very good at the net. Pity he didn’t have the body and mind of Rafter. Hewitt was probably the first to come through as pure baseline player and won Wimbledon when it started to head that way.

      • April 20th 2018 @ 4:41pm
        Red Block said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

        Thorn has developed a style.
        It is basically a modified version of League, where one player barges at the line close to previous ruck and this is repeated ad nauseam until hopefully someone breaks through.
        His style is like that of the old props who became club coaches and hate backs. In their opinion backs are only there to drop the ball and look pretty so some girls come to watch.
        Consequently the backs are of little importance, so he’ll pick two large centres who could basically play in the forwards and when there is a scrum or line out, they can barge at the line but must never pass it.
        it doesn’t matter how many points we score as long as we smash them in the scrums because that’s what’s really important.

      • April 20th 2018 @ 5:16pm
        Winston said | April 20th 2018 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

        Spot on. Give him a chance

    • April 20th 2018 @ 7:36am
      Malo said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:36am | ! Report

      The reds have no cattle worthy to make the wallabies. You have to develop the Brisbane company so it produces stars. Blaming the coach every time is pointless. They are going to lose by 40.

      • April 20th 2018 @ 2:00pm
        jameswm said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

        None? Not Tupou, Slipper, Rodda, Tui, Kerevi or Timu?

        • April 20th 2018 @ 4:12pm
          pk said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

          Thorn has ruined them. Anyway, Cheika won`t pick players from a losing team, unless they are from his beloved Tahs ( . Circa 2017 ) Tahs finished 16th out of 18 teams in Super rugby.

          • April 20th 2018 @ 4:42pm
            Malo said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

            stop blaming the coach

            • April 20th 2018 @ 6:07pm
              Realist said | April 20th 2018 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

              I only wish someone would love you, even just a little.
              You poor, poor thing

    • April 20th 2018 @ 7:45am
      jimbo81 said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      I’d warn Thorn but give him another season. I’d sack Gibson. Foley just keeps getting worse (if that’s possible). The Tahs threw so many intercepts I could hear the laughter from across the ditch. The Tahs may have won but the game was complete amateur hour. Neither side capable of maintaining possession.

      • April 20th 2018 @ 12:35pm
        Malo said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

        The Tahs are going to the finals whilst the reds will be 3rd last.

    • April 20th 2018 @ 7:58am
      rugger said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      Thorn does not have time….no time.

      Average turnover of players each year is 15% which means squad looks different each year as players move overseas to secure more money.

      Reds will struggle to hold experienced players as will seek more money and therefore performance hard to get.

      That is the issue for rugby at least in Australia with threats from overseas.

      • April 20th 2018 @ 9:09am
        Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:09am | ! Report

        Further the QRU management hasn’t shown much faith in losing coaches lately

      • April 20th 2018 @ 9:30am
        Jacko said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

        Whats the answer tho Rugger? Surely the Aus RA MUST get a system working where new talent is being developed. The Rebels have purchased players from the Force and OS and that is doing nothing to improve Aus rugby and buying OS rejects has not been successful….Gotta try

        • April 20th 2018 @ 10:04am
          Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          Hey Jacko,

          Try what ?

          • April 20th 2018 @ 11:06am
            Jacko said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:06am | ! Report

            Geez….Try something different to what wasnt working??????? Try bringing thru some youth as the current experienced players are failing to improve???? Try developing a new culture??? Try improving the depth?????

            The Reds have finished near the bottom for many years…give something different a chance before clamering for the same failures of the past

            • April 20th 2018 @ 12:05pm
              Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

              Riiiight so Jono Lance and George Smith are prime examples of bringing in youth ?

              As to culture or depth – which of those has shown an improvement so far this season ?

              • April 20th 2018 @ 4:07pm
                Jacko said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

                RO why do you select the 2 over age players to prove some incorrect point? Its very well known that the Reds are a very young side this year by many experts far more knowledgable than you and I but you look at the average age for yourself to either prove me right or wrong.
                As for culture and depth well i cant comment on culture but how else would you start building depth? Not just for REDS rugby but for Aus rugby? surely selecting youth, that hasnt played too much SR before is increasing the depth of Aus rugby. And you dont build depth in 6 games do you. Thats Aus rugby’s problem…never building depth, just selecting the same inadequate guys because they have experience is never building any further depth at all

              • April 20th 2018 @ 5:13pm
                Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

                Hey Jacko,

                So what’s the average age of the Reds squad and how does that compare to other super rugby squads ?

                As to the two guys should I have mentioned Slipper, Higginbotham, Lucas or Douglas instead ?

                Lemme get this straight – you can’t comment on culture and there hasn’t been enough games to develop depth.

                So when you made your earlier comment about depth and culture you were doing what ? Guessing ? Making stuff up ? Plucking it out of thin air ?

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 5:48pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 20th 2018 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

                Average age of Reds squad = 23.7

                Waratahs = 24.4

                Rebels = 24.9

                Just over a year between the Reds and the top 2 Australian sides.

    • Roar Guru

      April 20th 2018 @ 8:02am
      Sam Taulelei said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:02am | ! Report

      The flip side to this argument for Coopers return, is that if he had been playing for the Reds, with their current record Cooper would be the most obvious target of criticism.

      Having watched the Reds past three games, I can’t see how Coopers talent and ability would have manufactured different results.

      Cooper thrives off quick ball which the forwards aren’t producing consistently. But that would be overlooked.

      Coopers absence causes his stocks to rise but there’s no guarantee that the team’s would if he returned.

      • April 20th 2018 @ 8:09am
        Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:09am | ! Report

        Last year Cooper played some games for the Reds and was also missing from some.

        The games where Cooper played the Reds performed better than when he was absent.

        Why should this year be any different ?

        • Roar Rookie

          April 20th 2018 @ 8:24am
          Paulo said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:24am | ! Report

          They performed better, but would it have been enough to change the results this year? A loss by 30 or a loss by 15 is still a loss.

          • April 20th 2018 @ 8:46am
            Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:46am | ! Report

            Hey Paulo,

            Actually that’s what’s sticking in my craw this year, the thrashings. At least last year there were times (like the Crusaders game) when the Reds showed that they could come close to the better teams.

            If the season was to come down to bonus points or for and against, then a “better” loss could be important.

            (not that I see that as an issue this season)

            • April 20th 2018 @ 12:52pm
              Reverse Wheel said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

              They were down by 7 inside the last 10 against the Tahs and were close to the Brumbies until late. It’s not like they’ve been out of those games, but they’ve let their opponents run away with it late.

      • Roar Guru

        April 20th 2018 @ 8:23am
        Hoy said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:23am | ! Report

        Forward pack looks better this year than they have in a LONG time… though the halfback conundrum remains…

        The issue isn’t the forwards, but the backs attack. It is pretty terrible, and with the players they have, it shouldn’t be.

        Lance isn’t the answer, and honestly, probably never was… he was signed and trumpeted as cover… and is now the front and centre. When we can bully teams up front, he can make breaks, and it doesn’t matter he can’t organize or set up outside players. When our forwards can’t bully, and have to fight for parity, then his weakness is the teams weakness. Not saying Cooper would be better, or would have won us games, but Lance isn’t the answer here.. he is a big part of the problem with the backs…

        I would shift Lance to 15, as far too often this year I see an opposition player run in a try, and Toua jogging along… no urgency to stop a try at all. He is a poor defender. Shift Lance to 15, sures up that spot, and then bring in Stewart… he has Lance to help, Kerevie to help, CFS to help dish off to… I think Kerevi and CFS is a good pairing, but we need subtlety, and that comes from 10.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 20th 2018 @ 8:29am
          Paulo said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:29am | ! Report

          Bringing in Stewart would support the ‘new direction’ mantra of Thorns. Gives some hope for next year by showing they are developing Stewart at least. Some decent game time should see him develop.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 20th 2018 @ 9:08am
          Don said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:08am | ! Report

          When we consider that decisions were made with an expectation Karmichael Hunt would be in the mix and Duncan Paia’aua would always be in the 23 its easier to understand why we are still working on combinations.

          Looking forward to DP at 12 this weekend. Should stiffen up the defence.

          • April 20th 2018 @ 9:28am
            Charlie Turner said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

            Don, you’ll be disappointed, DP isn’t in the 23.

            The St.George Queensland Reds play the Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium this Saturday 21 April at 7:45pm. Tickets are available at The match will also be broadcast live on Fox Sports.

            St.George Queensland Reds team to play Chiefs
            7:45pm AEST, Saturday 21 April – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
            1. James Slipper (C) – Bond University
            2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – Sunnybank
            3. Taniela Tupou – Brothers
            4. Izack Rodda – Easts
            5. Kane Douglas – Norths
            6. Angus Scott-Young – University of Queensland
            7. Liam Wright – Easts
            8. Caleb Timu – Souths
            9. Ben Lucas – Sunnybank
            10. Jono Lance – University of Queensland
            11. Izaia Perese – Easts
            12. Samu Kerevi – Souths
            13. Chris Feauai-Sautia – Souths
            14. Filipo Daugunu – Wests
            15. Aidan Toua – Easts

            16. Alex Mafi – Bond University
            17. JP Smith – GPS
            18. Ruan Smith – GPS
            19. Harry Hockings – University of Queensland
            20. George Smith – Brothers
            21. Moses Sorovi – Wests

            22. Hamish Stewart – Bond University
            23. Jordan Petaia – Wests

            • Roar Rookie

              April 20th 2018 @ 9:47am
              Don said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:47am | ! Report

              Thanks mate. Disappointing…
              I had read earlier in the week that DP was returning at 12…
     can’t be trusted…

            • Roar Guru

              April 20th 2018 @ 12:36pm
              jeznez said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

              Is Tui dropped or injured? Surprised to see Hockings ahead of him if he is fit.

              I don’t think the experiment of playing him at 6 last week worked but similarly don’t think that a lock should be dropped for not performing at blindside.

              The pigs are scrummaging well and carrying well. They need to fix their lineout and speed up their recycle.

              Smith should be good for them – taking that last match against the Tahs – they trailed by 7 with twenty minutes on the clock in a period they were dominating possession and the gain line. I think an old head coming in to the match around that period will assist the young guys.

              The backs we are just seeing a repeat of the same guys that are struggling. Yes they need that recycle speed lifted but they also need to impose some shape on the game themselves.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 12:47pm
                Charlie Turner said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:47pm | ! Report


              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 1:06pm
                jeznez said | April 20th 2018 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

                Thanks – hopefully not serious.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 2:03pm
                jameswm said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

                Agreed jez, the biggest thing the Reds lack is experience. Georgie knows hot to get the job done.

        • April 20th 2018 @ 10:07am
          JP said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:07am | ! Report

          Hoy , but but but Thorn says he wont tolerate poor defenders ,so how does Toua ( the Brumbies discard) keep getting picked ?

          • Roar Rookie

            April 20th 2018 @ 10:34am
            Anthony Cotton said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

            JP, I have to agree with you re Toua; he’s an embarrassment the way he runs beside an opposition attacking player going for a try. He’s the sort of fullback I’d have loved to play against in my younger days.

        • April 20th 2018 @ 3:06pm
          ThugbyFan said | April 20th 2018 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

          G’day Hoy. Am not too sure J.Lance is a better fb than Aiden Toua but watching the match at SCG on Sat night it was obvious the two crash centres idea wasn’t working. I honestly think the Reds need a playmaker IC like D.Paia’aua, not S.Kereevi who has disappointed in that position in WB colours also. Then let Kereevi and CFS fight it out for OC and bench position.

          For mine:
          (a) the Reds forwards mostly dominated up the middle but were caught out wide big time.
          (b) the Tahs smaller faster backrow dominated the wide areas, it was often 2 Tahs backs + 2 backrowers against 2 Reds backs and 1-2 tired big forwards who were easily stepped around (see Tah’s 1st try as example)
          (c) Curtis Rona doesn’t get enough acknowledgement for his defence. He constantly rushed up taking his man and stopping the movement or forced the ball back into the middle. The Reds barely had any wide attack in the whole match.
          (d) The Reds don’t have someone like Q.Cooper with a really long pass to quickly stretch the Tahs defence (and bypass one-out rush defenders like Rona). From NRC2017 memory, H.Stewart can pass about 15-20m but I don’t think D.Paia’aua can. Consequently most of the Reds attack was up the guts which was managed by the Tahs’ forwards.
          (e) The Tahs (K.Beale) and Chiefs (D.MacK) and Lions (Elton) have such players. The Tahs outside backs (and covering backrowers) had a field day with all that extra room to move in.
          (f) The Reds reserve hooker had a horror day at throwing into lineouts. If that’s the best he can do, ditch him and send him off to the academy to learn how to throw.
          (g) The Reds seriously need to be drilled in the art of up-n-unders, which requires a good accurate kick and co-ordinated chasers. (J.Tuttle) and fb Toua constantly threw away possession. Coach Thorn should lock them in a room with the Reds forwards to explain why they kicked such rubbish.
          (h) The lack of a decent kicking game invited the Tahs to counter attack at the wide and tired Reds forwards.

          Off the tv over the last few weeks, most of the above problems keep showing up for the Reds. Brad Thorn seriously needs to get some thinkers into his coaching group and work on a better game plan.

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