Highlanders 40 Queensland Reds 17: Sorry Reds sign off Super Rugby season in predictable disarray - Latest News In Nigeria!

Post Top Ad

Friday, July 14, 2017

Highlanders 40 Queensland Reds 17: Sorry Reds sign off Super Rugby season in predictable disarray

KARMICHAEL Hunt’s ankle injury and the sloppy errors that have cursed the Reds all season combined in a predictable 40-17 sign-off loss to the Highlanders in freezing Dunedin on Friday night.
The Reds end a season of far higher hopes with just four victories from 15 starts and the tough reality they are still anchored in Super Rugby’s B division.
As ever, there were sporadic highs with flanker Caleb Timu producing a strong, 10-run first start and prop Taniela Tupou at his bullocking best.
James Lentjes of the Highlanders dives over to score a try in the Kiwi side’s routine victory.
James Lentjes of the Highlanders dives over to score a try in the Kiwi side’s routine victory.Source:Getty Images
Ads by Kiosked
The finals-bound Highlanders played with a speed and precision that was a class above when they clicked with slicker handling, more penetrative running from depth and a better organised game style.
The Kiwis scored six tries-to-three as a totally fair reflection of their dominance under the stadium roof that kept out a murky Kiwi night and the 5C temperatures.
The Reds were not so much run through as outflanked at key times and the naivety of their defensive structure brought them undone because the tackling of James Tuttle, Adam Korczyk, George Smith and co was always willing.
The game was already beyond the Reds just after halftime when they trailed 26-5 but again they should curse inept finishing and sloppy exits from their quarter.
Hunt lasted just 12 minutes of the contest before limping off with an ankle injury.
Hunt lasted just 12 minutes of the contest before limping off with an ankle injury.Source:AAP
After a 15-minute block of dominance, Tupou hammered over the top of All Black Lima Sopoaga at the 29-minute mark just as his schoolboy highlights reel hinted “Thor” would one day.
What came next summed up the Reds season. Centre Campbell Magnay bungled a routine passing relay with two men outside him, stepped inside, threw a poor pass and Timu and Izaia Perese were left looking in despair. Awful.
Instead of closing to 14-7, the Reds were on the backfoot again.
Perese again produced one of the class moments of leg-driving determination when he drove through Marty Banks and threaded a one-handed pass for Timu’s try late in the game.
Fullback Hunt limped off after just 12 minutes. The injury did not look serious and it gave 19-year-old Hamish Stewart his biggest slab of Super Rugby. 
Stewart belted one good 40m touchfinder, tackled and backed up well but a hesitant clearing kick was charged down just after halftime for a try.
Flanker George Smith celebrated his 37th birthday without a win but it was his quick tap that ignited the Izack Rodda try and his quick thinking that saved another on his tryline.
No. 8 Korczyk was a reliable lineout target and worked hard but the poor defensive coverage with Tuttle when the Highlanders scored too easily from a 5m scrum was one of those shortcomings with rookies.
The Reds will judge positives from this year but structural issues on defence, scrambling-and-grinding better and finishing chances far better are big issues not to be glossed over.
Originally published as Reds finish season in disarray

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad