A lack of discipline and an early reshuffle were costly to the Queensland Reds in their loss to the NSW Waratahs, coach Richard Graham says.
Graham lamented their inability to convert linebreaks into scoring opportunities, taking until the 60th minute to score a try.
Inside centre Henry Taefu (foot) was replaced 26 minutes into the match, disrupting the Reds backline combinations, a fact that Graham said affected the side.
“It clearly doesn’t help,” he said.
“You can see a lack of combination and the new shape we’re attempting I felt we caused them a lot of problems but clearly having to mix guys around early in the game wasn’t ideal.”
Graham said he was optimistic heading into half-time, despite staring down a 20-point deficit at the break.
“I don’t dispute the fact that the game got away from us a little bit in the first half,” Graham said.
“We felt were well and truly in the game.
“We created enough opportunities enough linebreaks in that first half to be in the game but discipline and number of turnovers wasn’t good enough.”
It was a lack of discipline that caused the Reds the most headaches in the opening half, with interim captain Rob Simmons sent to the sin bin in the 13th minute after multiple breakdown infringements from his side.
That was one of three yellow cards of the night, with Sam Talakai sent in the 69th minute and NSW’s Jeremy Tilse also sitting out the dying minutes,
While Simmons was forced to watch on as the Waratahs scored their second try of the night, he took a positive spin to the situation.
“Most of our penalties were just because we were eager to get off the line and get stuck into them physically,” he said.
“So if you’re trying to take a positive out of it, that’s what you want the good intent we’ll sharpen that next week.”
Taefu’s injury, suffered just five minutes into the match, will be assessed during the week as the Reds prepare to host the Force next Saturday night.