Gill goal the product of practise

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The sight of Liam Gill slotting a 40m drop goal just shy of half-time against the Bulls shocked most observers, even those in the coaching box.

Nick Stiles and Matt O’Connor were heading down to the change rooms, when they realised their number seven was having a crack at the posts.

“We were caught a it off guard,” Stiles said.

“We knew we had the penalty and Matty and I had hopped up to head downstairs and then we turned around and saw Gilly drain the three points.

“He can’t sit still and he’s been practicing those for probably the last 10 years at training.

“He finally got the chance to get one playing in the game.”

 

It was a rare highlight of the first half of what Stiles described as a “frustrating” loss, marred by ill discipline and basic errors from his side.

“To go back and look at that first half, our discipline was poor, we gave away soft, uncontested penalties,” he said.

“They prey on that. They kick long range penalty foals and put you back deep in your 22.

“Also, our tackling was poor. You get big physcial blokes and we were going high on those blokes and they get over the ad line and put you under pressure defensively.”

With little possession and field position, the Reds were unable to unleash ball-carrying weapon Samu Kerevi, who showed in the second half what he can do with a slice of opportunity, scoring two tries.

“We  had 33 per cent possession of the ball and most of that was down in our 22,” he said.

“That doesn’t allow Samu to to get involved in the game.

“That second half, we had better field position, better continuity and we can see what samu can do real, he’s a real game changer.”.

Stiles was cautiously optimistic over the fitness of Jake Schatz, who exited the game with a medial injury.

“He’s walking around really well with his medial knee ligament but it’s just too early to tell with those things,” he said.

“We have to wait and see how it presents tomorrow and cools down.”

The Reds will welcome back Rob Simmons for their clash against the Stormers, with the vice-catpain expected to fully recover from an AC injury by then.

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