What did we learn from the Reds' thrashing at the hands of the Chiefs?
1. Miracles are miracles for a reason
The Reds pulled off a super win over the Highlanders at home earlier this season but repeating that effort against the Chiefs was a step too far. The Kiwi conference leaders outclassed Queensland in their highest-scoring first half of the year and ran away with a big win. The Reds were simply never good enough.
2. Kane is able
The beast is back. Kane Douglas had his first start of 2016 and his run-on debut for the Reds against the Chiefs and reminded everyone of his raw aggression. The second rower was a steadier in the Reds lineout, teaming up with Cadeyrn Neville for the first time. The only downside is the Wallabies World Cup lock only has one more chance for a Super Rugby run.
3. Ready for Moore
Andrew Ready is going to put up a major fight in 2017 when Stephen Moore arrives back in his home state. The young hooker has been sensational for Queensland this season and has the second best lineout percentage in the Super Rugby competition. At the very least, the 22-year-old is going to create genuine competition for the Wallabies captain next season.
4. Chiefs do what Brumbies couldn’t
The Chiefs held a slender lead at the top of the New Zealand conference coming to Brisbane and unlike their Australian counterparts, the Brumbies, they managed to widen that gap after 80 minutes. A bonus point win over the Reds gives the Chiefs a handy buffer before the Crusaders take on the Rebels on Saturday. Their win means Australian sides have clinched just three wins in 22 games over New Zealand sides this season.
5. Personnel problems
Friday night was most certainly a baptism of fire for the Reds’ younger brigade and their effort was there. The absence of some key experienced players did not help, though. A yellow card to Nick Frisby left openside Liam Gill feeding the scrums, the kind of reshuffle hardy Reds fans have probably become used to in recent injury-ravaged seasons. Tighthead Greg Holmes was withdrawn before the game, with a neck issue, while Karmichael Hunt confirmed he has osteitis pubis and won’t even be back running for another month.