No red faces after that performance says Stiles

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

A buoyant Nick Stiles has rubbished any thought that he was disappointed with the Reds being beaten on the buzzer by the Crusaders on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium.

Stiles was in a far better frame of mind after Saturday night's match than he was in the aftermath of the Force loss.

He labelled that performance "atrocious" but there were only positive vibes from the rookie coach after the heartbreaking loss to the Crusaders.

"I’m not devastated mate, that’s rubbish, absolute rubbish, more disappointed that we didn’t finish the game off." Nick Stiles.

"I would be devastated if we fronted up like we did last week.

"I thought the boys came out and played some of the best football we have played, particularly in that first 40 minutes.

"The team really played to what we have been working hard on at training and it was so good as a coach and so enjoyable as a coach to see that transference finally as a team."

The Crusaders have belted the Reds at nearly every opportunity since Queensland beat them 18-13 in the 2011 final and that was not lost on Stiles.

"We are playing the Crusaders here - one of the best sides in Super Rugby history - and we have lost to them after the full time whistle," he said.

"We haven’t fired a shot against these blokes in years - the last three or four years have put on average 47 points or something against us - you’ve gone from a team that lost by 40 points to being beaten on the buzzer.

"There’s no reason to be disappointed."

He did question the consistency of referee Will Houston's penalty against Samu Kerevi in the final minute.

"At the end of the game, when you’re trying to kill time, referees are always looking for that at that point of the game," Stiles observed.

"You could go back and look through 90 percent of the other breakdowns and that exact same clean out will be allowed but that’s the reality.

"Referees look for that at the death and the longer it got the more nervous I was getting in the box because I knew we had to kick the ball and get out of our territory."

James Slipper said he felt "gutted" for his troops.

"We’re pretty gutted in the change room," the captain said.

"It was heartbreaking to watch it and I just feel for the boys to be honest.

"They put in so much effort throughout the week let alone tonight so for it to end like that was pretty painful."

Stiles was impressed with the impact young guns Izack Rodda and Izaia Perese had in their first starts.

The pair carried the ball with aplomb and looked to have done enough to secure starting spots for another week.

"Izack Rodda is such an impressive person on and off the field and I was really happy with how he played in the first 40 minutes," Stiles said.

"He’s playing against All Blacks - it doesn’t get any tougher than that - and I thought his contribution was really good.

"He (Perese) just looks dangerous. He will grow from that and continue to get better."

 Meanwhile Stiles has announced a 27-man squad that will travel to South Africa and Argentina for games against the Lions and Jaquares.

The squad features the 23 players from the match against the Crusaders, along with prop Kirwan Sanday, lock Lukhan Tui, No.8 Leroy Houston and centre Henry Taefu.

The uncapped Sanday, who trained with the Reds throughout pre-season, has been brought into the tour squad as an injury replacement for Sef Fa’agase, who was a late withdrawal from Saturday night’s match due to a calf injury.

The Reds’ trip to Argentina will be the side’s first since Queensland Rugby Union took a development tour there in 2005. It will also be the first time the Reds have played the Jaguares, who entered the competition in 2015.

THE SQUAD 

Props
Kirwan Sanday (uncapped) - Easts
James Slipper (C) – Bond University
Sam Talakai - Brothers
Taniela Tupou - Brothers
Markus Vanzati - Souths
 
Hookers
Stephen Moore – University of Queensland
Andrew Ready - Easts
 
Locks

Kane Douglas - Norths
Izack Rodda - Easts
Rob Simmons - Sunnybank
Lukhan Tui - Souths
 
Loose forwards
Scott Higginbotham - Wests
Leroy Houston - Wests
Adam Korczyk – University of Queensland
George Smith
Hendrik Tui - Norths

Scrumhalves
Nick Frisby - GPS
James Tuttle - GPS
 
Flyhalves
Quade Cooper - Souths
Jake McIntyre - Sunnybank
 
Centres
Samu Kerevi - Souths
Duncan Paia’aua - Norths
Henry Taefu - Sunnybank
 
Outside backs

Karmichael Hunt - Norths
Chris Kuridrani - GPS
Eto Nabuli - GPS
Izaia Perese - Easts

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