Reds determined to halt downward spiral

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Stephen Moore and the Reds are desperate to halt their season's downward spiral when they take on the Hurricanes tomorrow night.

Queensland's season is not yet out of control but it is heading that way.

A tough win over the Sharks in round one seems a distant memory, as it has been followed by four straight losses that have Reds fans feeling a familiar sense of frustration.

Add the quartet of losses to the Quade Cooper suspension and the James Slipper achilles injury and you have a recipe for a lost season.The Reds will be without Quade Cooper for the second straight match. Photo: Getty ImagesNew skipper Stephen Moore admits as much and spoke to the importance of halting the spiral with a big performance against the all-conquering Canes at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night.

"It's really important that the group stays tight through this period, it's been very tough for us," Moore said at this afternoon's captain's run.

"Probably starting with that Force game over in Perth that we were really disappointed with and then over the last few weeks we haven't got the results.

"We're back at home now and we feel like we've prepared well - that's what's important.

"The biggest learning over the last month is that when things haven't gone well, it's often been off the back of our own errors and that's something we can work on."

Moore will be hoping he can turn his frown upside down tomorrow night. Photo: Getty ImagesThe saving grace for the Reds is the strength of the Australian Conference.

They are just one win off the top and the three other Australian teams in action also face Kiwi opponents in round six.

With plenty of Australian derbies ahead all hope is not lost but picking four points up against the Canes would put them in very good stead ahead of the slog that is the middle third of the season.

If they are to even challenge the Canes, limiting turnover ball and in turn the amount of damage the Barrett brothers, Julian Savea and the rest of the Canes backs can do will be vital.

"There's no secret that they're very good off turnovers so the less turnovers we can have, the better," Moore said.James Tuttle will get his second start at halfback against the Canes. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"We need to hang onto the ball and build pressure no matter who we are playing against but there's no doubt that tomorrow, that will be really important for us."

The Reds will also need more spark from their halves in James Tuttle and Jake McIntyre, after the pair were muffled in their first start together against the Jaguares.

"There are no players that work harder on their game than those two and they're a good combination," Moore said.

"They haven't played a lot together before so that takes time to gel.

"I thought they did pretty well (last week) and they're only going to be better for it."

The Reds take on the Hurricanes tomorrow night at Suncorp Stadium, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and RUGBY.com.au.

The Reds have launched "Queensland Rugby Relief" to help clubs affected by Cyclone Debbie this week.

Match-day raffle tickets will be available at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow and St. George Bank will match every dollar raised.

Fundraisers will also be out in force asking for gold coin donations at the Super U20s final at Ballymore on Sunday.

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