Reds vs Kings: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

A second half attacking masterclass was enough for the Reds to beat the Kings at Suncorp Stadium this afternoon.

Here's what we learned from the 47-34 win.

1. King Cooper reigns supreme

Ever since he took the reins as chief playmaker at Ballymore, the Reds attack has lived and died by the sword wielded by Quade Cooper.Quade Cooper was in fine touch this afternoon. Photo: Getty ImagesWhen he's allowed to roam like he did today, there is little one can do to stop him.

Cooper thrives on clean ball and he got plenty of that in the second half.

He attacked the line, consistently put forwards over the gain line and kicked with purpose, including a pair of try assists off his own boot.

Goal kicking has always been his barometer and he struck the ball well off the tee, nailing five from seven.

2. Smith superb in 150th

George Smith and George Gregan share a moment after the match. Photo: Getty ImagesGeorge Smith reaped a remarkable five turnovers in his 150th Super Rugby match.

He showed sheer determination to cross for his first try in Queensland colours and pinched a pair of loose balls at the back of lineouts.

It was his best game for the Reds and he has been among their best all season.

At 36, the legendary flanker shows no sign of slowing down.

3. Defence yet to click

As good as the Reds were in attack, they continue to fall off too many first up tackles.

Good teams simply don't miss 29 tackles and they were lucky to get away with that many tonight.

There were just as many ineffective hits.

In fairness, they defended well early but lacked line speed and intensity in the second term as the Kings nearly ran over the top of them late.

4. Young guns shine

Izaia Perese scored two tries in three minutes this afternoon. Photo: Getty ImagesCoach Nick Stiles has backed his prospects to prosper in 2017 and they are starting to repay his faith.

Perese scored a double and he will be tough to displace from the right wing, Alex Mafi was powerful both in defence and at scrum time in his first start and James Tuttle is really hitting his straps at halfback.

5. Australian Conference contest alive

The Brumbies belted the Reds last week but Queensland are just one game behind the Canberrans in the race for the Australian Conference title.

That may change tonight given the Brumbies are facing the winless Rebels but the Reds have Australian opponents in three of their next four matches.

Win those and their season will be alive and well.

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