Reds reeling in search of second win

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

They've flown around the world in search of their second Super Rugby win and Nick Stiles is adamant the Reds can secure that victory against the Jaguares.

Speaking from Buenos Aires after the team's second 15-hour flight in seven days, Stiles' team is reeling after the 44-14 loss to the Lions.

While the performance was well below their best, the impending suspension of Quade Cooper after he was shown a red card for a high shot and the season-ending Achilles injury to James Slipper will sting far more.

"The team have been very disappointed with that performance - reflecting on it and watching the tape you’ll see in that first half in particular the inability to build any pressure against a quality side in the Lions, ultimately had us on the back foot," Stiles said.James Slipper's season-ending injury is a massive blow for the Reds. Photo: Getty Images"The second half red card to Quade made it extremely difficult, only having 14 men out there defending against a team that can defend exceptionally well and play with a lot of pace.

"We need to knuckle down, really concentrate on our game and making sure we play a much better style of football this weekend."

Cooper has flown back to Brisbane and will have a judiciary hearing tomorrow night, leaving the starting flyhalf job to Jake McIntyre.

"Jake basically played the full season last year at 10 for us so the experience he would have gained last year and then topped on with the hard work he has done over the last four to six months to improve his game creates a good chance for him," Stiles said.Izaia Perese and the Reds struggled to slow the Lions down on Sunday. Photo: Getty Images"He can come in, step up, direct us around the field and get us on the front foot so I know he’s very excited about getting a chance to play."

While Cooper should only miss one or two weeks, Slipper won't pull on a Reds jersey for the remainder of 2017.

The captain was in agony as a pair of medics carried him off the field and the scrum crumbled without his presence.

"He (Slipper) had put a lot of work into this year and he was really looking forward to being at the forefront of a much better season for the Reds so to lose him after four games is a disappointment," Stiles said.

"In saying that we are extremely lucky to have the current Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore as part of the squad.

"It’s another opportunity for Stephen to lay a firm footprint on this side and create some really good habits which will set us up for future success."

Lachlan Maranta and Phil Kite have joined the team in Buenos Aires as cover for the absent stars.

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