No rest for Reds as Thorn keeps whip cracking

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

While beating the Brumbies created a sense of validation for the Reds, there was certainly no popping of champagne corks come Monday.

Coach Brad Thorn put the players through a film review - with the forwards spending an extra hour going through each individual scrum and lineout - before taking control of a typically brutal gym session.

It's that heads down, bums up approach which has the Reds ready to fire again when the Bulls come to town on Saturday, according to lock Kane Douglas.

"It was a good win and we can take some good things out of it but it's all about what happens next week, we just have to keep going," Douglas said.

"We are pleased with how we are going but teams will look at us, teams will come up with a new plan and figure it out.The Reds scrum was a dominant force against ACT. Photo: Getty Images"The scrum felt especially good and we got good pay in the end but it's about what happens next.

"We know it's a long season and we know it's only one win."

Thorn's ideals on that front came to the fore when he stepped in and ran the gym session on Monday, including a core workout that was on "Brad's time".

"He was pretty pumped to get back into training routine and back into another week," Douglas said.

"He ran the abs and everything.

"It's normally in your own time but it was in Brad's time today."


The physical edge which most expected to see from the Thorn coached outfit shone on Friday, with several examples of players putting their bodies on the line popping up.

There were big hits aplenty but it was the moments that saw Tate McDermott throw himself under a maul to save a try with the match on the line and Jono Lance scooping up a loose ball ahead of Tom Banks - and losing his shorts in the process - which will please Reds fans most.

The 11,000 strong crowd was modest on Friday but more glimmers of similar courage will bring fans back in droves.

"I don't know if it was pretty to watch and I know we didn't score any tries but it was good defence and Jono kept slotting them," Douglas said.

"It was a good crowd as well - I felt like everyone was pretty happy with how they went.

"The (fans) were all really good after the game.Jono Lance kicked the Reds to a win on Friday. Photo: Getty Images"It's good to get a result after - I know all the other teams are working hard but when you personally work hard and get a win - it's a good feeling.

"We just have to keep building, try and be consistent and get another win."

The debuts of Harry Hockings and Angus Scott-Young were also of note, as the youthful pair showed no signs of being a step behind the play.

Hockings, being a lock, is one of several second rowers that Queensland have at their disposal that has shown plenty of promise.

"He's a good player and he's going to be great in the future," Douglas said of Hockings.

"He's got a big future ahead of him and it's good to have depth and good to have (Angus Blyth) who is sitting there and hasn't had a game yet.

"There are plenty of locks and it's good to have that competition."

That added pressure with Lukhan Tui, Izack Rodda, Hockings and Blyth all pushing Douglas has the 28-year-old playing improved rugby after a disappointing 2017.

"I haven't been happy with how I have been playing over the last couple of seasons and I was pleased with a few things and there was a few things I was less angry about after my game on the weekend," he said.

"I have just got to keep pushing myself."

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