Rodda, Reds relishing chance to respond against Hurricanes

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Izack Rodda and the Reds learnt a few things from their flogging at the hands of the Sunwolves.

Training well doesn't necessarily equate to playing well, the importance of treating every Super Rugby match as though it's a final and the need to not dip heads should the match not pan out as planned early.

Rodda's Reds didn't tick any of those boxes against the Sunwolves, a point the star lock highlighted when he spoked to media on Wednesday.

"Last week we trained quite well, we thought, but we didn't bring that to the game - we didn't show up," Rodda said.

"While we can train well all week we still have to front up, show up on the day of the game and play footy that we know we are capable of."Izack Rodda and the Reds have had an inconsistent year. Photo: Getty ImagesCoach Brad Thorn has repeatedly said he can tell in the first 10 minutes whether his side is "on" or not and Rodda felt there was a sense of that on field, too.

"Sometimes you can get that sense early on," Rodda said.

"When we get some tries put on us early, we tend to dip our heads a little bit.

"But we can come out of that - our captains can step up and we just have to get that chat flowing.

"Someone just has to make a big hit or a big run and get that momentum going again."

The inconsistency from week to week is alarming but Rodda said that was all part of the learning curve ahead of a back-to-the-wall clash against the Hurricanes.Rodda and the Reds are relishing the chance to snap the trans-Tasman streak. Photo: Getty Images"The young blokes have just got to learn that Super Rugby is a fight," he said.

"You have to come to every game like it's a do or die battle - like it's a final - we need to grow as a team so no matter who we're playing, where we're playing or when we're playing, we can front up and play like it's do or die."

Stopping Beauden Barrett and the Canes is far easier said than done but Rodda pointed to line speed as the first step to stunting one of Super Rugby's most potent attacks.

"It comes down to line speed and physicality," he said.

"If you have both of them you are rushing up off the line, putting big hits on runners, it puts them on the back foot.

"It doesn't allow them to play with the front foot ball that they want and doesn't allow them to get the space and time they want to execute their plays."

The Reds face the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday night, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.