Reds to learn from trial loss

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Queensland Reds coach Richard Graham says his young charges will learn from their 31-3 trial loss to the Crusaders.

In wet conditions, Queensland led the Kiwis 3-0 at half-time, before poor discipline meant they found themselves a man down for a quarter of the match.

Graham said he was pleased with the progress his side showed, with a number of new faces.

“I thought our shape in both attack and defence was pretty good,” he said.

“Obviously the conditions weren’t fantastic and in that first half guilty of not executing when he had those opportunities.

“This obviously is about setting a foundation with the things I wanted to see.

“I was happy with that but certainly like to accumulate some points when you’ve got pressure.”

Graham wasn’t alarmed by the final score, which came from four unanswered Crusaders tries, saying it was a good lesson for his rookies.

“The young kids out the back at the end of the game good experience,” he said.

“They were  probably a little bit overawed, but I’d prefer them to experience that now than later on in the season.

“Those young kids just got to understand that even though it‘s (Sam) Whitelock and (Joe) Moody...but they’ve got two arms and two legs like everyone else.”

Graham had plenty of praise for young flyhalf Jake McIntyre, who was serviceable as the playmaker teaming up with scrumhalf Nick Frisby.

“Jake did a really good job,” he said.

“He was very steady tonight in those conditions.

“I thought he controlled what possession we did have really well and I thought his kicking was really good.

“(That’s) certainly a positive to come out of it - Both he and Frisby controlled things pretty well.”

Stand-in captain Rob Simmons lamented their poor discipline but was pleased with the way the side’s new lock combination had gelled.

“Everyone will learn from today,” he said.

“The most important part is we all learn and get better form tonight.

“Obviously we’ve got a lot of learning to do and hopefully everyone can take at least one thing and get better at it.”

The Reds face the Brumbies at Ballymore on Friday night, in their second preseason trial.