It wasn’t a win but Reds co-coach Nick Stiles says Saturday night’s 25-23 loss to the Rebels was a step in the right direction for Queensland.
The Reds pulled themselves from 16-0 down 33 minutes to take the lead with 14 minutes to go and had chances to win the game in the dying stages.
Stiles said there was still an air of disappointment through the Reds change rooms but this week it was mixed in with a slice of pride.
“We were extremely disappointed with our first two games and to see the guys’ response this week and the attitude they showed was I felt did the state proud,” he said.
“It’s wasn’t a win but it was a step in the right direction and we want to continue to drive.
“It was tough for our fans last week. Hopefully they could watch the game this week and feel that bit more proud than what they were.”
Had it not been for a cramping Jake McIntyre, Stiles said the side could have found themselves with a field goal shot as they camped in the Rebels’ 22 in the final minutes.
“You could see Nick Frisby looking back to see where the 10 was and poor old Jakey was cramping in his calves,” he said.
“So we definitely were trying to kick that field goal unfortunately we didn’t.”
Stiles said McIntyre and Frisby would grow as players having been in a high pressure situation, one that they would deal with much better if history repeated.
“When you’re in pressure situations in games, how you manage that time is crucial and I think they’ll be that much better for that period,” he said.
“We just went a little bit lateral, we were all over the shop. They’ll come out much better for that.”
Stiles was still ruing a lack of discipline after the game, that dug them the 16 point hole they needed to climb out of and culminated in a 73rd minute Anthony Fainga’a yellow card.
“Defence was something we really pushed this week at training this week and a lot of defence comes down to attitude and we wanted to get out of the line very hard,” he said.
“At times we weren’t hard enough in working back onside and the beautiful assistant referee nabbed us.”