Discipline the focus for Reds

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Reds co-coach Matt O’Connor wants a more disciplined showing from his side when they face the Blues on Saturday night.

The Reds coughed up penalties to the Rebels last weekend, with Melbourne flyhalf Jack Debreczeni ultimately adding 18 points to his side’s tally.

While they had chances to win the game in the dying minutes with a possible field goal, O’Connor said they shouldn't be gifting points to opposition sides.

“You can’t afford to give up eight kickable penalties or you lose, that’s the reality,” he said.

“We’ve worked hard on it.

“We understand the Blues will challenge us with their ball carries. We’ve got to be really diligent at the back of the tackle.

“We’ve got to be really diligent on the back foot so we can trust our defensive systems and stay in the contest.”

A late yellow card to Anthony Fainga’a didn’t help the cause as the Reds pressured the line but O’Connor said it was about creating the right impression early.

“You can’t afford to paint those pictures early in the game because that has a significant impact on the way the referees referee it," he said.

“We’ve got to be more diligent in that, got to present more quality pictures to the officials and we’ve got to back our resilience to solve it (discipline).”

The Reds have won four of their last five clashes with the Blues, who have struggled in recent years, but the Auckland side has been transformed under the direction of ex-All Blacks skipper Tana Umaga.

They stunned the reigning champions the Highlanders in round one and O’Connor said Queensland would be wary of the greater threat posed by the Auckland side in 2016.

“I think they’ve got a pretty clear understanding of what they’re trying to deliver which has eluded them over the past couple of seasons and Tana certainly has delivered that for them,” he said.

“The hardest thing for us is to make sure we get our bits right.

“They’re an incredibly dangerous footy team, as good as any on their day.

“So, it’ll be us trying to work hard as we can to nullify that and make sure when we get opportunities that we’re more clinical than we have been.”

The Reds will be searching for their first win of the season when they host the Blues at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, 7:40pm