Reds vs Blues: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

1. Crouch, pause, dominate

It was a tight encounter all night, but one battle in which there was a clear winner was the scrum. The Reds scrum that dominated all night, winning every scrum and forcing the Blues to concede eight penalties at scrum time. The Reds simply didn’t give the Blues forwards a chance as they constantly backed up time and time again. Front rowers Greg Holmes, Andrew Ready and Sef Fa’agase will sleep well tonight after their tireless efforts in the pack.

2. Building halves

You can expect the Reds halves pairing of Nick Frisby and Jake McIntyre to continue to grow with every minute of Rugby they play. After two NRC campaigns and one month into this year’s Super Rugby season, the young pair are starting to combine well together and will be ones to watch in the future. They teamed up for a try in the second half and were the two most committed kick chasers all night.

3. Nabuli makes his burst

The former NRL flyer has started every match for the Reds this season, and has finally shown the impact he could have with after an amazing attacking display at Suncorp Stadium. Nabuli made 94 run metres, four tackle busts and set up Samu Kerevi for the Reds’ opening try of the night. The Fijian pair looked super threatening and will only grow with this confidence boost.

4. Ioane one for the future

It’s hard to believe that Reiko Ioane only turned 19 yesterday. The 104kg winger made his debut for the Blues on Saturday night and will definitely be one to watch for the future. Having already lit up the Sevens circuit for New Zealand, Ioane showed his attacking flare in the 15-man game as well, setting up flyhalf Ihaia West for the opening try of the match.

5. Reds need to sharpen their axes

The Reds had their best chance of the season to notch up their first win of 2016, being 10 points up with 10 minutes to play. The home side let a late try slip and it was an Ihaia West penalty goal in the 84th minute that stole the victory from their fingertips. A week ago, they opted against a field goal with a chance to win the game against the Rebels. After 18 months of pain for the club, the Reds have a fresh start with new coaches, and young players and now they need to sharpen their psychological edge when it matters.