Simple solution for young Reds

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Anthony Fainga’a has a simple solution for any young Reds who might feel overwhelmed in Newlands.

Just close your eyes and think of Suncorp Stadium.

Fainga’a was part of the last Queensland side to claim a win in Cape Town, in 2011, throwing the last pass for Mike Harris to score the match-sealing try, but plenty has changed since then for both sides.

Both teams were littered with Test players in what was an enthralling contest.

Fainga’a said the most important thing was that this new generation of Reds was looking forward to the challenge.

“They had a fantastic team at that time,” he said.

“Jean de Villiers, the Springbok centres, Bryan Habana, they had a fantastic team and we got away with the win right at the end.

“It’s been a long time and we've got a really young side and we’re looking forward to the challenge.

“That’s the biggest thing, that we’re looking forward to it. I can’t wait to get out there and play at Newlands.”

Mike Harris scored the final try when the Reds beat the Stormers in 2011. Photo: Getty ImagesQueensland will be ready for the crowd’s hostilities at some level, having played in Pretoria last week,

“Newlands is a fantastic stadium to play at (but it’s) easy to get overwhelmed there,” Fainga’a said.

“It’s a good crowd, they’re quite vocal. For us as a team I think we need to embrace that, think of it as Suncorp, take it within our grasp and get out there and play good rugby.”

Fainga’a has been in rare form this season, finally shaking off a series of injuries that curtailed his 2015 progress.

The inside centre said he was thriving on the faith handed to him by co-coach Matt O’Connor, who is mentoring the Reds’ backs.

“Matty O’Connor has been fantastic, he backs me 100 per cent and that gives me the confidence to be able to play the way I’m playing,” he said.

“For me that totally helps in my ability, that belief and trust.”