It’s not panic stations just yet but Queensland Reds co-coach Matt O’Connor says the Australian Super Rugby franchises need to close the gap on their trans-Tasman counterparts.
The Reds and Brumbies were on the painful end of big defeats at the hands of New Zealand teams on Friday night but O’Connor said it wasn’t a sign of a wider problem.
“The Wallabies showed at the World Cup mere months ago that they’re competitive with everybody," he said.
“We don’t need to get distracted by it but the rugby the New Zealand conference is playing is different to everybody else and we’ve got to catch up and catch up quick.”
O’Connor said the Reds would be seeking clarification on a decision that led to a penalty try and a yellow card against scrumhalf Nick Frisby in the 29th minute.
Frisby attempted to save a try but in doing so kicked the ball, resulting in the penalty try and binning.
The decision against Frisby was compounded by another more straightforward yellow card two minutes later and O’Connor said the Reds would be following up on the call.
“It’s worth clarification in relation to was it a yellow card. Certainly wasn’t cynical, it was a desperate attempt to save a try.
“We’ll have to see what the law makers come back with.”
Reds captain James Slipper, who came off with a sternum injury before half-time, said his side had no one but themselves to blame for yet another painful night at the office.
“We put ourselves under pressure more than anything, not kicking it out, kicking it dead and a couple of times not even kicking from the restart and making it the 10 metres,” he said.
“Pushing the passes, knock ons, all that against the best side in the competition just puts yourself under so much pressure.
“What the Chiefs are good at is capitalising on that and coming away with point.
“It was a quick game and that was the difference between the best team in the comp and where we’re at.”
Slipper said to FOX SPORTS post-match that he expected to play in the final match of the season, against the Rebels.