Tuttle frisking for Frisby's minutes

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

It was only an 11 minute cameo but James Tuttle's performance last Friday was enough to apply pressure on Nick Frisby for the Reds' starting halfback job.

Playing in his sixth Super Rugby match, the Nudgee College product scored the match winner and provided crisp, consistent service for Quade Cooper and Jake McIntyre when he replaced the Reds' chief playmaker in the 75th minute.

Having just announced a contract extension, Frisby was below his best throughout Friday night's win against the Sharks as he sent a kick out on the full and had one charged down while providing some scrappy service from the back of the breakdown.James Tuttle scored the all important match winner on Friday night. Photo: Getty ImagesStiles tipped his hand when he said immediately after Friday night's game that he should have brought Tuttle on ten minutes earlier and also expressed his delight at the 20-year-old's performance in the trial against the Rebels.

"We talk about pressure and depth in the squad and if you watched the Rebels trial you'd see that when he (Tuttle) came on in that second half he really just lifted the pace of the game," Stiles said on Friday night.

"When he came out he scored a try, obviously, and was really efficient around the breakdown."Tuttle is applying pressure on Nick Frisby for the Reds' top halfback job. Photo: Getty ImagesSpeaking today, Stiles continued to praise his reserve halfback's form.

"I’ve been really impressed with James’ performances in the trials against the Rebels and also when he came on against the Sharks," he said.

"You want your replacements to come on, lift the tempo and provide some impact and it’s ultimately what we are craving in this organisation.

"You’ve got to be playing your best football to be in the starting XV and you do that by having depth.

"I was really pleased to see James improve and if he continues on that wave of course he will put pressure on Nick.

Stiles was not as complimentary of Taniela Tupou's 40-minute performance for Brothers in their loss to Norths in the Australian Club Championship.

"His 40 minutes were so-so, he got through uninjured and I would have liked to have seen him play football but he’s an exciting prospect and he would have been in for round one bar the silly head butt at the Tens," he said.