Lions vs Reds: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Reds were comprehensively thrashed by the Lions in Johannesburg tonight.

Here's what we learned from the 44-14 drubbing.

1. Reds yet to walk the talk

The high profile names brought back to Ballymore over the summer generated plenty of pre-season buzz but the Reds are yet to deliver.

There were hopes the likes of Quade Cooper, George Smith, Stephen Moore and Scott Higginbotham would provide a clean slate but the skeletons of the dismal 2014-16 teams remain on show.

Rohan Janse van Rensburg caused plenty of defensive headaches for the Reds. Photo: Getty ImagesThe heartbreaking loss to the Crusaders was supposed to provide a platform for the remainder of the season but they were thumped tonight.

Queensland are now 1-3 and have to either beat the Jaguares in Argentina in a week's time or the Hurricanes back in Brisbane in a fortnight to keep their season alive.

2. Serious blow for Slipper

The Reds skipper limped off in acute pain with 29 minutes on the clock and said post match he fears he may have snapped his achilles or torn his calf.

A major blow for the Reds but perhaps some comfort will come with the performance of Markus Vanzati.

The rookie was impressive again in just his second match.

3. Ill-discipline reigns supreme

A Samu Kerevi penalty with 35 seconds to play cost the Reds four points against the Crusaders last Saturday but it was ill-discipline in another form which proved costly tonight.

Eto Nabuli's yellow card in the 45th minute was followed immediately by a red card to Quade Cooper for a high shot.

Even the very best teams in Super Rugby would have struggled to go with the Lions when down a man, let alone this Reds team.

4. Ready-Moore continues to intrigue

Reds coach Nick Stiles made the bold call to start Andrew Ready ahead of the Wallabies skipper this week but it did not pay off.

Andrew Ready only played 35 minutes in his first start of 2017. Photo: WalmsleyReady was hooked in the 35th minute.

Whether that was planned or not remains a query but it appears as though Moore will have his starting job back against the Jaguares.

5. 10 straight

The loss marks 10 straight away losses for the Reds.

They are yet to establish Suncorp Stadium as the fortress it once was in 2010-12 so perhaps this should not come as a surprise but to be successful in Super Rugby, you must have some success on the road.

They continually fold away from home and have been particularly bad outside of Australia.