Jaguares vs Reds: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Reds have now lost four on the trot and their season is very much on the edge as they head back to Australia to take on the Hurricanes.

Here's what we learned from their loss in Buenos Aires on Sunday:

1. Fraser all the gear but no idea

Referee Mike Fraser and his infatuation with sending general play decisions to the TMO ruined a good game of rugby. His trigger happy approach to dishing yellow cards triggered the Reds collapse. No right-minded rugby fan would agree Eto Nabuli deserved a yellow card for accidentally knocking the ball on while trying to make a tackle. The decision to send Kane Douglas to the bin for collapsing a maul one minute later, with no prior warnings, was similarly harsh. The call to send Bautista Ezcurra to the bin was not much better. Referees should never be the central theme of a game and Fraser made himself the star of the show today. A very poor performance.

2. Reds defensive woes continue

The visitors missed six of their first 18 tackles en route to 14 missed tackles in the first half. The Reds seemed incapable of dragging down Jaguares backs that were flat footed on the end of James Tuttle's box kicks. The home side's backs three were able to offload or simply slip the tackles, sparking counter attacks that Queensland struggled to defend. There were eight more missed tackles in the second term despite the Reds controlling 75 percent of possession.

3. Scrum solid under pressure 

The scrum, led by first-start prop Markus Vanzati and Sam Talakai, was solid in the absence of James Slipper. The Reds forced a handful of penalties and did not lose any ball on their own feed. A positive for Nick Stiles and the coaching staff.

4. One step sideways, two steps back

Queensland's attack was far too lateral today. Jake McIntyre copped criticism throughout last season for exactly that and he has not fixed that part of his game at this point in time. His first step is sideways rather than forwards far too often and he often sent the ball across field before establishing any forward momentum. The Jaguares carefully chose when to hit breakdowns and the Reds were unable to punch over the advantage line, creating panic and several botched kicks. A 67 percent possession advantage - 75 percent in the second half - for just one try and a penalty says all one needs to know about the lack of spark.

5. Kerevi, Karmichael put in enormous shifts

The result would have been far worse if Samu Kerevi and Karmichael Hunt didn't suit up today. Kerevi managed to beat 10 tackles, make two line breaks and dish four offloads in his 15 runs for 68 metres. Hunt attacked the defensive line with similar vigorous intent, picking up eight runs for 54 metres, five defenders beaten, one line break, four offloads and a try assist.