Reds vs Bulls: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Reds scraped home against the Bulls in an enthralling encounter at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Here's what we learned from the 20-14 win.

1. Tremendous Timu

The Reds have big wraps on Caleb Timu and having spent a season learning his craft at Souths, he was unleashed against the Bulls.Caleb Timu was superb for Queensland. Photo: WalmsleyIt was his best game in a Reds jersey through five caps, racking up 13 carries for 30 tough metres, two clean breaks, three tackle busts and five tackles on the other side of the ball.

With Scott Higginbotham and Lukhan Tui sidelined for one more week, the No. 8 will have another chance to shine against the Jaguares next Sunday (AEDT).

2. Bulls go loco with away kit

Handre Pollard and the Bulls sported some zany jerseys on Saturday. Photo: WalmsleyIf you thought the Bulls looked like the Brazilian soccer team on Saturday night, you weren't crazy.

The Mamelodi Sundowns inspired kit is an attempt to draft new fans, such is the success of the Pretorian based soccer team.

The Sundowns are known as the Brazilians, such is the similarity in the yellow, green and blue kit.

3. Lance looking super at 10

The preseason battle between Hamish Stewart and Jono Lance for the starting flyhalf gig was enthralling but Brad Thorn looks to have found his man.

As promising a prospect as Stewart is, Lance is at the peak of his powers and the Reds coach declared his flyhalf as the man of the match after the game.

Lance's kicking in general play was sublime, he attacked the line with ball in hand and rarely, if ever, misses a tackle.

Add that package to a clutch penalty goal with four to play and you have a playmaker that outpointed his international opposite in Handre Pollard.

4. Kerevi keeps queries alive

Samu Kerevi's best position is still up in the air. Photo: WalmsleyThere has long been a school of thought that Samu Kerevi's best position is inside centre but the jury is still out.

While Kerevi was one of Queensland's best with 22 carries which produced seven tackle busts, two clean breaks and 61 metres, it wasn't the archetypal inside centre performance.

He still looked like a 13 playing in jersey 12 and while Chris Feauai-Sautia also played very well, whether this is the right combination moving forward remains to be seen.

5. Set piece dreams

The Reds lineout was as crisp as one could hope on Saturday but the scrum has become a bonafide weapon.

James Slipper, Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Taniela Tupou are doing a brilliant job up front and the finishers, in Sef Faagase, Alex Mafi and JP Smith, are also shredding opposition scrums.

It's a dual pronged attack which will serve the Reds very well as they set off for Argentina and South Africa.