Consistency the next step for rising Reds: Thorn

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Reds coach Brad Thorn is the first to admit his side are far from the finished package over 80 minutes but an "outstanding" first half has the rookie coach excited about what the future may hold.

The Reds shocked the Super Rugby world in claiming a brilliant 27-22 win over the Lions and having cut a disappointed figure against the Chiefs a week ago, Thorn couldn't have been in a better mood post match.

"(The Lions) were always going to be a challenge, they were always going to work hard to come back but we're not an 80 minute team, yet," Thorn said.

"But it's a win and it was outstanding - the first half - and there was a lot of stuff in the second half that was really good, as well.

"We continue to be a work in progress - every game is an experience for us

"I'm not much of a participator - I like to win - so it's good to get that result."

From the opening whistle, Thorn sensed his side was ready to return to the form which saw them start the season 3-1.

"Just how they engaged, straight away, I sensed (it)," Thorn said.

"A wise old coach once said you have to turn up ready to play - it's not just the preparation.

"You have to come ready to play and last week we weren't there.

"This week we were there."

One of the young guns Thorn spoke so highly of is Hamish Stewart, who starred in his first Super Rugby start.

While he added some fresh wrinkles to the Reds attack, Thorn said he would lean towards bringing Jono Lance back into the starting XV once he recovers from a concussion suffered against the Chiefs.

"You saw some really good stuff but you also saw some stuff where it was a young five-eighth learning his trade," Thorn said.

"He's pretty ambitious and isn't that what it's about?

"He's just paying his dues at the moment and Jono has been doing a good job there.

"If Jono is fit he will still be my first choice but in saying that, you want Hamish to keep pushing.

"He got that opportunity today and a lot of positives came out of it."

The Reds will now enjoy the bye before flying to Tokyo to tackle the Sunwolves, a match which will present a fresh challenge for Thorn's side.

"The hardest thing for the guys is consistency," he said.

"I know for myself, when I was young, consistency is a challenge.

"As you get more experienced you tend to improve your consistency so it's a really good result to get the win over those guys."