Blues vs Reds: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Reds were well beaten by the Blues in Jerome Kaino's farewell.

What did we learn from the 39-16 result?

1. Terrific Tupou on the up

Taniela Tupou forced three scrum penalties in his 45 minute stint, completely dominating Blues loosehead Alex Hodgman. His scrummaging seemingly improves every week and the longer he performs like this, the more Wallabies coach Michael Cheika must be considering his prospects as a starting tighthead at the next level.

2. Tui in thumping form

Lukhan Tui was a shining light in an otherwise dark night for the Reds. He was the first player whacking the opposition in the opening exchanges and his carries were the only ones making an indent in the Blues defensive line. Looks to have taken plenty of confidence from a brilliant performance in the third and final June Test.

3. Only officiating consistency is inconsistency

Jerome Kaino received some favourable treatment in his Eden Park farewell. Photo: Getty ImagesJerome Kaino escaped punishment for two dubious tackles in the first half and Caleb Timu was also lucky to avoid time in the sin bin for a high shot in the second term. Throw these misses in with four yellow cards handed out by referee Egon Seconds and TMO Ben Skeen and you have incompetence turning plenty of fans away 

4. Sorovi, Stewart on the nose

Moses Sorovi and Hamish Stewart looked to be the Reds' next halves but they were hooked after 45 minutes of ordinary football on Friday. Sorovi made some uncharacteristic mistakes through the first term and Stewart didn't really have an impression with the limited ball Queensland had in the first term. It's very rare to see halves pulled that early.

5. Reds failing to move forward

It's been another low year for Reds fans. Photo: Getty ImagesAt this point last year (round 17), the Reds had won four games. They have won the same amount 12 months on. They have blooded some new talent but only three of their starting XV tonight - Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Harry Hockings and Jordan Petaia - earned their first cap this year. The majority of their young stars - Taniela Tupou, Izack Rodda, Hamish Stewart, Lukhan Tui and Izaia Perese - have been blooded in years prior. The loss to the Blues will have many asking whether they have made any strides at all and looking at results alone, the answer to that question won't please many Reds fans.