Scrum doctor driving Reds' latest weapon: Thorn

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Reds coach Brad Thorn has lauded the work of team physio and former Wallaby prop Cameron Lillicrap as the Queensland scrum powered its way to a win on Friday.

As the Queensland attack splutters outside individual moments of brilliance its their scrum which has been their most destructive weapon and it pulverised the Rebels into oblivion in the 37-23 win.

The platform for the well oiled machine the scrum has become was set by former coach Nick Stiles but Thorn pointed to Lillicrap as the man that turned a great scrum into a sledgehammer which is constantly causing enormous problems for opposition.

"He's special, he coaches the scrum," Thorn said post match.

"Sometimes you need to know when there is a better man in the room and when he's coaching the scrum I'm quiet, I'm like a little boy on the side watching the master do his work.

"He's got some raw material there - that you can see - but he's been working with them for six months and it's like a revolution of scrummaging, it's great to watch.

"It shows you the dark arts of the scrum and that it can still impact on games."


Free flowing rugby was the furthest thing from Scott Higginbotham's mind as he continued to motion for scrum after scrum as the Reds went for the kill on two occasions in the first term - earning a penalty try and a Filipo Daugunu five pointer off the back of Queensland's biggest weapon.

"If you have a weapon and you can use it, you use it," Higginbotham said.

"It's not always about the free flowing game if you can work your way downfield with those scrum penalties."

Outside of the scrum, which was once again driven by a terrific Taniela Tupou performance, the work of 18-year-old Jordan Petaia certainly caught the eye.

It was his first start of the season at outside centre and Thorn beamed with pride when asked about what the future may hold for the Reds rookie.

"He turned 18 in March," Thorn said.Jordan Petaia is proving his worth at Super Rugby level. Photo: Getty Images"He came down to training with the 20s or something like that last year and I remember saying then... sign him, now.

"I think he's played 10 games of Super Rugby now but he replaced Samu Kerevi tonight - a Wallaby - an 18-year-old replaced him.

"He's a special kid, he's a humble kid and a really lovely boy from a lovely family."

Thorn also had no qualms with the aerial contest between Higginbotham and Jack Maddocks which left the Reds skipper sore and sorry - a contest referee Paul Williams handled well in declaring both players had eyes for the ball.

"For the sake of rugby, get on with the play," he said.

"Two guys competed, it would have been a nice to get a penalty but just get on with it."