Kerevi hopes Reds' confidence boost leads to consistency

Super Rugby
by Emma Greenwood

Samu Kerevi says the Reds' breakthrough win in South Africa has instilled enough belief they can turn around their inconsistent season and push to their first finals showing since 2013.

The Reds' win over the Sharks a fortnight ago was their first in Durban for 15 years and Kerevi said many had not grasped  the enormity of the achievement to a young Queensland squad.

"It was a 15-year drought and I don't think that people understood how much it meant for this organisation and for us as a playing group to win that because there's been great teams before us and they've just fallen short," he said.

"For us to be able to come together and do that, it was something really special.

"It really instilled a lot of belief again.

"We've been inconsistent with the way we've been playing - not playing too bad but just win one, lose one - and we haven't strung a couple of games together apart from the Sunwolves and Brumbies week.

"This week's going to be an important game for us. The Sunwolves have been playing really well and we can't come with a mindset of this game will be easy, because it won't."

Taniela Tupou was among a Reds pack that performed exceptionally well against the Sharks. Photo: Getty Images

The Reds' comeback win against the Sunwolves in Tokyo threw a lifeline to a season that was quickly slipping into crisis mode after three consecutive losses.

And while defence coach Peter Ryan earlier this week rightly labelled the first half of that match as "despicable", the Reds' gritty fightback laid a foundation of belief that led to the Sharks win and the potential for a breakthrough finals showing.

Keveri said his players had learnt plenty from that clash in March.

"Mentally we have to come switched on throughout the whole week and bringing that energy and detail into our game so that when it comes to game time it's just a flow," he said.

"I feel like a broken record talking about starting well for us but it's something that we need to be more consistent about.

"I think the guys understand. They know how it feels to play well from the start and how it doesn't feel.

"I think it comes back to the individual on the day and throughout the week to be mentally switched on."

Ben Gunter is wrapped up by the Reds' Lukhan Salakaia-Loto in their clash against the Sunwolves in Tokyo. Photo: Getty Images

And it's particularly important on the back of a win.

"I feel like we just do have lapses when we win the week before."

Sunwolves forward Ben Gunter said his side would be ready to pounce, believing they let themselves down in the second half in Tokyo.

“We showed that when we’re on fire, when we’re on football and playing our type of game we’re very dangerous, we can beat anyone in the comp," the former Brisbane Boys College player said.

“When we played the Reds, our first half was really good, our second half wasn’t as good at all.

“I think we had a couple of sub changes at the wrong time and lost a lot of our momentum. And one the Reds get the momentum you can’t stop them.

 

“(Tonight), as long as we play our style of game, don’t worry about them too much, just do what we do best and play our style for a full 80 minutes, don’t let them in after halftime, I think we’ll be walking home with the belt."

The Reds take on the Sunwolves at Suncorp Stadium on Friday, March 3, kicking off at 7:45pm, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.