Discipline key for Reds against Waratahs: Kerevi

Super Rugby
by Emma Greenwood

Reds captain Samu Kerevi says maintaining their discipline will be Queensland's main focus on Saturday night as they attempt to break their Waratahs hoodoo.

The Reds have gone winless in the past 10 matches against their oldest rival and need to break that drought at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday if they are to have any chance of making a Super Rugby finals appearance this season.

Kerevi said discipline would be the key after two yellow cards and untimely penalties cost them a tight contest against the Rebels last week.

"We've just got to understand that discipline is important," Kerevi said.

"They've got 'Nard (Bernard Foley) there who can kick from anywhere, so making sure we don't give them those opportunities for driving mauls and scrums and penalties (is crucial).

"The key for us is getting that right energy level, getting that right detail in our game and just trusting in our game that we'll get the job done."

Over-excited heading into their clash against the then-Australian conference leaders, the Reds' energy levels were actually a hindrance against the Rebels as they made simple errors and gave away careless penalties.

Samu Kerevi was in the thick of everything again. Photo: AFP

Despite fighting their way back into the match, the Reds were unable to overcome their self-inflicted wounds and want to avoid making the same mistakes against the Waratahs.

"Last week was our discipline mostly," Kerevi said.

"I'm guilty of it with getting a yellow card and that's not good enough for our team, it really hurt our team, so I'm guilty of that."

Kerevi's card, for a dangerous challenge in the air on Will Genia as both men contested a high ball, was not malicious but the excitement that caused his mistimed jump is something the Reds are trying to banish ahead of their derby clash.

"We were really energetic, really wanted to get out there and do really well but we just forgot those simple jobs," he said.

Kerevi's outstanding season has made him a marked man and that will be no different on Saturday night, with former teammate Karmichael hunt admitting plenty of homework had been done on the captain.

The "stop Kerevi, stop the Reds" playbook is being widely used by opponents but it's something that the centre welcomes.

 

"I heard the Sunwolves coach speak about that as well," he said.

"For me, it's kind of humbling. It's awesome that I'm a targeted man but at the same time, I want to get my teammates involved in the game because I believe they're threats all over the ground as well.

"If they've got eyes on me, that means someone else is in space, so it's all right by me."

Kerevi's stock in as a player has only continued to rise since he was handed the Reds captaincy, with coach Brad Thorn often remarking how he has grown in the role.

"At times, I still feel not worthy of it, it's a really awesome honour," Kerevi said.

"Some awesome captains have come through this place and I hope I just leave a legacy that leaves the jumper better than when I came into it.

"I'm always wanting to add to the culture, always wanting to add to the rich history that Queensland has already.

The Reds hope they have learned from their loss to the Tahs in round four. Photo: Getty Images

"I think that's a main key for me this season.

"When I got the captaincy, I didn't want to look at it as pressure and weight on my shoulders, I just simplified it to playing really well for my team and helping contribute to the success that we want this year.

"If I get my own house in order, I believe that will help others as well."