"We owe it to them": Reds want to pounce on rare opportunity

Super Rugby - AU
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Reds have a rare opportunity to snatch a big chunk of Queensland's sporting attention and repay the faith of many long-suffering fans this weekend, according to scrumhalf Tate McDermott.

Queensland return to Suncorp Stadium this week on top of the Super Rugby AU table after two rounds, albeit with the title favourite Brumbies holding a game in hand.

Normally winter in Brisbane is dominated by the NRL's Broncos but the rugby league powerhouse is in crisis this season.

AFL's Brisbane Lions have had a positive start to the season but they will be based in NSW for another week, leaving the Reds as the only Brisbane side playing at home.

Five years without playoffs and only glimpses of potential showing have left the Reds with a debt to repay, McDermott said.

"For far too long, we've let our fans down and we've still got a bit of redemption to go," he said.

"We're finally giving them something to cheer about I hope and I can't wait to see them out in force this Friday night.

"There are a few struggling codes at the moment in Queensland, if we can capitalise on that and really ride that tide of support it's going to be massive for our team, massive for our organisation and I think we owe it to them."

Coach Brad Thorn praised the team's fight in a round two draw against the Rebels, forcing a Super Time period after trailing by as many as 10 points in the final 15 minutes of regular time.

McDermott echoed that sentiment but admitted that his side still needed to find that killer instinct when the game was in the balance.

"I think the biggest thing for us is we've got to capitalise on those opportunities that we are making," he said.

"There's so many times we put ourselves in a winning position and we're unable to pull the trigger there.

"It also doesn't help when we don't turn up and play the first 40 minutes, I think that really hurt us.

"We were kind of chasing the eight ball there for a while there.

"So, early in the second half we clawed our way back, there was a position there where we were winning or tied at one stage and we need to be better as a team when we come up against those quality oppositions in the Brumbies and the Force this weekend."

The Reds will be up against some familiar faces when the WA's Force come to town with a squad stacked with former Queenslanders.

Captain Ian Prior played for the Reds in 2011, flyhalf Jono Lance has had two stints at Ballymore and long-time front rower Greg Holmes is set to return to Brisbane for the first time as a Queensland opponent.

McDermott said he expected that crew, and a number of others, to bring some extra sting on Friday night.

"Jono Lance spent a bit of time with us at the Reds here, so we know his game pretty well and they're a quality team.I think you saw a little bit of rust out of them, like most teams in this competition, but they're coached well and they'll come to play Friday night," he said.

"I think the Western Force, it's awesome to see them back in the competition.

"I'm a massive fan of them and it's really good that they're back and playing good footy a well."

The Reds take on the Force at Suncorp Stadium on Friday July 17, kicking off at 7:05pm AEST, LIVE on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports. Buy tickets here. Buy a Kayo subscription here.