I reckon the Queensland Reds will produce a much-improved performance against the Melbourne Rebels at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
They’ll have to. There is no way they can play as badly as they did in the 45-12 loss to the Waratahs last week. Actually, that is unfair. It wasn’t so much that the Reds were terrible as that the Waratahs were spectacular.
In the most horrible conditions imaginable on a rainswept night at the SCG they played as if it was a perfect afternoon at the local park. Everything they tried came off and the Reds could do little more than stand and watch. At times they must have felt like applauding. I know I did, and I’m a Reds supporter.
So how do they come back from that? Well, as their captain Liam Wright put it during the week, by forgetting all about it and moving forward. If there was one positive to come out of the shellacking they received at the hands of the old enemy it was to highlight how quickly things can change in this intriguing Australian-only Super Rugby competition.
Three weeks ago, after wins over the Waratahs and Western Force and a draw with the Rebels, the Reds were flying along nicely in top spot. An after-the-bell two-point loss to the Brumbies and last week’s thrashing by the Tahs sees them sitting fourth out of the five teams. A win on Saturday will put them right back in contention.
With debate continuing on whether Australian Rugby should continue to go it alone next season or link up with the Kiwis, I reckon games like Saturday night’s showdown and the tightness of the local competition are proof positive that we are on the right track.
What do YOU reckon?