I reckon the Queensland Reds are on the cusp of something big...
I know it’s easy to say that after their cracking start to the Super Rugby AU season, but it’s not just the fact that they have beaten traditional rivals the Waratahs and Brumbies that is so exciting. It is the way they have beaten them.
This side is starting to show signs of emulating some of the great Queensland teams of the past. It may not have players who have reached the status of the likes of Mark Loane, Tony Shaw, Paul McLean, John Eales, Michael Lynagh or Tim Horan yet, but they do share a common trait: team unity.
Former Wallaby front rower Chris ‘Buddha’ Handy once told me, ‘The first time I went to Queensland training, I felt like had 20 new brothers.’ The current team looks to have built that same bond and it was never more evident than in the way they came from 17 points down to snatch victory from the supposedly unbeatable Brumbies 40-36 in Canberra last weekend.
Coach Brad Thorn knows a thing or two about team spirit. The most successful player in terms of trophies won in rugby history, he has been part of winning campaigns with the Brisbane Broncos, Maroons, Crusaders, All Blacks and Leinster. Better than anyone, he knows that it takes a brotherhood to win a title, and he has been working on bringing this Reds side together on and off the field since he was hired as Queensland Under 20s coach in 2015.
On Saturday they take on the Western Force at Suncorp Stadium in a bid to remain undefeated and hopefully set up a replay of last year’s grand final against the Brumbies. Given last week’s performance it is a game not to be missed.
This is a team that personifies all the qualities that have made Queensland rugby great in the past. I reckon it is a team that is making Queensland rugby great again.
What do YOU reckon?