A young Reds side endured a tough and physical midseason hit-out against New Zealand's Hurricanes on Friday, going down 36-7 to the Wellington side.
The Queenslanders went down 36-7 to a rampant Hurricanes side although they will gain a lot from the experience with the Reds blooding a host of National Academy and Queensland Premier Rugby talents to fill the void left by absent Wallabies, Australian Under-20 representatives and injured players.
The match is the only encounter the Reds will play during their month-long break to the Super Rugby season and the team will now turn their attention to their remaining three regular season matches against the Rebels, Highlanders and Waratahs.
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said he was pleased with the fighting spirit shown by the squad despite only having a few days on the training field to prepare.
"In the second half they found a bit of rhythm and we had a few opportunities, but we just weren't clinical enough to finish off the pressure we did apply," McKenzie said.
"The scoreboard wasn't kind but we battled away and we will get some value out of that. There were a couple of players I wanted to take a look at and they did some good things. It gives us a pointer to where we can go in the future.
"We also used a full bench and a couple of guys played out of position in the end, so it would have been a good learning curve for some of them.
"In the end you, need to keep your match fitness going. We can't go five weeks without a game, you need to go out there and experience match conditions and play at a high match intensity.
"The Hurricanes played with great intensity and great pace. They've been doing that all year and are leading the competition in tries."
Despite the result, there were a number of positives to take from the match with Radike Samo proving destructive with each carry of the ball while fullback Luke Morahan, who became Queensland's newest Wallaby when he debuted against Scotland last week, was cool under pressure in defusing a number of Hurricanes' attacking raids.
Scrumhalf and captain Ben Lucas was also impressive in a busy display before coming from the field with a mild shoulder complaint in the second half while vice-captain Jake Schatz worked hard at the breakdown to lay a foundation which would allow prop Guy Shepherdson to crash over next to the posts for the Reds only try.
Captain Ben Lucas said the match would be important in preparing his side for the remainder of their Super Rugby games.
"We gave a few new guys an opportunity tonight and I think they will learn a lot from the experience. But a lack of combinations and cohesion probably hurt us in the end," Lucas said.
"I would have liked my first time as captain to be a winning one but it doesn't always going to plan. However, I was honoured the get the captaincy and I enjoyed doing it."
Tries: C.Eaton, Naholo, A.Savea, Leiua, Levave, Perenara
Cons: Pisi, Kirkpatrick 2
Reds: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Damon Murphy, 13 Rex Tapuai, 12 Nathaniel Gendle, 11 Lachlan Creighton, 10 Dallan Murphy, 9 Ben Lucas (captain), 8 Radike Samo, 7 Eddie Quirk, 6 Jake Schatz, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 3 Guy Shepherdson, 2 James Hanson, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Mitchell Wade, 17 Kevin Davis, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Nigel Ah Wong, 20 Matthew Blain, 21 Scott Malolua, 22 Joel Rapana, 23 Dom Shipperley.
Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 Andre Taylor, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Chris Eaton, 8 Mike Coman (captain), 7 Jack Lam, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Mark Reddish, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Reg Goodes.
Replacements: 16 David Hall, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 Faifili Levave, 19 Ardie Savea, 20 Frae Wilson, 21 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22 TJ Perenara.