McKenzie praises 'desperate' Force

Sat, 16 Mar 2013 12:53
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Reds boss Ewan McKenzie refused to make any excuses for his team's limp display against the Force, admitting that they were simply outplayed.
 

Reds boss Ewan McKenzie refused to make any excuses for his team's limp display against the Force, admitting that they were simply outplayed.

The Reds slumped to their first home defeat of the season against a determined Force side that prevented the Queensland outfit from crossing the tryline, and McKenzie was quick to praise the visitors for a gutsy performance.

"You have to give them credit. They were desperate and determined and we, through our own errors, didn't match them.

"It’s easy to look back and say you should have done something different, but you have to deal with it at the point in time.

"There are a bunch of things we could have done different or better. In a room full of mirrors we will do all of that, but in the end they played well," he said.

The Reds entered the match buoyed by the return of playmaker Will Genia although were not able to celebrate his comeback match with a win, coming away with a solitary bonus point in a rugged defensive affair.

Apart from being the Force's first victory at Suncorp Stadium, it was only the Reds' fourth loss in their past 27 games at the venue.

McKenzie said that his team was unable to build any meaningful momentum as when they did get hold of the ball they gave it up too easily against a hungry Force side.

"We didn’t have the ball in the first half and when we did we didn’t hold onto it for very long. You always feel in games you will get your time with the ball and that didn't really happen. When we had the ball we didn’t treasure it enough," he said.

The Reds mentor believes that his side have got a lot more to offer than what they showed against the Force, and is hopeful of captain James Horwill returning from injury soon to boost them.

"I'm still waiting for the whole team to fire. As I said last week, we've still got plenty in us and we certainly didn't put it out there today.  

"So, I guess it's next week we'll be looking for it. James Horwill is also looking pretty likely after getting through training this past week," he explained.

Genia also shared McKenzie's disappointment despite making an injury-free return in the opening 40 minutes.

"I was always confident in my ability to go out and do the things I normally do, and I felt like that was the case," Genia said.  

"But, the team comes first, and I'm really disappointed in the performance. We just feel like we're struggling to find a bit of rhythm in our game in attack. If you look specifically at this game, it was the breakdown. They were able to get in there and slow it down.  

"Anytime we tried to play in that first half they would give penalties away and we would take three points. We were just waiting, and waiting, for it to open up and it just didn't.  

"But, we have to take ownership as well. At times we aren't patient enough with the ball in hand and we look to push passes. That doesn't give us an opportunity to get into the game or build momentum. We have to be hard on ourselves and address it next week," he added.
 

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19