'Physical' Reds fall short

Sun, 13 Jul 2014 14:51
Large ben daley injured

It was with mixed emotions that Reds coach Richard Graham reflected on his team's final run-out of the season.

It was with mixed emotions that Reds coach Richard Graham reflected on his team's final run-out of the season.

An injury-ravaged Reds went down 3-34 to the high-flying Waratahs in a highly physical Super Rugby clash in Brisbane at the weekend.

The lopsided score line did not reflect the hard fought intensity of the match as the Reds were severely disadvantaged by injuries to key players during the match to the three Bens – flyhalf Ben Lucas (knee), prop Ben Daley (shoulder) and centre Ben Tapuai (concussion).

The Reds put in a whole-hearted performance against the table-toppers with NSW's four tries coming chiefly from long-range breakaways after the Reds had been deep in attack.

Graham said he was disappointed with the final result of the season.

"I have some mixed emotions," he said.

"I'm proud of the physical effort and intensity, yet disappointed we weren't able to apply more pressure through our set piece advantage and general phase attack.

"It was always going to be tough losing the No.10 and No.12 inside No.15 minutes, but we still had enough opportunities we should have capitalised on.

"We probably needed to go back to a more direct approach and build some continuity.

"The game never gained momentum. Injuries and constant referrals to the TMO meant the contest never got going.

"I thought Scotty [Gale] was impressive. He'll learn an awful amount from that experience and will be better for it.

"Sammy [Johnson] also demonstrated some composure under difficult circumstances and will return better for being exposed to a Test standard backline."

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