Reds bank on defence in 2017

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:03

REACTION: The Reds will bank on defence as they head into Super Rugby 2017, after it stood them in good stead in their final pre-season outing.

The Reds scored a 32-13 (four tries to one) win over the Melbourne Rebels at Ballymore Stadium on Tuesday, 10 days out from their first Super Rugby match.  
 
The match also marked the first appearance of key players like Stephen Moore, Quade Cooper and Scott Higginbotham - before the Reds open the Super Rugby season against the Sharks in Brisbane next Friday, February 24.

And it was defence that was the key, according to coach Nick Stiles.

"I haven't seen a Reds side defend like that for years," Stiles said.

"I was really pleased with the repeat efforts and the fact we were imposing ourselves physically.

"That was the most pleasing thing for me.
 
"It was a trial, but we didn't treat it like it was a practice match. The guys have been training so hard and they had a genuine desire to come out here, play well and earn a win in front of our fans.
 
"It's a good start, but the real deal gets underway next week when we take on the Sharks at our home ground."
 
* Meanwhile Rebels coach Tony McGahan said they got value out of the match, despite the loss.

"It was a great last trial for both sides," McGahan said.

"I thought they were really hard at the ball for the first 50-60 minutes of the game,” he added.

"The Reds obviously dominated the set piece, in particular around the scrum, which made it really difficult for us to have any attacking weapons or momentum in the second half.

"I think both sides got a lot out of it, no injuries and we march on to Round One.

"Any time you lose and get dominated in any particular area is a concern, but we'll go back and get that fixed and come out ready to go.

"It was a positive to get some more combinations, we had a lot of young blokes there at the end who got some good lessons and Super Rugby experience."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 March 2017
Crusaders v Force 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Waratahs 08h45 Melbourne
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 17h15 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 19h05 Parc y Scarlets
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Ulster 19h35 Rodney Parade
Sat, 25 March 2017
Blues v Bulls 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Highlanders 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Stormers 10h55 Singapore
Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Sharks 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Bristol v Gloucester 15h00 Ashton Gate
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
NMMU-Madibaz v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Bloemfontein
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 10
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 3 1 0 2 5
Waratahs 4 1 0 3 4
Rebels 3 0 0 3 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Crusaders 4 4 0 0 16
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Highlanders 4 1 0 3 5
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 3 3 0 0 13
Cheetahs 4 2 0 2 9
Bulls 3 1 0 2 5
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Jaguares 4 3 0 1 14
Lions 4 3 0 1 14
Sharks 4 3 0 1 13
Kings 4 1 0 3 5