Reds face tough tackling test

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:02

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Reds have had some serious introspection in the hope of ending their four-match losing streak.

Top of their list of things to fix - ahead of a Super Rugby Round Six encounter with the defending champion Hurricanes - is their leaky defence.

Reds centre Samu Kerevi, speaking after the team returned home from a two-match tour that saw them suffer heavy defeats to the Lions and Jaguares, said they have had a "look in the mirror" and will be hard on themselves ahead of the big game against the Hurricanes Brisbane on Saturday.

The Reds, 13th on the standings after securing just one win in five starts, have scored 12 tries and conceded 18.

The Reds were woeful defensively in the first 40 minutes of their 8-22 loss to the Jaguares last week, falling off 14 tackles.

"We looked at it defensively and for us it's getting those one-on-one tackles right, getting in a good position to make those one-on-one tackles," Kerevi said.

"That [defence] is what let us down in the Jaguares game," he added.

"It's something we want to work on this week, especially against a team like the Hurricanes. We want to be on point with that."

Kerevi feels they can bounce back after four straight defeats.

"There's plenty of room for improvement, but if we stick to our game plan and the structures that we have been sticking to all throughout the pre-season and throughout the week, I think we will put ourselves in a better position than we have in the past couple of weeks.

"We need to stick to what we are practicing all week and under pressure we are going away from that.

"It's the discipline, we've got to be disciplined enough to our structures."

Reds coach Nick Stiles was equally brutal in his assessment of the team's failures.

"The game against Crusaders [a last-minute 20-22 defeat in Week Three] we should have won," Stiles said.

"We were close to winning some of those games, but in Super Rugby close just isn't good enough.

"There are aspects of our game around individual knowledge and skill execution that we have to fix up, otherwise we will be talking about the same things in a few weeks' time."

@rugby365com

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