Record-breaking Reds just warming up - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Record-breaking Reds just warming up

By Darren Walton 20/03/2011 06:51:57 PM Comments (0)

Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie warned his Super Rugby rivals that the Reds were only just warming up after powering to the top of the Australian conference.

Queensland's record-setting 53-3 rout of the Melbourne Rebels propelled the Reds (17 points) above faltering NSW (14) and into equal-third spot on the ladder behind the front-running Stormers (20) and second-placed Sharks (19) after round five.

But despite watching his team rack up their highest-ever score in Super Rugby, McKenzie said the Reds were far from the finished article.

And nor does he want them to be less than a third of the way into the 18-round competition.

"We did better on the weekend but, going through the video, there's still plenty of scope for further improvement so we'll just keep at it," McKenzie told AAP on Sunday.

"You don't play brilliantly every week and I don't want to be playing our best football just yet."

In a scintillating attacking display, Queensland piled on seven tries, including a Michael Harris double, but the perfectionist in McKenzie is seeking more.

"Just with standard decision-making and little bits of execution," he said.

"We missed maybe two or three lineouts where we over-threw. That's just an example. There's a bunch of things like that that we've got to tidy up."

Queensland's back-to-back wins - after a heavy second-round loss to NSW - lifted the Reds above the Waratahs (14), who slipped to sixth after their shock 23-3 loss to the previously winless Cheetahs (7).

McKenzie, though, was refusing to get carried away ahead of a four-game block of fixtures against rugged South African opposition.

"Not at all. We're above the Waratahs by default, I suppose," he said.

"No-one would have thought the Cheetahs were going to win last night.

"But that's what makes the competition so good - that they did. It makes it unpredictable.

"It's been unpredictable all year and we're going to have to do better for us to do well again next week."

Superboot Peter Grant vaulted the Stormers to the top amid a weekend of upsets that transformed the competition landscape.

In a rematch of last year's final, Grant kicked the Stormers to a 23-13 victory over the defending champion Bulls, chalking up their first win at Loftus Versfeld since 2003 in the process.

The Bulls (13) remain mid-table with a two-from-four record in 2011, while the Sharks (19) dropped to second after suffering a 15-9 loss to the Chiefs (10) in Hamilton.

The Crusaders (18) thrashed the Highlanders (13) 44-13 in Dunedin to climb to third, the Blues (16) are fifth after a 41-17 bonus-point triumph over the Hurricanes in Auckland, with the Waratahs rounding out the top six despite their slip-up.

After a narrow loss to Queensland and a deflating draw with the Blues, the Western Force (11) trumped the Lions (7) 27-15 in Johannesburg for their first win of the season to stay in touch with the leaders.

The Cheetahs' victory was also a major breakthrough, leaving captain Wilhelm Steenkamp ecstatic.

"What a win," he said. "It is our first win overseas, the guys stuck to their guns and there were no tries against us."

The Rebels (6) are now dead last in their debut season in Super Rugby.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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