Reds eye record home streak - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds eye record home streak

Jim Morton 25/03/2011 07:33:06 PM Comments (0)

Queensland winger Digby Ioane wants to end his try drought against the Cheetahs on Saturday for the Reds to notch a record-winning streak at Suncorp Stadium.

Leading the Australian conference, the Reds can cement their position at the top of the Super Rugby table with their seventh straight win in Brisbane dating back 12 months.

Twice before in the 16-season history of the tournament, Queensland have registered six consecutive home wins.

But both streaks (in 1996 and 2000-01) occurred when the former provincial powerhouse built Ballymore into a fortress.

Between 2003 and 2009 the Reds lost more than they won in Brisbane, but Ewen McKenzie's resurgent 2010 outfit turned Suncorp into the cauldron it already was for the Queensland State of Origin rugby league team.

After their first-round 30-28 loss to NSW, the Reds won five straight at the old Lang Park, including beating semi-finalists the Bulls, the Stormers and the Crusaders.

But they did slip up in round three in a less-than-successful 'Back to Ballymore' experiment.

Wins over the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels this season have stretched the streak to six in Brisbane, and seven at Suncorp.

Ioane said the Reds were hellbent on keeping the roll going on a warm Brisbane afternoon which should suit the home side.

"Playing rugby at Suncorp is something special, especially with the way the crowd has got behind us," he said.

Despite Queensland's rise, Wallabies flyer Ioane has not scored for the Reds this season.

But he relished opportunities to attack with the ball in hand in the record 53-3 win over the Rebels and expects more on Saturday with the Cheetahs to kick for territory.

"It was only a matter of time for Digby," McKenzie said. "He got a bit of ball, the Rebels kicked to us a bit and he got a bit to play with.

"Kicking is part of (the Cheetahs') game so you expect the back three will get the opportunity to touch the ball.

"We always planto counterattack. I don't expect we'll be catching and kicking it back."

Tackle-busting Ioane was hampered by poor handling at the start of his career, particularly under the high ball, but has managed to turn his bomb disposals into a strength.

"I'll be expecting a lot of high balls," he said. "The first three games this season were frustrating but last week was good for the back three and we played our best footy.

"I'd love to get that first try for the year."

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske felt the 23-3 upset over NSW, his team's first overseas victory in their six seasons, would help them play more expansively against the Reds.

"There's been this monkey on our backs that we can't win overseas and mentally it was very negative so it gives us a lot of confidence," he said.

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