Reds looking for payback against Tahs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds looking for payback against Tahs

Jim Morton 17/04/2011 03:48:02 PM Comments (0)

Queensland have six years of payback stored up for Saturday night's Super Rugby grudge match against NSW.

But the Reds readily concede they have their arch rivals to thank for sparking an attitude change that has them flying high this season.

The table-topping Reds will enter the interstate clash at Suncorp Stadium looking to seal their best winning streak in the professional era after having disposed of the defending champion Bulls 39-30, their sixth straight victory.

Queensland's dashing ball ball-in-hand style of play is a far cry from seven weeks ago when they were mercilessly thumped 30-6 by an on-fire Waratahs in round two.

But coach Ewen McKenzie defined that loss - they were outmuscled and outplayed in just about every phase - as crucial to the Reds' massive turnaround.

"It's been our lowest moment of the season," McKenzie said.

"Ironically, we got a lot out of that loss. We had a lot of soul-searching that week. It wasn't technical or tactical, it was more an attitude.

"It forced us to go back and have a good look at ourselves, a room full of mirrors as they say."

McKenzie would not go into specifics about the attitude problems but it's understood the Reds, who surged from the cellar to fifth in 2010, left behind some of the hunger and glossed over the hard work required to lay the platform for success.

"We made some assumptions - it's like your marriage, you've got to keep working on it," he said.

"We went back and had a pretty candid chat about a few things. There's a good honesty in the team and hands went up and people expressed some thoughts and opinions.

"It's been brilliant ever since."

While the Reds have now racked up six straight, and nine in a row at their Suncorp fortress, their last win over NSW was way back in 2004 and the Waratahs have won the past seven battles, a run that started under McKenzie.

While the injury-hit Waratahs were blown away 31-17 by the Blues in Auckland, master tactician McKenzie rates his old side one of the hardest teams to plan against due to their experience, defensive system and speed out wide.

"It's not an easy day at the office at either attack or defence," he said.

Quade Cooper - who relishes playing against the bigger, less mobile South African sides - was once again at his scheming best against the Bulls, having a major hand in the first four tries as the Reds grabbed a 27-16 lead after an hour.

Digby Ioane virtually sealed the match with a pivotal 90m counter-attacking try which the Bulls saw as a 14-point turnaround after Adam Wallace-Harrison intercepted near the line and kicked ahead for the winger to toe ahead and score.

Ioane's in-goal breakdancing celebrations resembled the 1980s Scorpion but he dubbed it something else. The punch-line still had a sting in the tail.

"That move was called the Turtle. It reminds me of Will Genia he looks like a turtle," the Wallabies flyer laughed.

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