Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Reds chief disappointed by defence

Queensland Reds coach Ewen McKenzie was disappointed with his side's "soft" defence, despite a 35-20 Super 15 win over Western Force.

Leading by 17 at half-time, the Reds were forced to overcome an early two-try second-half salvo from the visitors, before recomposing to close out on level pegging and take the result on the back of a nine-goal haul from Mike Harris at a rain-soaked Suncorp Stadium.

McKenzie revealed the short lapse in concentration after half-time was what he could be focusing on in the coming weeks. He said: "(It was) soft defence. We were disappointing. We talked about what we needed to do after half-time, taking the game out of their reach, but we let them straight back in."

He added: "We were really disappointed. That five-minute patch or 10-minute patch is probably where we'll focus our attention."

Reds were still able to win by more than two converted tries in conditions that should have played into their opponents' favour, but vice-captain Will Genia admitted they owed a debt of gratitude to Harris, who equalled the state record for successful kicks in a game previously held by John Eales.

"We have a lot of confidence in (Harris). You see him at training and he's a natural goal-kicker," said Genia.

"When he's lining them up, you pretty much stand on the 22, based on how he's been hitting them."

"It's very reassuring to have a kicker (like Harris) there, because you're almost guaranteed three points and you just keep building a lead and putting pressure on the scoreboard."


From Belfast Telegraph