Queensland captain Samu Kerevi would love to wipe the slate clean after one of the Reds’ uglier wins.
But he says they must take lessons from the scrappy 32-26 defeat of the Sunwolves that at one stage saw 14 playing 12.
Four yellows and two red cards were handed out by referee Angus Gardner at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, with the Reds copping the sole straight red when Harry Hockings’ boot caught an opponent late in the clash.
All but one of the remaining cards came when the Sunwolves illegally slowed the Reds’ progress or were caught offside – the other was for a marginal high tackle – with Brad Thorn clearly annoyed by the tactics.
The victory puts Queensland just two points behind Australian conference leaders Melbourne into second and ahead of the Waratahs on the live standings.
Kerevi is buoyed to be in the finals conversation but frustrated they have made things so hard for themselves.
“I feel like a broken record, but the leaders need to put our foot down because the little things are killing us,” he said.
“We’ll take that win, but we’ve got to really learn because it’s starting to get to that point in the season where we’re either there or we’re not.”
Thorn was sympathetic of the officials but critical of his side’s game management as the Sunwolves gave away a mammoth 18 penalties.
Rather than throw the ball wide to exploit their numerical advantage, the Reds opted for their much-vaunted scrum and rolling mauls only to lose possession.
“It’s silly just to keep things battling away; I’d like to think we’ve got other weaponry,” he said of their lack of creativity.
“It’s an interesting one, it ended up 12 v 14, how often do you see that?
“It must be hard, he’s a really good man (Gardner) and had an awkward responsibility to send a message (to play by the rules).
“If it keeps happening where does it get to?”
Opposing coach Tony Brown didn’t see it that way though.
“There’s World Cup spots coming up; they’re all wanting to do well,” he said of the pressure on officials.
“It was one of the first times I’ve seen Angus Gardner under pressure in a game of rugby and he didn’t handle it well.
“I think he’ll look back at that game and hopefully learn from it and be better, no different from any rugby player.”
Reds and Sunwolves media briefings after Brisbane showdown:
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