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'I let a lot of people down': Reds captain hoping for finals 'springboard' after breaking hoodoo

By AAP
Reds will have to do without Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight for their next games after their red cards last Friday (Photo Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Queensland are hoping to use their hoodoo-busting victory in Christchurch as a springboard into the Super Rugby Pacific finals, says returning co-captain Tate McDermott.

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Sitting out the last three rounds through suspension, the Wallabies halfback was in the stands, celebrating among a contingent of travelling Queensland fans who watch the Reds beat the Crusaders at home for the first time in 25 years.

It’s also the first time since 2013 that the Reds have won three matches in a season against New Zealand outfits.

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“It was massive, a huge result from the fellas,” McDermott said on Tuesday, ahead of Friday night’s challenge against the Melbourne Rebels at Suncorp Stadium.

“I was actually there with 90 other travelling Queenslanders as part of a tour group and to be on the other side of the fence and experience from a supporters’ point of view was fantastic.

“There’s a huge buzz here in the playing group but hopefully there’s a buzz in Queensland rugby as well.”

While McDermott enjoyed the intimate fan experience he’s eager to get back into the thick of the action.

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“As a captain of this side, I let a lot of people down and I’ve got to be, and I will be better,” the 25-year-old, who wasn’t proud of his ban for a high tackle, said.

“Now it’s up to me to earn my way back on the side because the boys have been playing so well.

“We probably should have been sitting with three wins … hopefully I can help them get where we want to head pre-finals and then into that, so four huge games coming up.”

Queensland are fifth on the ladder, one spot ahead of Melbourne, who are coming off two losses against Kiwi opposition while the debt-ridden club is also teetering on extinction.

There’s a distinct Queensland flavour in the Rebels, with Taniela Tupou, Filipo Daugunu, Sam Talakai and injured lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto all former Reds while star five-eighth Carter Gordon also comes out of the sunshine state.

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“I think the Rebels have been a surprise packet this year, haven’t they?,” McDermott said.

“They’ve got so much adversity going against them and I know a lot of the players there really well.

“They’re capable of anything and we’re really wary of that and we respect the Rebels as a team.

“There’s quite a few old Reds boys playing for them, they’ve bolstered their tight five and got some exciting backs as well.

“They’re a difficult team to preview actually because they’ve got so many strings to their bow so we’ve got to respect them across the park.”

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