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Why ex-Wallaby believes Reds’ painful loss to Blues can be a ‘good’ thing

By Finn Morton
Tim Ryan of the Reds celebrates with Suliasi Vunivalu after scoring a try during the round 10 Super Rugby Pacific match between Queensland Reds and Blues at Suncorp Stadium, on April 27, 2024, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The Reds may have been beaten by the Blues 41-34 in a Trans-Tasman thriller on Saturday evening but that defeat could be the catalyst for future success according to former Wallaby Stephen Hoiles.

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Queensland had snapped a disappointing three-match losing streak just eight days earlier by thrashing the Highlanders 31-nil in Brisbane. In round 10, they looked to do the same against the Blues at the very same venue.

Playing against the Aucklanders at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on the ANZAC Day Weekend, the Reds showed plenty of fight and probably should’ve won the match but it wasn’t to be in the end.

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The Reds were leading by 11 points with 15 minutes to play, but two late tries saw the Blues snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with Sam Nock crossing for a runaway match-winner in the 82nd minute.

Match Summary

1
Penalty Goals
1
5
Tries
6
3
Conversions
4
0
Drop Goals
0
120
Carries
141
7
Line Breaks
6
9
Turnovers Lost
17
9
Turnovers Won
4

While the Blues are riding high in second with an 8-1 record, Queensland occupy sixth place and still appear to be well on track for a spot in the Super Rugby Pacific playoffs in about six weeks.

“I reckon it’s going to be good for the Reds, to be honest,” Stephen Hoiles said on Stan Sports’ Between Two Posts.

“I think no matter where they play, if they get a home final or don’t, a game like this will be able to give them confidence that they can go anywhere and play good style footy and scare some teams and get a win.

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“I’m jumping ahead but sometimes you lose a game like that… I think what Les Kiss can be like, you can take a hep of positives out of that game.

“There’s no point sitting there going, ‘you didn’t do this, you didn’t do that.’ They did a lot of good stuff and I think that’ll help them in four to six weeks.”

Former Junior Wallabies winger Tim Ryan stole the show with a blistering hat-trick within a 15 minute span. If you’re a rugby fan, chances are you’ve seen Ryan’s third try replayed over and over.

Ryan, just 20 years of age, leapt about two metres to his right before stepping inside two Blues defenders, including All Black Mark Tele’a, on a sensational break up the field.

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Once the rising star dove for the in goal and completed the score, the Brisbane venue went berserk. Queensland were on the cusp of an incredible upset and an unlikely home-grown hero led the way.

But the Reds have failed to close out fight games before this season, and this was another case. Coach Les Kiss was understandably “filthy” at full-time after his team conceded 14 points in eight minutes.

“I had a quick chat to him after the game and he was just filthy they couldn’t close it out,” former Wallaby and Stan Sport commentator Morgan Turinui added.

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“Obviously lost in golden point to the Hurricanes already once this year, he feels like they’ve left a few out there.

“But I said to him, ‘surely you now know you can beat anyone in the competition?’ Like there’s that level to it.

“Especially if they get one at home. If they can sneak into the top four that sets them up but they beat the Chiefs in Hamilton last year… they know they can go away (and win).”

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Tim 5 hours ago
'It’s a mental thing': Joe Schmidt on the Wallabies' flyhalf issues

Ben Donaldson had not played Super Rugby for the past eight weeks. Surely, he was playing Shute Shield for Randwick in that time to keep up the fitness…?? Eight weeks is a long break to be thrust in against a hungry skillful side like Georgia who deserve to be in the “7 Nations”. (Italy, Wales & Scotland v Georgia, can’t wait to see those ones). In the second test against Wales, Donaldson was put on for nine minutes. That was a mistake from the coaching team, who already knew he was starting the following week against Georgia. They should have put him on for 20-25 minutes, with Nick Whyte at halfback, and their combination from the Force would have flowed. Donaldsons first 20 minutes against Georgia was a shocker. However, well done to Joe Schmidt for keeping him out there because Donaldsons game improved as the rust came off, he was hammered a few times and handled it and he came into his groove. He made mistakes which they will all learn from. Ben Donaldson is a naturally talented rugby player who the Wallabies have to stick with at no.10. “Over the black Dot-aldson” is a good nick name for him with his awesome goal kicking style. It looks as though, off the boot, it’s going to hit the post. Then it just curves in beautifully every time, once he is in the groove. Donaldsons play this season for the Force, with Kurtley and co., was amazing to watch. Kurtley making one of the best comebacks in history. Donaldson has to be played consistently with Flash Gordon, Big LEN, McReight, Tupou, Kellaway. Oh, that’s right, there is Bell, Kerevi, Petaia (This list does go on a bit). Donaldson will be slotting these weapons into gaps, and into the clear, before we know it… One more thing which I will just assume is happening, just include JOC in the Wallabies squad. He is a rugby genius. His skills, wisdom and experience would be infectious around the Wallabies relatively inexperienced backline. JOC has mastered the art of all the positions long ago. JOC is so skilled and match fit atm taking THE REDS, at no.10, within a point of beating Wales. He can come off the bench and slot into the backline for the Wallabies at 10, 12, 13 or 15 at any stage of a test match. Ummm yeah, not bad… I am assuming that BIG JOE, Laurie “Gandalf” Fischer, Mike “The scrum Doctor” Cron and the team obviously already know all this. I am just a passionate rugby union supporter, and I am very happy that these guys are in charge of the coaching duties, what a coaching team the Wallabies have been blessed with. (Good luck with selecting the match day 23 when Will Skelton, who was playing amazing rugby for La Rochelle, and the boys return from Europe/Japan, Samu Kerevi…???) Now just imagine having Bernie Larkham, Toutai Kefu, Nathan Grey and John “Nobody” Eales as your coaching apprentices… GO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY… Doing a great job Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, Dan Herbert and the team. An amazing three years ahead. GO THE WALLABIES… GO THE WALLAROOS… GO THE 7’s in Paris…

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