The Reds were flogged by the Sunwolves in Tokyo.
Here’s what we learned from the stunning 63-28 result.
1. Reds reading their own press
The Reds were lauded for their win over the Lions a fortnight ago – rightfully so. They kept the South African Conference leaders scoreless through the first half and held on long enough to secure the win. That team was no where to be seen in Tokyo – replaced with a team that leaked 63 points. One would think there will be several changes before the team boards a flight to Wellington next week, where they’ll face the Hurricanes.
2. Sorovi’s time so start
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Ben Lucas was pulled by coach Brad Thorn at half time after a disastrous first term. He had three box kicks charged down and threw a cutout pass which was picked off by a Sunwolves player when simply going through the hands would have produced points. Thorn has opted for experience in the halves but Lucas’ service is too slow and when Sorovi entered the fray, the Reds attack looked ten times as dangerous.
3. Stewart best suited at flyhalf
Young gun Hamish Stewart has starred at both flyhalf and inside centre through his young career but fullback is not his go. He was out of position too often this afternoon and one would think Jono Lance would be better suited behind the line, given he has played there plenty.
4. Kerevi’s cards marked
Samu Kerevi is a breathtaking attacking player but he still has serious question marks over his defence. It’s the reads that are the issue, as his contact is always meaningful. It remains the one part of his game which stops him from being a regular starter for the Wallabies.
5. Acid test awaits
The Reds had all but ticked off a win in Tokyo and things are going to get far tougher form here. A Friday night showdown with the Hurricanes awaits and if Queensland put in a similar performance it will be a bloodbath.