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McKenzie staying positive after knockout blow

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie says Reds will dust themselves off and carry on

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Article Published: Saturday 21 July 2012|

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Reds coach Ewen McKenzie says they are "obviously disappointed" that their reign as Super Rugby champions has come to an end but the coach has focused on the positives.

The Reds six-match winning streak came to an end on Saturday when the defending champions went down to the Sharks 30-17 in their Super Rugby Qualifying Final at Suncorp Stadium, ending their bid for back-to-back Super Rugby titles.

The Reds had been in finals mode since round 12 where they were forced to go six games without defeat to win the Australian Conference, a performance which was highlighted by their must-win bonus-point victory against the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium in the final regular season match of 2012.

The Reds entered Saturday's match having won 21 of their past 23 matches at their fortress however were unable to continue writing their fairytale script with the in form Sharks victorious three-tries-to-two in front of 36,571 fans.

It wasn't the ending coach Ewen McKenzie or the team were expecting however it has been a remarkable season both on and off the field for the Reds in 2012 where the Reds regular season average crowd attendances were up a healthy 16 per cent to a record 34,218 while membership increased by more than 100 per cent.

For the second consecutive year the Reds also maintained their dominance over their Australian rivals, topping the Australian Conference with 11 regular season wins, which included a collective seven victories from eight matches against the Brumbies, Waratahs, Rebels and Force.

"We're obviously disappointed but there are things to be positive about and this group has a lot of football ahead of them," coach Ewen McKenzie said.

"We have a lot of good guys and I'm pretty proud of them. It has been a really good effort from where we were in round 4 to get to where we are now."

"It's just disappointing because we know we are better than what we were tonight. "

"But we'll just keep pushing forward. I've been involved for three years and a lot of the guys have come into the program and they've developed as players into Wallabies.

"We've won a lot of football games and they've all put their hands up and are staying.

"We also have a fantastic record here in recent times at Suncorp," added McKenzie.

"It wasn't a great one tonight but we will dust ourselves off and keep going from a program point of view."

The Reds were outscored by two tries to three in the match after Will Genia scored just before half time and Reds replacement Radike Samo finally broke through and found the chalk just before the siren, after an earlier appeal for a try by Liam Gill was denied by NZ TMO Matt Goddard in the 56th minute.

Reds flyer Dom Shipperley ends the 2012 season as the Reds highest try scorer with eight tries.

 
 
 
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