Coach Graham: Slow start cost Reds the match


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Queensland Reds head coach Richard Graham says that their poor start in Perth had cost them the match in their 30-20 loss to the Western Force.

The Reds were outscored by three tries to two in the contest and had to fight their way back into the match having let the Force get 17-3 ahead.

“The first 15 minutes we weren’t in the contest at all. They started at a different level of intensity whilst we stood and watched. Defensively we were passive,” Graham said.

“Added to our poor start was our lack of ball control and composure when we had created good attacking opportunities. It is extremely disappointing because we should never have put ourselves in that situation.

“We worked ourselves back into the game nicely and at 20-all we had an opportunity to kick on, however we continued to make the same mistakes. They deserved the win.

“The physical preparation and the mental preparation go hand in hand. Tonight showed if you take short cuts in either you leave yourself exposed.

“We need to regroup quickly. There’s one week left in our season and we want to finish strongly. We have everything to play for. We play our most traditional and fiercest rival in the Waratahs, we play our last game of 2014 at Suncorp Stadium and we owe it to our loyal support base. We need to demonstrate to ourselves what we are capable of and we have a number of departing players who’ll play their last game in a Reds jersey.”

Reds captain James Horwill agreed with his coach and said that “missed opportunites and silly errors” hurt them in the contest.

“We probably hurt ourselves a lot by missed opportunites and silly errors,” captain James Horwill said.

“We couldn’t get the flow of our game going and also they pressured us at the breakdown and we probably weren’t efficient enough there.”

Although disappointed with the outcome, Graham commended Kerevi on his input in his first start for the Reds, along with the three players that made their debut off the bench.

“I thought Samu was outstanding. He really took the opportunity he was given. He was a handful all night,” Graham said.

“It was pleasing to see Tim Buchanan, Scott Gale and Sam Johnson make their debut for Queensland off the bench tonight. All three have been with the group as part of the wider training squad since October last year and have worked hard to get this opportunity.

“None of them looked out of their depth and it’s now up to them to continue to work hard and earn more opportunities in the Reds jersey.”

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