Latham could miss remainder of Reds� season


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The QR Reds lost fullback Chris Latham in the match against the Cheetahs when they were “out-enthused”, going down 29-14 in Bloemfontein overnight.

Latham suffered a knee injury that could put him out for the remainder of the Investec Super 14. Head coach Phil Mooney said Latham had suffered a grade 2 medial ligament injury and would be sidelined for 4-6 weeks.

In a double blow, captain Sam Cordingley was also forced to come off with a recurrence of his calf injury at the same time as Latham, just 22 minutes into the match with the Cheetahs ahead 17-0. However with the Reds now having the bye, it’s hoped he will be fit in time for the match against the Force at Suncorp Stadium on Friday, April 18.

It took the Reds 55 minutes to post their first points against the determined Cheetahs: a try to replacement wing Brando Va’aulu. He followed that up with a second just 12 minutes later – also converted by Clinton Schifcofske – but it was not enough to stop the Cheetahs registering their first win in the 2008 Investec Super 14 tournament.

Turnovers hurt the Reds dearly, with attacking opportunities being defused by the Cheetahs snaffling the ball at the breakdown. The home side’s kicking game also turned the Reds around and kept them pinned down in their own quarter for long periods.

Their rush defence also trapped the Reds behind the gain line, forcing errors and more turnovers.

Cordingley said the QR Reds were caught out by the Cheetahs’ enthusiasm from the opening whistle.

“You can’t start a game of football like that. I think there was a lack of enthusiasm earlier in the game: we were out-enthused by the Cheetahs tonight,” Cordingley said.

“Our breakdown work was very poor, first man in was poor, our ball carry was poor – they’re areas that I think was just a lack of enthusiasm.

“You can’t just turn up in Bloemfontein and expect to beat the Cheetahs.”

Mooney was also critical of his side’s lack of enthusiasm from the kickoff, especially at the breakdown, and said the Reds continue to suffer from inconsistent performances.

“The things we spoke about before the game we just didn’t do until the second half,” Mooney said.

“We haven’t put together good performances back to back yet. Part of the challenge in the evolution of this team is to do that.”

The QR Reds return from South Africa with a draw and two losses.

Cheetahs 29 (Rory Duncan, Meyer Bosman, Duanne Vermeulen, JW Jonker tries; Jacques-Louis Potgieter 3 cons; Potgieter drop goal) def QR Reds 14 (Brando Va’aulu 2 tries; Clinton Schifcofske 2 cons) in Bloemfontein.


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