Reds end tour with victory in France


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The QR Reds were given a royal reception on Wednesday evening after wrapping up their four game development tour of Ireland and France with a 40-11 victory over Nice in France.

Scoring six tries in an emphatic win over their French hosts, the young Queenslanders capped a steady development in each of their three previous games in Ireland to claim their first win on tour.

The side was even treated to a meeting with royalty when Prince Albert of Monaco visited the players in the dressing room after the game and was presented with a signed Reds shirt by captain on the night, Greg Holmes.

Reds Head Coach Phil Mooney has been delighted with his side’s improvement in the face of every obstacle the tour has thrown at it and he was very proud of their final game win.

“It is very pleasing to get a win from the tour,” Mooney said on the Reds website.

“It was a great night all round with Nice presenting a very spirited and physical challenge and the lads even got to meet Prince Albert.

“It is just another example of what top flight rugby can throw up for players and it was very pleasing that our young guys could cap it so well on the pitch.”

The visiting Queenslanders wasted no time in using the confidence they had built up against top quality opposition on the tour and came flying out of the traps to surprise their French hosts.

Limiting Nice to two penalties in the opening half, the young Reds raced ahead with four unanswered tries through Ben Gollings, Anthony Faingaa, Leroy Houston and Aidan Toua.

Gollings converted three of the tries to cement a 26-6 lead for his side at the break; however the Reds were not finished.

A second try from Aidan Toua and one from Charlie Fetoai, converted by
Jono Lance wrapped up the 40-11 win, with Nice scrambling over for a try of their own in the second period.

19-year old winger Toua has been one of the stand-out performers of the tour and his terrific solo try was the highlight of the evening.

The young squad will now return home with aspirations of forcing their way into the side’s Super 14 plans for the coming season and their coach feels players like Toua have benefited from the tour.

“He (Toua) is a good example of what this tour means,” Mooney said.

“He has some great attacking skills, but the tour in general and the higher standard compared to club rugby at home it has presented, has highlighted the defensive aspects of the game he needs to work on.

“Now he has a fairly good example of what he needs to do to improve and what it will take to play in the Super 14 for the Reds.

“In terms of expecting some to make the step up in the coming season, we have aspirations to be at the top end of the Super 14, so we will have to see.

“The lads have stepped up to every challenge thrown at them, but some are coming from club level at home, which is considerably lower than Super 14 standard and awareness of what is needed to play at the top is the most important result of this tour.’

Toua 2, Gollings, Faingaa, Houston, Fetoai tries, Gollings 4, Lance con.

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