JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Familiarity breeds content for Reds


Ewen McKenzie

The Reds will be back on home turf this weekend after two beltings away in the past fortnight.

The Reds will be back on home turf this weekend after two beltings away in the past fortnight. Photo: Getty Images

Success has a thousand fathers and failure is an orphan. Never have truer words been uttered as cumulative losses build an intensity and focus on our 2012 campaign.

One thing that always makes me smile when facing challenging situations is the predictability that comes with the circumstances. Press conferences always get bigger and people start to write to you more. There is something gladiatorial about this - a bit of blood in the water and the sharks appear.

What you can control is how you handle yourself. No matter if we are winning or losing, we will keep fronting up and telling it like it is. There are always reasons for things happening and we didn't become a championship-winning team overnight, nor will we become a bad team overnight.

It has been a disappointing patch but it can sometimes be as simple as eradicating one or two errors or even having the bounce of the ball go your way. There have been so many close games this year and the little things can make the difference.

I've never been a big proponent of discussing issues pertaining to playing at home or away, but I must admit it's nice to be back. Routine under pressure is a good thing because the little things become more obvious and it's the little things that make the difference.

Already you can sense a different feel among the group. Our first team meeting back in Brisbane included our 12 injured players and watching them train was uplifting for everyone. As the week has progressed, I have seen Ben Lucas and Mike Harris running freely and Quade Cooper is beginning to get back into the action.

On Tuesday, Quade was fielding high balls and he even ran the opposition back-line's attack in our opposed work. While he wasn't doing contact, you can see he is not far away. All of this elevates the group.

From a pragmatic standpoint, our preparation has also been enhanced, with more bodies available to attend to our strategic needs. Technology is also back at your fingertips and even small things, such as having internet that works, are a positive.

Travel is part of the game, but when you are under pressure - and on the road - the sum of little things makes it hard.

Already this year we have been travelling for five of the past eight weeks and have played just two of eight games in Brisbane, if you include trials. During this time we have been to Cairns, Perth, Sydney, Durban, Johannesburg, Perth and, of course, Brisbane. That's six significant time zone changes and a heap of hotel nights. Never has it been so good to be back in our own beds.

We now have a chance to reassess where we are at with six games played and 10 to come. That's another 40 available competition points if we are good enough. The impact of a four-point bye is not reflected throughout the competition, so ladder position is not comparable just yet.

Rather than assessing our standing, it's important to reflect on where we have been and the causes of what has occurred.

We opened our season with three straight wins. We weren't attack-orientated during these games as they turned out to be pragmatic derby affairs. We then went to South Africa determined to build our attack and were leading the Sharks 17-0 before the little things began to change. Yellow cards and two injured playmakers/goal kickers later and the match ends in a five-point loss.

Rugby is a game of momentum and everything is in the pot. When you alter the ingredients you can get a massive change in taste.

One of the main ingredients in our success is Suncorp Stadium and we cannot wait to get back in front of our fans. We are expecting a big crowd and will be buoyed knowing we have won 16 of our last 17 games there.

We won't be feeling like orphans tomorrow night. It's great to be back.

16 comments so far

  • You always write a good article Link but it's your nonsensical selections that have let you down so far this year. Which have clearly confused and unsettled your players. They usually know who should play where. Perhaps you should ask them ? Instead of imposing silly selections they obviously arent buying. It's called "subconscious protest". A bit of hubris also crept in to yourself and the team, believing your own press, especially after pulling off flukey wins early on, where you didn't have to try too hard. Denying you were lucky was also a denial of sub-standard performance. Didn't that come back and bite you on the backside ! Now it's time to stand and deliver and the Brumbies are going to be a hell of a mountain to climb but climb it you must, if you and the team are to retain any credibility. Just do it.

    Date and time
    April 05, 2012, 7:50AM
    • Well done Link! Well done Reds for digging deep and showing the QLD spirit. Down with the naysayers!! Nice selection bringing in Time Lane from left field. How da ya like that Johny-boy!!?

      Date and time
      April 07, 2012, 1:19PM
  • Once again, True Life Lessons from the Wallabies Coach in waiting, I`ve seen first hand the sense of family emanating from this teram and I think this is what will carry them back to winning form over everything else. Theres a reason why Reds membership has gone through the roof this season and that`ll be no more evident than at Suncorp this Friday night. Go hard boys and back yourselves.

    Date and time
    April 05, 2012, 9:47AM
    • So Quade is back on the pitch and running freely but NOT doing contact. That sounds exactly like Quade before he was injured. Does this mean he is ready now?

      Date and time
      April 05, 2012, 10:31AM
      • @JapanBoy
        The only person that wouldn't like that observation would be Quade and his Mother.
        Nasty but delicious!
        I think, on reflection, even his Mum would feel alright with that especially after the toxic taunting he received during the RWC!
        Nice taunt but cheap!

        inner west sydney
        Date and time
        April 07, 2012, 5:00PM
    • I always like reading your comments Link but I can only hope that the Reds put in a better display than the one against the Rebels at Suncorp a few weeks ago. I was there and it was probably one of the worst games of rugby I've seen in 20 years. A couple more like that and the crowds could well start to dwindle.

      Date and time
      April 05, 2012, 10:50AM
      • Get serious, the crux of your argument then is that you are trying to shift the blame on your teams abysmal performance on a change in momentum caused by two yellow cards and some injuries.

        You would then be absolutely right then about the predictability that comes with the circumstances, it's always someone else's fault, never the teams or the coach.

        Yellow cards and injuries happen to all teams, the mark of great teams is how they handle it.You and your team need to take this on your shoulders and admit your performance wasn't anywhere near good enough before you can really move on. Talking big won;t help, it's action that is required.

        Date and time
        April 05, 2012, 10:51AM
        • The 12 first pick injured palyers will probably be double the number of ALP members in the QLD parliament after the byelection.

          12 is a pretty big proportion of a 22 man team.

          How did you like the fifth choice 10 and sixth choice kicker last night >>>

          Date and time
          April 07, 2012, 4:47PM
      • Go Reds Go Reds Go Reds. We still love ya! Piggies - get your mongrel going and recycle the ball cleanly.

        Date and time
        April 05, 2012, 11:10AM
        • Blah blah blah. Not once did the Canterbury Crusaders complain let alone publish an entire article dedicated to the obvious pros and cons of home and away matches in 2011.

          Date and time
          April 05, 2012, 11:19AM

          More comments

          Make a comment

          You are logged in as [Logout]

          All information entered below may be published.

          Error: Please enter your screen name.

          Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

          Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

          Error: Please enter your comment.

          Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

          Post to

          You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

          Thank you

          Your comment has been submitted for approval.

          Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

          Super Rugby 2015

          Round 1
          Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
          CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
          BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
          Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
          LIO 8 vs HUR 22 Report Stats
          BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
          Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
          SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Report Stats
          BUL 17 vs STO 29 Report Stats
          WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 2
          Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
          CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Report Stats
          REB 28 vs WAR 38 Report Stats
          Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
          BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Report Stats
          HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Report Stats
          RED 18 vs FOR 6 Report Stats
          Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
          STO 27 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
          SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 3
          Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
          HIG 20 vs RED 13 Report Stats
          FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
          Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
          CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
          CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
          REB 15 vs BRU 20 Report Stats
          Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
          BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Report Stats
          LIO 19 vs STO 22 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 4
          Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
          CHF 17 vs HIG 20 Report Stats
          BRU 27 vs FOR 15 Report Stats
          Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
          BLU 10 vs LIO 13 Report Stats
          RED 5 vs WAR 23 Report Stats
          Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
          CHT 20 vs BUL 39 Report Stats
          STO 29 vs SHA 13 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 5
          Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
          HUR 30 vs BLU 23 Report Stats
          FOR 17 vs REB 21 Report Stats
          Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
          CRU 34 vs LIO 6 Report Stats
          HIG 26 vs WAR 19 Report Stats
          RED vs BRU 29 Stats
          Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
          STO 19 vs CHF 28 Report Stats
          CHT 10 vs SHA 27 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 6
          Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
          HIG 13 vs HUR 20 Report Stats
          REB 16 vs LIO 20 Report Stats
          Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
          CRU 57 vs CHT 14 Report Stats
          Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
          BUL 25 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
          SHA 12 vs CHF 11 Report Stats
          WAR 28 vs BRU 13 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 7
          Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
          HUR 36 vs REB 12 Stats
          RED 17 vs LIO 18 Report Stats
          Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
          CHF vs CHT 14:30WS
          HIG vs STO 17:35FBS
          WAR vs BLU 19:40AS
          Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
          SHA vs FOR 02:05Growthpoint Kings Park
          BUL vs CRU 04:10Loftus Versfeld
          View All Fixtures
          Round 8
          Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
          HUR vs STO 18:35WS
          REB vs RED 20:40AAMI
          Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
          CHF vs BLU 18:35WS
          BRU vs CHT 20:40GIO Stadium
          Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
          SHA vs CRU 01:00Growthpoint Kings Park
          LIO vs BUL 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
          View All Fixtures
          Round 9
          Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
          BLU vs BRU 18:35EP
          Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
          CRU vs HIG 18:35AMI
          WAR vs STO 20:40AS
          FOR vs CHT 22:45nib Stadium
          Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
          LIO vs SHA 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
          BUL vs RED 04:10Loftus Versfeld
          View All Fixtures
          Round 10
          Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
          CRU vs CHF 18:35AMI
          Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
          HUR vs WAR 15:30WS
          HIG vs BLU 18:35FBS
          BRU vs REB 20:40GIO Stadium
          FOR vs STO 22:45nib Stadium
          Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
          SHA vs BUL 02:05Growthpoint Kings Park
          CHT vs RED 04:10FSS
          View All Fixtures
          Round 11
          Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
          CHF vs FOR 18:35WS
          BRU vs HIG 20:40GIO Stadium
          Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
          CRU vs BLU 18:35AMI
          WAR vs REB 20:40ANZ
          Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
          LIO vs CHT 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
          STO vs BUL 04:10DHL Newlands
          RED vs HUR 17:05SS
          View All Fixtures
          Round 12
          Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
          HIG vs SHA 18:35FBS
          BRU vs WAR 20:40GIO Stadium
          Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
          BLU vs FOR 16:30EP
          HUR vs CRU 18:35WS
          REB vs CHF 20:40AAMI
          Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
          CHT vs STO 02:05FSS
          BUL vs LIO 04:10Loftus Versfeld
          View All Fixtures
          Round 13
          Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
          CRU vs RED 18:35AMI
          REB vs BLU 20:40AAMI
          Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
          HUR vs SHA 18:35WS
          FOR vs WAR 20:40nib Stadium
          Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
          LIO vs HIG 00:00Emirates Airlines Park
          STO vs BRU 02:05DHL Newlands
          View All Fixtures
          Round 14
          Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
          BLU vs BUL 18:35EP
          RED vs REB 20:40SS
          Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
          HUR vs CHF 18:35WS
          WAR vs SHA 20:40AS
          Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
          LIO vs BRU 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
          CHT vs HIG 04:10FSS
          View All Fixtures
          Round 15
          Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
          CHF vs BUL 18:35Rotorua International Stadium
          RED vs SHA 20:40SS
          Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
          BLU vs HUR 18:35Emirates Airlines Park
          WAR vs CRU 20:40ANZ
          FOR vs HIG 22:45nib Stadium
          Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
          CHT vs LIO 02:05FSS
          STO vs REB 04:10DHL Newlands
          View All Fixtures
          Round 16
          Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
          CRU vs HUR 18:35Trafalgar Park
          BRU vs BUL 20:40GIO Stadium
          Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
          SHA vs REB 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
          HIG vs CHF 18:35Rugby Park
          FOR vs RED 20:40nib Stadium
          Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
          STO vs CHT 02:05DHL Newlands
          LIO vs WAR 04:10Emirates Airlines Park
          View All Fixtures
          Round 17
          Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
          HUR vs HIG 18:35McLean Park
          FOR vs BRU 22:00nib Stadium
          Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
          REB vs BUL 16:30AAMI
          BLU vs CRU 18:35EP
          RED vs CHF 20:40SS
          Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
          CHT vs WAR 00:00FSS
          STO vs LIO 02:05DHL Newlands
          View All Fixtures
          Round 18
          Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
          BLU vs HIG 18:35EP
          REB vs FOR 20:40AAMI
          Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
          BRU vs CRU 16:30GIO Stadium
          CHF vs HUR 18:35Yarrow Stadium
          WAR vs RED 20:40AS
          Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
          BUL vs CHT 02:05Loftus Versfeld
          SHA vs STO 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
          View All Fixtures
          Round 19
          Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
          7 vs 7 10:00
          Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
          7 vs 7 10:00
          View All Fixtures
          Round 20
          Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
          7 vs 7 10:00
          Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
          7 vs 7 10:00
          View All Fixtures
          Round 21
          Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
          7 vs 7 10:00
          View All Fixtures
          Super Rugby 2015
          Overall standings
          Team P W L D +/- Pts
          Hurricanes 6 6 0 0 85 27
          Brumbies 6 4 2 0 73 20
          Stormers 5 4 1 0 33 16
          Chiefs 6 4 2 0 36 19
          Sharks 6 3 3 0 5 15
          Waratahs 5 3 2 0 24 14
          Highlanders 5 3 2 0 4 15
          Bulls 5 3 2 0 12 14
          View all
          Featured advertisers