McKenzie satisfied with defence, now time to attack
Stephen Moore of the Brumbies fumbles the ball in a tackle. Photo: Stefan Postles
THE ACT Brumbies took the first step to getting to where they want to be - taking the mantle of the Queensland Reds as the benchmark of Australian Super Rugby.
But far from discouraged by the performance, Reds coach Ewen McKenzie felt the 24-6 loss was a good base to build from.
After a week where the two coaches exchanged blows through the media, the rivalry between the two teams continues to grow.
The Brumbies took this round, breaking a two-game losing streak against the 2011 champions.
In most parts McKenzie was happy with the defence and felt it was a platform from which to develop the old flamboyant attack with Quade Cooper pulling the strings.
It's a team that still has Wallabies captain James Horwill and scrumhalf Will Genia to come back in after lengthy injury lay-offs.
''One of the things we talk about in the pre-season is you want your defence right in round one and then you build our attack,'' McKenzie said.
''I've got no doubt our attack will improve. We're way off where we need to be there in terms of some of the detail.
''But that's all right, that's as much us as good pressure by [the Brumbies]. They did a couple of things there that were good in terms of targeting pressure.
''But as the season rolls out and everyone gets to see each other more and more, you get to know where the opportunities are.''
With the loss to the Brumbies just minutes old, McKenzie had already turned his attention to next week's clash against the NSW Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.
After a week of sparring between McKenzie and Brumbies coach Jake White, a nice rivalry is developing between the two clubs.
But Reds skipper James Slipper said every Australian derby was a rivalry.
''I like to think there's always a rivalry here. The Aussie derbies are more of a grinding a game and no one likes losing to another province so there will always be that fresh rivalry,'' he said. ''I guess it's growing, it's the first time the Brumbies have beaten us in [two] games.''