Kerevi: We need to get back to simple footy
If Samu Kerevi has his way, the Reds will stick to simplicity in attack against the Crusaders on Saturday night.
Given that Kerevi’s double against the Sharks in the Reds’ Super Rugby opener were the direct result of simplistic play which allowed him to go at the defensive line in one-on-one situations, it’s easy to see why he holds this belief.
The high octane backline Quade Cooper has at his disposal has led to some unnecessarily complicated play from Queensland in its first two starts, an element Kerevi would like to eradicate from his team’s game after he was afforded limited opportunities in the loss to the Force.
“We played too much expansive footy, especially in our half, so I think that is what cost us the game,” he said.“For me, the more simple footy we play, the better we play and the better we shape.
“We need to get back to simple footy – the Sharks game was a close game and they put a lot of pressure on us but simplicity is what got us out of the game.
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“We ran hard, we ran square and that’s what won us the game last week.”
Coach Nick Stiles was fuming when he spoke to media post match, labelling the performance as “atrocious”, but took a more measured approach behind closed doors.
“We thought he would blast us after the game but he wasn’t too angry with us, he was just more disappointed,” Kerevi said.
“The whole group felt it and we felt it with each other – a lot of the boys came into the sheds real down, it was pretty quiet after the game.
“Our character should show this week but we are especially disappointed about how we performed as a group.”
There are signs the Reds attack is starting to threaten when the foundations are set, as Kerevi highlighted today.
But the defensive shape and set piece must be addressed if they are to threaten a Crusaders team that played a near perfect second half against the Highlanders on Saturday afternoon.
Queensland rank in the bottom five for both lineout success rate and tackle percentage and in the bottom six for lineout percentage.Give Crusaders halves Bryn Hall and Mitch Hunt that much turnover ball and they have the attacking weapons to truly devastate the Reds, especially with the expected return of Digby Ioane to Suncorp Stadium.
“We need to be more direct but each week it will get better and each training session, we all have a good relationship with each other and off the field there has been a good buzz,” Kerevi said.
“This weekend is a long preparation for us and we need to get back to the basics.
“I think across the board their backline is pretty sharp, they’ve got good skills across the forward pack and they spread the ball pretty well but again for us, we need to be focused on ourselves.
“We know what they bring to the game so we need to focus on ourselves and be prepared for this weekend.”