I reckon the Queensland Reds have turned the corner.
It’s a big call to make after just two games in a shortened season that involves only five teams, but what Brad Thorn’s men have shown so far has been impressive to say the least.
Forget that their preparation was totally disrupted by the Coronavirus. Forget that they lost three of their biggest names when Izack Rodda, Harry Hockings and Isaac Lucas walked out of their contracts to chase the big money overseas. And forget that with a huge question mark hanging over the TV rights deal there was doubt whether the Super Rugby season would even get off the ground.
All that you need to know about the Reds 2020 version was on show at a rainswept Brookvale Oval last weekend when they fought back from a poor start against the Rebels, kept fighting until the final whistle and tied the score with just seconds remaining. They probably would have been the first golden point winners in Super Rugby history too, if James O’Connor hadn’t been forced off the field and was unable to take the penalty kick that Bryce Hegarty just missed in his absence.
In the end the 18-all draw, coming on top of the gutsy round one win over the Waratahs, was enough to see the rejuvenated Reds going into Friday night’s game against the Western Force at Suncorp Stadium leading the competition. A win against the last-placed Force will see the Reds retain first spot for a blockbuster showdown with the title-favourite Brumbies.
It has been nine long years since the Quade Cooper-Will Genia powered Reds beat the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final at a jam-packed Suncorp Stadium. No-one is saying the current side is in that class yet, but after a few lean years I reckon they are well and truly heading in the right direction.
What do YOU reckon?