Character and defence behind Reds win over Hurricanes

James Mortimer     03 Mar 2013    

So far there doesn’t seem to be too much resemblance to the free flowing attacking Reds that swept their way to the title two years ago, but even this early in the 2013 Investec Super Rugby season, it appears that the Queensland defensive line will be mighty difficult to breach.

Not only did they keep last year’s most lethal attacking outfit scoreless, but managed to score two tries of their own.

It was just their second win over the Hurricanes in 11 attempts, their first since 2007, and extended what is becoming an imposing record in Queensland’s largest city.

The Reds have now won 23 of their last 26 matches at Suncorp Stadium.

McKenzie admitted his team didn’t play to the plot for long periods of the match, “gifting” the Hurricanes some opportunities.

"The plan was to starve them of opportunity and starve them of the things they were good at, which worked really well for half the game,” he said.

"Only once in the first half did they get within 30-metres of our goal line (because in the) second half they got down there and put pressure on.

"The one thing we didn't want to do is kick them loose ball, we needed to kick the ball into the grandstand or hold onto it. We gave them a lot of opportunities to run back at us and therefore we had to defend for long periods of time.

"But it was really good character, grit and determination and a good effort from the guys.

"I'll look at the video and know that our character and attitude will take us places this season. You can't coach that bit, it's just guys wanting to do it for each other. We needed that."