Reds prop Taniela Tupou takes on the Bulls defence.
Reds prop Taniela Tupou takes on the Bulls defence.

Reds v Bulls: Five things we learned



1 Jono Lance is bringing some methodical organising to the Queensland Reds. Just as he did against the Brumbies, he helped close out a tight game. A little kick in behind, a diagonal run, sure passing ... he did the job of a composed Super Rugby fly half. Coach Brad Thorn rated him man-of-the-match for his control of the play in the comeback.

2 Centre Chris Feauai-Sautia has never looked in better shape and he produced some strong moments in his 50th game for the Reds. There is more petrol in his tank these days and his go-forward helped the Reds take charge.

3 Winning tight-head scrums with huge shunts is a rarity in modern rugby but doesn’t it excite every cauliflower-eared ex-prop when it does happen. The bulldozing effort in the second half had reserve front-rowers Alex Mafi and JP Smith on board, so the team’s scrummaging strength runs deep. The Reds have one of the best scrums in the comp and it is feeding confidence into young prop Taniela Tupou.


4 The Reds know how to tweak a jersey with blue shorts and trim but it was nothing like the radical overhaul for the Bulls. The blue, yellow and green-trim jersey of the Bulls for away games is actually trying to capture more soccer fans. They are the colours of the Pretoria-based football team Mamelodi Sundowns, who have in turn borrowed from the Brazilians.

5 Brad Thorn promised big defence as a sign of character and he has delivered. The number of rattling hits in the front line and the spirited scrambling is setting a tone that fans will gravitate towards. The crowd number went up 800 in a week ... and to see a South African opponent. Stay for this ride.