Reds coach Brad Thorn says there is no place for theatrics in rugby union as he questioned the gamesmanship of the Waratahs.
While delighted with his side’s 32-26 win over NSW in Friday night’s Super Rugby AU opener at Suncorp Stadium, Thorn was disappointed with the easy way Waratahs kickers fell to the ground when contact was made by Reds’ tacklers.
It led to Reds prop Taniela Tupou being sin-binned for a late tackle on Waratahs flyhalf Will Harrison at a crucial time in the contest when the game was in the balance.
Thankfully for Thorn, Queensland steadied despite having one fewer man on the field, with star flyhalf James O’Connor coming on in the final 10 minutes to seal the Reds’ first competitive win over the Waratahs since 2013.
The Reds celebrate their win over the Waratahs. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
But Thorn was unhappy with the sin-binning of Tupou, who had also been penalised earlier for a similarly late, but seemingly soft tackle, on a Waratahs kicker.
“Rugby’s a tough game. I’m not a huge fan of that sort of stuff,” Thorn said.
“I think players that go down for that and they’re seriously injured … that’s my opinion, because, clearly they were fine.
“On my side as well, I don’t want my players going down with a dramatic fall.
“Take what’s there, get up, get on with the game.”
Reds captain Liam Wright said Tupou’s sin-binning galvanised his side in their quest to regain the Bob Templeton Cup for the first time in seven years.
“We probably wanted to slap ‘Nella’ around a bit, but it’s one of those things and you’ve just got to move on,” Wright said.
“We were just talking on the field (about) … last 10 minutes of a brutal game, guys were tired, busted, but what a story if we hold off with 14 men and we come back and get the Cup, and our boys were bloody awesome.”
Wright said the match had a State of Origin-type feel.
“For that 80 minutes, that was very physical. That was State of Origin,” he said.
“There was no love lost out there. I really appreciate the way they (NSW) played the game and I think that was a great showing for rugby.”
Waratahs captain Rob Simmons said any game between NSW and Queensland was “going to be brutal”.
“I know our guys were up for it and showed the opposition that we’re keen,” former Reds forward Simmons said.
“It was a good battle out there.”
The Waratahs are back in action next Saturday against Western Force, while the Reds meet the Melbourne Rebels next Friday.
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