Queensland’s loss to the Chiefs had a bit of groundhog day about it, in the eyes of coach Brad Thorn.
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Having watched his side fumble their way through a loss to the Waratahs one week prior, the same basic skill errors cost the Reds any chance they had of matching the Chiefs on Saturday night.
For Thorn, that was by far the most frustrating part of the loss.
“That many errors – what can you do – it’s just highly disappointing,” he said.
“It was similar to the Waratahs game but we have to fight back.
“It was good that the fight came and in the second half it continued and we show that when we do look after the footy and build some stuff, we can do some stuff.
“But it was highly frustrating and the first 30 was just tough to watch.”
Thorn was also particularly displeased with the way his side folded under pressure in the first 30 minutes, when the match resembled little more than an opposed training run for the Chiefs.
“I felt it was similar against the Waratahs and at this level in the first 10, 20, 30 minutes, you can’t go into your shell,” he said.
“You can’t stop talking – it’s just not a choice that you have.
“If you’re under the pump you have to be hard minded about it, force yourself to talk.”
The Chiefs wrapped Damian McKenzie in cotton wool after 20 minutes having suffered a head knock and that marked a turning point in the match.Without their high octane playmaker the visitors were no longer a dominant force and Thorn took some positives out of the small second half win.
“The crowd stayed to the end, even though the game was over,” he said.
“There’s a real want… even the league people I know, want the Reds to do well.
“But if you want to win games of football you can’t start like that.
“At least they showed the people that came to support them something in that second half.”
Thorn also praised the work of both Jordan Petaia and Moses Sorovi after they added some extra spark to the Reds attack.
“They were competing hard,” Thorn said.
“We saw Moses finally get his go at halfback and his speed and he was accurate.”
Interim skipper James Slipper also appears unlikely to line up against the Lions next Saturday, forced from the field in the first half with a collarbone injury.