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Thorn praises the Reds
ESPNscrum Staff
July 10, 2011

All Blacks second-row Brad Thorn has heaped praise on his second-home Queensland following the Reds' 18-13 win over Crusaders on Saturday in the final of Super Rugby.

Thorn has appeared 200 times for the Brisbane Broncos in National Rugby League (NRL) and played his last game for the Crusaders in the Broncos' Suncorp Stadium on Saturday. Thorn, who will join the exodus to Japan after the World Cup, admits part of him was pleased to see the Reds take the title.

"I've grown up here so I know there have been some hard years," Thorn told the NZPA. "My brother played for the GPS club in 1996, that's when rugby was really strong here. Queensland was a proud union, one of the strongest in world rugby. It's been a tough sort of decade ... the crowds were so low and teams around Australia came along and took the (player) depth away. To see Queensland rugby so strong, there's a big part of me that appreciates that. I think it's a good thing."

The final saw two teams facing each other whose homes had been ruined by nature's force, with Queensland suffering floods in January. Thorn, whose current side were forced to play all their ties away from their Christchurch base following the February earthquake, admits mistakes let the side down on the day.

"We played our hearts out but we made too many mistakes and we paid the price," Thorn said. "We strive for excellence at the Crusaders, we got close but not quite there. I know they'll be disappointed but it's rugby, you don't go in guaranteed to win. You couldn't say we didn't give it our best effort."

Thorn did not exactly sign off from the Crusaders in style at the Super Rugby final because a cheeky foot trip on Quade Cooper trimmed the visitors' lead to one point at half-time and eight minutes after the resumption he ignored four unmarked players in the quest to score his first try of the season.

Unfortunately for Thorn he was held up by Radike Samo and although Daniel Carter converted a penalty from the resulting five-metre scrum the Crusaders never again threatened to breach the Reds' line. Thorn was non-committal when asked about whether he believed it to be a try or not.

"I felt like I got close. Did I skim the grass? I don't know. It didn't get awarded, so next job," said Thorn, who was typically the first Crusader back in position for the resulting scrum.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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