Queensland Reds complacent, Will Genia says
March 17, 2013
Western Force thoroughly deserved their victory (video available only in Australia)%]
Frustrated Queensland captain Will Genia has accused the Reds of complacency after being out-enthused and outplayed by the Western Force on Saturday.
Queensland produced their most disappointing home performance in three years under Ewen McKenzie, a shadow of the team that has topped the Australian conference for the past two seasons. The Force, inspired by former All Blacks half-back Alby Mathewson, ended the Reds' three-game winning streak with a 19-12 victory on Saturday night - their first win of 2013 and their first at Suncorp Stadium.
Genia said the visitors - led up front by Queenslanders Hugh McMeniman, Angus Cottrell and Richard Brown - were hungrier in a complete team performance. By contrast, the Reds were tentative in attack as they wasted their few try-scoring chances with poor option-taking and handling. "The most frustrating thing is we feel like we've been trotting along and have just been a bit complacent," the Wallabies half-back said on Sunday."They just seem like they wanted it more and, in the end, that was a telling factor."
The Reds are yet to click with the ball this year, and they are failing to take on the line in the manner that won them the 2011 title. The 11th-hour selection of Mike Harris at outside centre, replacing Anthony Faingaa, who had a back injury, was a surprise decision that may have cost the Reds dear as a faster option such as Aidan Toua or Chris Feauai-Sautia could have finished their best try-scoring chance late in the first half.
Quade Cooper, meanwhile, endured a second disappointing ball-playing game in three weeks and rarely threatened once Genia was replaced at half-time. He is yet to regain the confidence and zip he showed for the Reds two years ago, but McKenzie won't blame Cooper. "I'm waiting for the whole team to fire," Mckenzie said. "Quade's part of the team. As I said last week, we've got plenty in us and we certainly didn't put it out there today. I guess it's next week we'll be looking for it."
The Reds have missed sorely the forward leadership and power of James Horwill, and the Reds captain's expected return from an ankle injury against the Bulls at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night will be a massive boost. Suspended winger Digby Ioane should also make a welcome return, while Genia should be available for 80 minutes after producing a sharp comeback from knee surgery.