Queensland Reds hungry to repeat Super Rugby success
Queensland centre Anthony Faingaa has declared the Reds the hungriest team in Super Rugby and stressed they won’t be satisfied merely making the playoffs.
QUEENSLAND centre Anthony Faingaa has declared the Reds the hungriest team in Super Rugby and stressed they won’t be satisfied merely making the playoffs.
The defending champions are locked in a five-way battle for the last two finals spots and must beat the Highlanders and NSW at their Suncorp Stadium fortress to make the top six.
But Faingaa says the seventh-placed outfit is driven to repeat the success of 2011 and show their true colours after overcoming an injury-plagued start to the year.
“It’s coming to the pointy end of the season and everyone’s desperate but if anything we’re hungrier than any other team,” said the defensive linchpin.
“For us it’s not just making the finals; we want to win this Super championship.”
Queensland started their three-week run into the playoffs impressively with a 32-17 bonus-point win over the Melbourne Rebels.
With Quade Cooper back pulling the strings expertly in the first half, the Reds looked like the exciting expansive outfit of 2011 to rack up a 24-3 halftime lead.
Faingaa and centre partner Mike Harris also enjoyed their best attacking games of the season but he warned there was plenty of improvement left, especially as the Rebels worked their way back in the second half after Cooper (leg) was replaced.
“Our performance on the weekend was very patchy,” he said. “We had some good parts and some bad parts.
“We’ve still got a lot of good rugby in us and we haven’t seen the best of Queensland yet.
“We have to keep improving and for us that’s our big focus.”
Cooper is expected to recover from a leg complaint to line up on Friday night against a Highlanders outfit which will be desperate to finish their season with a bang.
The Dunedin-based side were all but knocked out of the play-off race after the 27-21 loss to the table-topping Chiefs on Friday and have a final-round bye next week.
Cooper trained on Monday afternoon at Ballymore, as did centre Ben Tapuai who is set to make his return from a broken collarbone.
But Queensland must wait until later in the week for Digby Ioane (chest infection), Chris F’Sautia (shoulder) and Liam Gill (hamstring) to prove their fitness.
The Reds will wear specially-designed jerseys to mark Queensland Rugby’s own indigenous round. – AAP