Taniela Tupou is an all-rounder in the No.3 shirt at tighthead prop for the Queensland Reds.
He can follow Liam Wright’s lead and build blocks to identify the Rebels’ weaknesses and stuff their build-up play.
The reading was there when the Rebels, at times, didn’t have the muscle to keep the scrum straight.
It highlights their lack of communication, including some significant gaps via the support passage of play.
And Tupou helped identified the Rebels issues that helped the Reds capitalize their mistakes & profit a few touchdowns.
Also, Tupou can be an attacking force when building the attack in the forwards’ department.
Then he unpacked his usual defensive capabilities such as the vision to force his way into space with his running & called for support for someone like Filipo Daugunu with the finish.
He has to be one of the standout players who guided his Queensland Reds side to the grand final next Saturday, especially in the last 40 minutes of the night.
Daugunu benefitted from the Rebels’ injury drama with the support his forwards supplied to him via the build-up play.
That way, he can force his way with the pace needed to create a pattern/passage of play with Hunter Paisami.
So the communication is there that he & Paisami assisted Lukhan Salakaia-Loto’s touchdown immediately after half-time.
His attacking capabilities in offering support also found another strength with the execution.
Once again, when Taniela Tupou called Daugunu for support before Tupou supplied the quick ball at the right time, that helped him safeguard the Reds’ hopes of winning the Super Rugby AU alive with five to go.
Daugunu is blessed to have the help of his forwards’ department that identifies the best strengths & used it to frustrate the Rebels’ defense, making his workload easier.
He’s one of the best performing players for the Melbourne Rebels tonight.
Naisarani helped his forwards defend and identify the Reds’ fumbles that allowed the Rebels’ to win turnovers.
The physicality and vision are there for Naisarani to utilize these basics.
However, the lack of support passage of play communication plus the Rebels’ backline injuries let him down.
You can see his frustrations when at times, he didn’t have the support men to help Naisarani continue these set phases where the Reds’ held him up tight to help turn over the ball.
Plus, the cross-kick going a bit too far saw him unable to keep the ball in and make a touchdown, which went out of touch.
These missed opportunities cost the Rebels to leapfrog the Reds on the scoreboard sheet and stay there.
Instead, the Reds tolerated it and capitalized their hit and misses well, making the Rebels hard to catch up in the end.
Naisarani has had a great season with the Rebels.
And sure he can learn these from tonight and apply it towards something better for next year and possibly later this year with the Wallabies.