Taniela Tupou is the No.1 pick tonight on the tighthead front row. Such an all-round player to watch in both attack and defense. He noticed the Rebels not cooperating in return. Where they fired off against their way earlier on. And it helped him mark them down. With nowhere to pass/find support that left it isolated.
It gave the Reds time to get around their half. Which is exactly how they wanted him to split the Rebels into pieces. You look at the physicality and running that lifted his side early. Thanks to the short ball offloads and set piece assists going forward. As he was able to process up two tries by himself during the first 40 run.
He may have deserved a well earned rest after 65 plus minutes tonight. Having fired off well. Then saw them gave away some penalties on occasions. But the Reds was eventually settled to remain undefeated after half-time. And there is none other than the Tongan Thor who continues to play very well. Taniela will no doubt look to guide the Reds towards the championship. Should they make it to the Grand Final once again & go one better.
He also really stood out on the openside back row role. Where Fraser read it well to spot the Rebels being isolated. Especially after their attacking setup did not start well. Despite some points against them during portions tonight. But at large the opposition lost their way with the ball.
So that was one thing in mind that helped him protect his forwards. It allowed the Reds to take their time. When the referee gave the ball control to them. Which saw Fraser build up the attack to gain these meters. Before he called his backline to give the return he needed. Not just the touch score. But he also dragged one player into touch. And that helped him give Josh Flook his first moment in Super Rugby. Thanks to a cameo try via the Bryce Hegarty cross kick with 4 mins left.
It goes to show that the talkup is there in order to unpack these techniques. So he and his team-mates are on the same page. That kind of attacking masterpiece does reflect the Reds fine run. Including one touch score in the 2nd 40 from McReight himself. Credit is due as mentioned a bit earlier about the backline contribution. Which is in defense. These forwards like McWright were called to keep that passage of play. And it makes the processing easier to pick up points.
He played very well on the right wing tonight for the Rebels. After Frank was called in to replace the injured Lachie Anderson. The pace was so brilliant to see for the 24 year old who hails from Fiji. Just like Marika Koroibete on the other flank.
When the Rebels were given the chance with the ball. Frank ran well into space that gone past the Reds half. The communication is there to help guide him at times. Which saw him process the Rebels first touch courtesy of Matt Toomua. He benefitted the Rebels 9 & 10 combo. Especially not long later after the successful scrum off Joe Powell. Again same basic processes that gone through the gate. Before Frank found Reece Hodge via the channels on the run home.
This performance tonight from Lomani gave the Rebels some hope. After they were only 10 points down going into the break. But ultimately the Rebels poor start in the first 20. Followed by the inconsistent finishing later on. Where they were stuck in traffic via lost penalties/fumbles. And that stopped them from chasing the Reds down in the end. It is not his fault. Just needs more chances with full control of the ball. So the middle ground is there that would get it done differently. And end up in a positive note next time for the win.