Fraser McReight is one of the reasons why the Reds have a strong back-row after his outstanding performance last night on the openside at No.7. McReight took advantage of the Rebels’ problems by tackling defensively before running off and passing the ball to his teammates, who finished off his work for him. McReight also showed an exceptional balance between pace and physicality on the pitch, as he protected and looked after his team all night.
Next up is 23-year-old Lawson Creighton, who unexpectedly filled in for the majority at full-back, after Jordan Petaia had to come off at the 26th minute. Creighton has plenty of skills from his trade that served him well at Super Rugby level, including a superb mental awareness of his attacking & defensive contributions due to his six-foot height. In addition, his physicality helped the Reds team shield the Rebels’ attack at his end; and most importantly, his celerity, which enabled him to spot & intercept the Rebels’ lack of numbers through the far-right short side, leading to his own try in the 36th minute. He hopes that competition with Petaia at 15 will help the Reds stay on top going into the final six rounds of 2022, regardless of when he will start or be on the bench next game.
And Glen Vaihu caused the Reds a couple of headaches over in the left-wing last night for the Melbourne Rebels. It’s good to see him gain more Super Rugby experience as it goes, especially when graduating through the academy ranks at age 20. For the entire 80 minutes, his pace & work rate proved to be a valuable asset that helped the Rebels accrue the points they needed to stay in contention. Although the Rebels were unlucky to fall short by four points in the end (32-36), however, credit to a few returning stars that got the best out of his game, as it can only get better with the support this team needs to stay competitive at Super Rugby level.