Reality sinks in for Reds as season ends
KARMICHAEL Hunt’s ankle injury and the sloppy errors that have cursed the Reds all season combined in a predictable 40- 17 sign- off loss to the Highlanders in freezing Dunedin last night.
The Reds end a season of far higher hopes with just four victories from 15 starts and the tough reality they are still anchored in Super Rugby’s B division.
As ever, there were sporadic highs with flanker Caleb Timu producing a strong 10- run first start and prop Taniela Tupou at his bullocking best. The finalsbound Highlanders played with a speed and precision that was a class above when they clicked with slicker handling, more penetrative running and a better organised game style.
The Kiwis scored six tries to three as a totally fair reflection of their dominance under the stadium roof that kept out a murky 5C Kiwi night.
The game was already beyond the Reds just after halftime when they trailed 26- 5 but again they should curse inept finishing and sloppy exits from their quarter.
The Reds will judge positives from this year but structural issues on defence, scramblingand- grinding better and finishing chances far better are big issues not to be glossed over.