The Courier-Mail

Welcome mat for the ‘other O’Connor’?


THE “other O’Connor” is favourite to be Reds coach next season even as Richard Graham enjoys one of the most satisfying wins of his chequered reign.

To most rugby followers, Michael O’Connor owns the surname for his sharp-stepping as a Wallaby in the early 1980s, his decorated rugby league career and success as Australia’s former rugby sevens coach.

The “other O’Connor” also played for the Wallabies as a centre in 1994, when the ACTbased Matt played his sole Test.

His coaching resume with Leicester and Leinster in Europe is his case for the Reds job

COMMENT plus his fit as a sharp backs coach to work with Queensland’s attack.

Part of the attack plan of Graham and departing backs coach Steve Meehan this season was to build something with multiple thrusts so there wasn’t an over-reliance on Will Genia and Quade Cooper.

It never really clicked with Cooper out for 11 games and the team on scramble mode for so long.

The Reds smashed the Western Force 32-10 by reverting to a tried and tested recipe.

Forwards powered “around the corner”, there was some pick-and-drive authority plus the Genia-Cooper axis elevated a 15-man performanc­e.

Put in perspectiv­e, the Reds have beaten the last-placed side (twice) and the teams running 10th and 13th this season.

It will take the scalp of the play-off bound Chiefs or Waratahs to prove anything. A Graham smile might become a grin.

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