2. The new breed of Red
The shining light in an otherwise dark and depressing loss to the Force last week was obviously Samu Kerevi. The 20 year old outside centre lived up to all potential in his starting debut proving a constant danger to the Force defense breaking the line at will and scoring a crucial try. Add in 11 tackles, none missed, and the rest of Australia is now seeing the abilities of the guy those in Brisbane club land witnessed on multiple occasions last year.
The Reds have had a shocking year of injuries this season, with Cooper, Genia, Shipperley, Owen, Toua, Feauai-Sautia and Quirk all suffering season ending injuries. That’s a challenge for any team to overcome but has facilitated the emergence of young talent alongside Kerevi.
What a challenge for Kerevi this weekend in taking on the class that is Adam Ashley-Cooper? Another potential debutante this week will be his GPS club-mate Chris Kurindrani. An equally impressive club performer last year, Kurindrani provides some more much needed size, along with impressive speed, to a struggling Reds outfit. Let’s hope he gets a shot off the bench and make the most of his opportunities.
One player who has had the hype around him for sometimes is backrower, Curtis Browning. Browning won his first Reds cap last year off the bench but would have to wait until six games into this season for his 2nd and not until Ed Quirk was injured for his first start. Still only 20 years of age, Browning has handled his ascendancy with aplomb. Whilst we haven’t seen the barging runs of his club career, his class is evident. Last week’s effort to make 21 tackles against the Force was monstrous in terms of the game itself and highlighted the maturity upon which he has developed his reputation.
A broken jaw to Nick Frisby gives us another Reds run on debut in youngster Scott Gale. Gale made his debut off the bench last week and looked impressively composed when he replaced Frisby last week. Don’t expect the brilliance of his namesake former Balmain Tigers rugby league half back but Gale provides a composed and well-balanced option for Richard Graham. One that has trained all season as part of the wider Reds squad, with the Australian Under 20s extended squad and under one of the more impressive club coaching set ups at the University of Queensland. It is a great opportunity for Gale who’s main job will be to keep his forwards firing and get the ball into the hands of BennyLucas as quickly as possible.