Well, for those of you following along at home, we are up to episode 3 of Code Red – Life with the St.George Queensland Reds tomorrow night, and this is the best so far, no doubt.
This week’s episode takes us into the Reds’ camp for a game week preparation. The week in question is the round 17 match, when the Reds at home face the Highlanders from Dunedin.
To put the match into perspective, the Reds had just defeated the Rebels on the return from the mid-year Tests. The Reds were turning around their form after the African tour and were hunting down top spot in the Australian conference. The results and injury run had seen them with a mathematical chance of making the finals, but the best way to guarantee a finals berth, and a home final at that, was to top the conference.
[youtube id=”_QKquRFqk1E” width=”600″ height=”350″]The episode opens with the action from the 32-17 win against the Rebels before crossing to the office of Dr Greg Smith, a.k.a. the chop shop, as he goes over the list from the weekend’s games. He sees everything from some cosmetic surgery on Jake ‘Supercoach’ Schatz to the diagnosis of Dallan Murphy’s ACL tear from club rugby that weekend.
From there a report is detailed and taken to the coaching staff, which will ultimately shape selection, training and tactics for the week ahead. The video review is done and footage made available for the coaching staff to review before the final showing to the players at the team meeting first thing Monday morning.
Tuesday begins in the gym with Damien Marsh. Marshy explains that though the intensity may drop somewhat during the season, there is always plenty of work to do. We also get a background on the way he develops an individually tailored program for each player, in conjunction with the coaching staff, deciding if a player needs more of a strength and conditioning program or a skills-focussed program.
We then cut to Ollie Richardson, also known as the man in charge of Team Rehab. As he runs us through what it takes to get a player back on the field, you really notice what being a part of Team Rehab could do to your head and the morale of a player out for a full season.
Then it’s on to tactics. The game plan for the week is put together, with input from the whole coaching panel and the players. Then it’s putting it all into practice in a full contact run. It’s good to see that intensity in the training sessions.
Final training sessions where the week’s work is run through one last time follow, before team announcements and a little bit of media and it’s on to game day baby yeewwww… (sorry, just have read that a few times in the odd tweet, it just snuck out).
There are some great bits here, from the insight shown on what non-selected players get up to, to hearing some of the pre-match chat from Ewen. It’s great to hear what happens, and though it may not be much different from the scenes inside a Mudchooks dressing room, it does shine a light on the detail that they go to in every part.
Anyway, I think you will all get what you have been waiting for in the episode. Though it isn’t a speaking role, I do finally make an appearance. What? Oh yeah, and the rugby stuff is good to. Make sure you catch this one at 7pm on Fox Sports 1, right before the John Eales Medal.