Reds won't waste ball against Tahs: Higginbotham

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Frustrated by the amount of attacking ball they gave away against the Highlanders, the Reds won't be making the same mistake against the Waratahs.

Queensland captain Scott Higginbotham was exasperated after the 18-15 loss, summing up the mood of the fanbase in saying his side did everything they could to lose the match.

It was hard to argue with him after the Reds halves, in particular, kicked the ball away with reckless abandon, sacrificing several opportunities with the match on the line in the second half.

Coach Brad Thorn has responded by pushing Hamish Stewart back to flyhalf and handing Moses Sorovi his first start, with the directive to keep ball in hand.

"It's obvious to see when you're off the field where those opportunities are when we've got the ball and a decent opportunity to attack from, we give it away," Higginbotham said.

"That's more frustrating for someone who's not on the field than it is for the boys who are on there.The Reds kicked far too much ball away against the Highlanders. Photo: Getty Images"That's something we have talked about training and as we are doing the 15 on 15 attacking stuff."

Stewart steered the team to an upset win over the Lions in his only start at 10 this season and while he brings a fresh look to the team's attack, he will also be a valuable commodity in front line defence.

"He's a strong footballer and I think with both Jono and Hamish you get that same element of defence," Higginbotham said.

"Which, in a Super Rugby team, you don't often see these days.

"When you're defending your line to get Hamish out of the 1-2-3 next to the ruck, you have to actually drag him out.

"It's good to have that mongrel in a game controller like that."The Waratahs have long had the wood over QLD. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Waratahs have won the last eight starts against the Reds - the average winning margin a whopping 19 points.

But Queensland were mighty unlucky not to break that streak in the corresponding fixture at Suncorp Stadium last year, another outing in which the Reds were outsmarted late.

That's no longer good enough, according to Higginbotham, who demanded a big result against Queensland's oldest enemy.

"For older blokes like me who have played NSW a number of times you have that win-loss record," he said.

"But at this point in our season and where we're at, we're looking to get results.

"That's what we need to achieve this week."

The Reds host the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and RUGBY.com.au radio.