Rugby: Mentor blames Reds' loss on key execution errors

By Jim Morton

Rivals now appear to have a far better handle on how to contain dangermen Will Genia and Quade Cooper. Photo / Getty Images
Rivals now appear to have a far better handle on how to contain dangermen Will Genia and Quade Cooper. Photo / Getty Images

Resolute mentor Ewen McKenzie has denied the Reds must overhaul their spluttering attack after ending their disappointing South African tour with just one try and one bonus point.

Yesterday's 20-15 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town has suddenly left the fifth-placed Reds vulnerable in their hunt for a finals berth with three Australian rounds left.

It was better than their 27-13 failure against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein but the Reds' inability to cross the injury-hit Stormers' line has left the one-time entertainers with just six tries from the past five matches.

Four of those came in one scintillating half against the Sharks.

Rivals now appear to have a far better handle on how to contain dangermen Will Genia and Quade Cooper and the Reds have been unable to create other opportunities.

But McKenzie denied his side had been worked out and maintained execution errors at key moments were more to blame against the competition's most frugal defensive side.

"I reckon if [we'd] played like that last week we would have won."

Cooper, among the Reds' best, answered several of Wallabies coach Robbie Deans' criticisms in a lively attacking display. He also kicked well.

• In Durban, Morne Steyn kicked all the Bulls' points, including a victory-clinching penalty five minutes from the end, to beat the Sharks 18-16.

Steyn's six penalties makes him the competition's leading scorer as the Sharks were denied after halfback Charl McLeod's try and a touchline conversion from Pat Lambie gave them the lead in the last 10 minutes.

The win takes the Pretoria team back to second overall and five points clear of the Cheetahs in the South African conference.

-AAP

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