Time is right for Reds to end drought

Saturday night’s Super Rugby AU final is the perfect occasion for the Reds to bury their Canberra hoodoo.

While the Reds beat the Brumbies 26-7 as recently as two weeks ago, that match was at Suncorp Stadium.

It’s been a different story at GIO Stadium, where Queensland has not tasted success since 2014.

The Reds have come close twice this year to wins in Canberra.

They lost 27-24 to the Brumbies in January, and again went down on August 1 when a penalty goal after the siren secured the Brumbies a 22-20 win.

Reds captain Liam Wright has had enough of coming home from Canberra on a losing side.

“Encouragingly, we’ve put n pretty decent performances in Canberra this year, we just haven’t closed out games,” 22-year-old Wright said.

“That’ll be the key for us this weekend – learning how to close out those key moments.

“We’ve just got to down there and give 80 minutes of full effort and the result will hopefully take care of itself.

“The feeling’s really good. The week’s been talked up forever. Grand final week. it’s awesome to finally be a part of one.”

Flanker Wright is also part of a Reds scrum Queensland great Toutai Kefu this week described as “world-class”.

However, it’s also a pack whose scrummaging success this season has been questioned by opponents – including the Brumbies – who have complained about the work of star Reds prop Taniela Tupou.

Wright said the Reds could not fall into the trap of being concerned about their scrummaging because of rival teams “planting seeds” of doubt in the minds of referees.

“(Tupou’s) scrummaging really strong and people are looking for a bit of leverage they can get to nullify that,” he said.

“It happened (last) weekend (against the Rebels) where probably the first (scrum) we came in a bit lazy, probably got a bit complacent on that and we got it done to us and a penalty against us.

“Our front-rowers are class. We’ve just got to go in with our mind switched on the whole time and stay focused on the job at hand, not think too far ahead.

“We were probably guilty of that in the first scrum against the Rebels.”

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