Moore tasked with salvaging Reds' season

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:16

REACTION: Wallaby captain Stephen Moore has been handed the unenvious task of turning the troubled Reds' season around

It starts in Buenos Aires on Saturday - an encounter with the high-flying Jaguares.

The Reds have lost their last three matches - against the Western Force (19.26), Crusaders (20-22) and Lions (14-44) - after a last-minute win (28-26) in the opening round against the Sharks.

All hope of successful season soon evaporated, especially after this past weekend's hammering at the hands of the Lions - despite some astute off-season recruiting that includes Moore (from the Brumbies), Wallaby legend George Smith (from Wasps), Scott Higginbotham (from the Green Rockets) and Quade Cooper (from Toulon).

The encounter with the Jaguares comes at the end of a gruelling trip that saw the Reds travel almost 17 hours (11,628 kilometres from Brisbane to Johannesburg) and then had another 16-hour trip (from Johannesburg to Buenos Aires via Sao Paulo - nine hours from Johannesburg to Sao Paulo, with a stop-over of more than three hours - followed by another three-hour flight to Buenos Aires).

To rub salt into those already festering wounds the Reds lost captain James Slipper, who returned home from the team's tour of South Africa and Argentina, after suffering a ruptured Achilles in the loss at Ellis Park.

However, coach Nick Stiles believe Moore's experience - 160-odd Super Rugby matches and 116 Test caps - could be the tonic the Reds need.

"To lose him after just four games is a disappointment," Stiles said in the wake of Slipper's injury.

"However, we are extremely lucky to have the current Wallaby skipper Stephen Moore as part of the squad.

"To have someone like him stepping up to take on the official captaincy is a luxury we have.

"He [Moore] will continue to drive the cultural change in the side and it is another opportunity for him to lay a firm footprint on the side and create some really good habits that ca set us up for future success."

Stiles admitted it will be a "really tough" game against the South Americans.

"It was only a week ago that the Jaguares beat the Lions," he said, adding: "They are a quality side, filled with internationals.

"They also have a full bench of Argentinean internationals, so you know they have very strong depth.

"We need to knuckle down and concentrate on our game, make sure we play a much better style of rugby this week.

"If we do that, we will put ourselves in a position to win the game.

"We came on this tour with a goal of picking up a win and the boys are  very committed to chase that this weekend."

He admitted the demanding travel schedule is a challenge.

"This tour was always going to present many challenges for us - particularly the quality of the opposition, with the Lions and the Jaguares.

"On top of that, there is the travel load, where you fly around the world in two weeks."

@rugby365com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 18 November 2017
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 12h00 Sixways
Italy v Argentina 13h00 Florence
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Wales v Georgia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Australia 15h00 Twickenham
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 15h30 Ricoh Arena
Ireland v Fiji 16h30 Aviva Stadium
Scotland v New Zealand 17h15 Edinburgh
France v South Africa 19h45 Paris
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 17 November 2017
Gloucester v Saracens 23 | 17
Tue, 14 November 2017
France XV v New Zealand 23 | 28
Sat, 11 November 2017
France v New Zealand 18 | 38
Ireland v South Africa 38 | 3
Wales v Australia 21 | 29
England v Argentina 21 | 8
Scotland v Samoa 44 | 38
Italy v Fiji 19 | 10
Sat, 04 November 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 37 | 8
Connacht v Cheetahs 23 | 15
Edinburgh v Ospreys 37 | 10
Barbarians v New Zealand 22 | 31
Kings v Ulster 36 | 43
Japan v Australia 30 | 63
Fri, 03 November 2017
Scarlets v Treviso 20 | 8
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28