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in BullyGeister 30.12.2018 06:26
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They may have suffered a ninth loss of the season, but Queensland Reds got a glimpse of what the future may hold as Taniela Tongan Thor made his Super Rugby debut.The former New Zealand schoolboy sensation came off the bench as a replacement for Greg Holmes in the 35th minute in the 43-24 defeat by the Brumbies, making eight runs for 19 metres and four tackles, all before scoring the games final try.But it was his scrummaging that was most impressive, particularly given he was up against Wallabies loosehead Scott Sio.To see Taniela Tupou come off the bench, you know earlier than what we had thought, played 55 minutes of football and we know he can run, hes explosive and he showed that, Reds coach Nick Stiles said.But to see him step up and scrummage the way he did for a 19/20-year-old footballer playing your first game against Scott Sios and [Allan] Alaalatoas, its so exciting for us moving forward. You know we wanted to win tonight, but if you cast your mind forward to next season and you look at the players were talking about now, theres a lot of hope and optimism.While Tupou was making his Super Rugby debut, a couple of old hands also returned to the southern hemisphere provincial scene.Former Waratahs lock Kane Douglas and former Bath back-rower Leroy Houston both came off the bench in the 50th and 57th minutes respectively, with Houston in particular lifting the Reds tempo late on.Theyre world class I think, Reds captain James Slipper said of the experienced duo.Kane, we all know what he did last year, so were excited with the fact that were getting a bit of experience back into the team. Leroy has been around the Reds for a long period, he was there when I first started, so he knows what to expect. I think with the more footy hes playing with us, the better.Theyre both quality players and the more minutes they play its only going to help us.And the praise didnt stop there with Stiles glowing in his assessment of rookie lock Lukhan Tui.Yeah as Slips [Slipper] mentioned, Kane and Leroy, it was great to have them back but for me we know what they can do -- we know theyre very good footballers, Stiles said.But for me, I was actually more excited about the performances of Lukhan Tui; you know who before tonight, hed had 10 minutes off the bench in South Africa, and to see him start tonight against Sam Carter, (Scott) Fardy; youre playing against (Rory) Arnold; youre playing against a good forward pack and gee he stood up and he played physical and athletic. 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