Image: FILE PHOTO: Super Rugby – New South Wales Waratahs v Queensland Reds – Allianz Stadium, Sydney, Australia, 27/02/16 – Queensland Reds’ Ayumu Goromaru from Japan reacts with team mates after the game. REUTERS/David Gray
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Queensland Reds coach Nick Stiles has lashed his players for failing to meet standards in preparation and team culture after dropping Nick Frisby and Andrew Ready for this weekend’s Super Rugby clash against the ACT Brumbies.
Scrumhalf Frisby, who played five tests off the bench for the Wallabies last year, and hooker Ready have been banished to the state’s Premier Rugby club competition after disappointing Stiles with their performances on and off the field.
The pair, who played off the bench against the Wellington Hurricanes on Saturday, were singled out for special criticism by Stiles, who lamented the performance of the replacements after the 34-15 defeat.
Frisby and Ready went out drinking after the loss and missed an optional recovery session on Sunday, local media reported, but Stiles said his mind was already made up before the night out.
“This isn’t about a few beers on a game night but little shortcuts in preparation over a period of time when we need to all have an uncompromising attitude to winning Super Rugby games,” he told local media.
“I flagged after the game I was disappointed with the bench but it’s been a couple of weeks where preparation hasn’t been spot on for Andrew and Fris.”
Despite managing only three wins and a draw from 15 matches last year, the Reds entered this season with high expectations following the recruitment of a string of test veterans, including Wallabies captain Stephen Moore and flanker George Smith.
But the optimism has faded with only one win from six matches going into Saturday’s match in Canberra.
Poor discipline has been a major factor in the Reds’ slow start, with too many players spending time in the sin-bin on the winless tour of South Africa and Argentina.
Stiles said he needed to set an example with Ready and Frisby.
“It’s a kick up the backside because this has been a club that has let little things go unchecked but no longer,” he said.
“We are changing the culture.
“(2016) was a big year physically and mentally and Nick has probably come back from that Wallaby tour a little drained and that has transferred into his prep and performance.
“He and Andrew are going back to club footy, I want to see a response and hopefully long-term this setback is a blessing in disguise.”
Although the Reds are still searching for their second win, victory over the Brumbies would keep them in touch with the Australian conference leaders, who have managed only two from five matches.
The winner of the conference gets an automatic berth in the playoffs.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)
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