Reds coach Thorn in firing line after another Super Rugby loss

rugby08 April 2023 04:21| © AFP
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Brad Thorn © Gallo Images

Dejected Reds coach Brad Thorn admits he faces an uncertain future after a heavy Super Rugby Pacific loss to the Brumbies, with just two wins from seven so far this season.

The former All Blacks star has been at the helm since 2018 and led the Reds to the title in 2021.

But after they crashed 52-24 at home to the Brumbies on Friday evening, after leading 14-7, he acknowledged he could be on borrowed time.

"It hurts because it (heavy loss at home) can't happen," said Thorn, a former World Cup-winning All Black and Crusaders lock who first made a name for himself in rugby league.

"End of the day, it's on me. I've never shied away from anything. I'm a fighter by nature, I like challenges, but it's a disappointing one and we've got some tough reviews to do."

Asked whether he expected to still be in charge for the rest of the season, he replied: "I'm not a quitter."

But he added: "Who knows in coaching, that's the law of coaching. I'll continue to put my heart in and look to critique and improve. But the other stuff is out of my hands."

Indiscipline again cost the Reds, who conceded 15 penalties to nine, while lock Angus Blyth was red-carded in the eighth minute for a needless high tackle on Corey Toole.

The victory was the Brumbies first in Brisbane for eight years as they improved to 6-1 this season, with Wallabies Rob Valetini, Len Ikitau and Tom Wright among the try scorers.

"We're hurting, we're all feeling it individually and as a team," said Reds skipper Liam Wright.

"It thrusts a lot of pressure on our coaching team which we're not happy with, we need to take the brunt of that, we are the ones on the field trying to own that and unfortunately we didn't front up enough.

"We don't want to put a performance like that in front of Queensland, our home people. We need to be better."

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham expressed sympathy, saying the Reds were better than their recent results.

"It's a tough one, isn't it? Small margins really," he said of a Reds side who have suffered narrow losses to the Melbourne Rebels and Crusaders in recent weeks.

"I don't think they deserve to be where they are on the table."