Simmons says Reds’ backs need to fire up

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Jake McIntyre of the Reds passes during the round one Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Reds at Allianz Stadium on February 27, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Jake McIntyre of the Reds passes during the round one Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Reds at Allianz Stadium on February 27, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images) Matt King

Stand-in Queensland captain Rob Simmons is not big on talk, but one thing he is sure about is the undoubted firepower in his team's backline.

Outside backs Eto Nabuli, Karmichael Hunt, Samu Kerevi, Chris Feauai-Sautia and Ayumu Goromaru all have plenty of size, speed and strength.

But in the Reds' 30-10 loss to the Waratahs last Saturday night, Feauai-Sautia made the most metres out of the group - and that was only 47.

Reds halfback Nick Frisby - one of his team's best on the night - gained the most ground out of all the Queensland backs with 69m, constantly looking to run and snipe.

Simmons said he was aware the backs did not get involved enough against New South Wales, and admitted that needed to change against the Western Force at Suncorp Stadium tonight.

The second-rower and Wallaby representative said his forwards could help by laying a better foundation in attack, after the Reds conceded 18 turnovers against the Tahs last week.

"If we can get a bit more accurate in our first and second-phase plays, it will release those backs to create that fire," Simmons said.

"As long as the forwards keep providing as much as they can, then I think it'll slowly come together."

An ankle injury to Henry Taefu (six to eight weeks) has forced a backline reshuffle, with Hunt shifting to inside centre, and Japanese international Goromaru making his Reds run-on debut at fullback.

Chris Feauai-Sautia, of the Reds, tries to push through the Waratahs defence at Allianz Stadium.  Photo: AAP Image/Dean Lewins.
Chris Feauai-Sautia, of the Reds, tries to push through the Waratahs defence at Allianz Stadium. Photo: AAP Image/Dean Lewins.

Simmons said he was excited about what Goromaru could do in the No.15 jersey, and Hunt as a second playmaker.

"Goro knows his role, and he's improving and understanding what we're trying to do with this team," Simmons said.

"He (Hunt) was pretty strong in the NRC (for Brisbane City) in the centres, and he's got a good partnership with Jake (five-eighth Jake McIntyre).

"It'll be interesting to see how he goes."

In other round two games today, the Chiefs host the Lions in Hamilton and the Highlanders will face the Hurricanes in a rematch of last year's final at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.

Later tonight, the Melbourne Rebels are away to the Bulls in Pretoria.

The Rebels, who were 25-19 winners over the Force last Saturday night, have made two changes with Steve Cummins and Jack Debreczeni named in the starting 15, after injuries to Colby Fainga'a and Mike Harris against the Force.



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