What a magnificent performance last night by the Queensland Reds, over powering the Canterbury Crusaders at Suncorp stadium. Although the crusaders were a shadow of the team that we have all come to expect, credit must go to the Reds for not allowing them to play.
Ewan McKenzie looks to have galvanised the playing group into a team, who play for each other. It may only be game two of the Super 14 season but there is a unity that was lacking in recent years. Will Genia at halfback is without doubt the fulcrum of the side, but he has experienced quality players in front of him in the forwards and behind him in the backs. If he stays fit he can link the two and the Reds will upset more than a few teams.
This is good news for Australian Rugby as a whole. Queensland is the best nursery for rugby in the country, despite what their southern neighbours may say or think, and the player drain in recent years has not only hurt the Reds but also the Wallabies.
A strong and respected coach from outside Queensland (so not involved in the politics) like Ewan McKenzie is an essential ingredient, and he will hopefully bring success back to the Reds. If he does Australian Rugby will be the winner. With a strong Reds, Australia will be a better team. Suddenly Robbie Deans has a greater player pool to pick from and the belief those players carry into the Wallaby camps will be greater.
Long may it continue, and may James Horwill have a speedy recovery, as he will be sorely missed.