Reds hungry to improve
February 19, 2008

QR Reds skipper John Roe says his team is hungry to improve after starting the 2008 Super 14 season with a welcome win.

The QR Reds beat the Highlanders 22-16 at Suncorp Stadium in round one and now face the powerful Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday with a determination to lift their performance to a higher level.

"Winning was great but it's not enough: we've got to play better," said Roe.

Although the Hurricanes faltered last Saturday, going down 20-3 to the Waratahs, Roe said they were a formidable unit.

"We're playing a very good team, there's no doubt about that," he told reporters after training at Ballymore.

"They're a very good one-on-one team; they've got plenty of All Blacks; they're big, strong powerful men; they love an offload and they're very dynamic."

Roe said if the Reds stuck to their game plan and played as a team, they were capable of taking the points.

"The way we're going to beat them is to play them as a team," he said.

"We're very confident, as a team sticking to our patterns which we know work, and sticking to our principles in defence, it should be a good win."

QR Reds Head Coach Phil Mooney has kept his starting side intact and made just one change to the bench, calling up teenage flyhalf Quade Cooper to replace utility back Andrew Walker in the 22.

Mooney said Cooper had played well for the QAS Reds Second 15 at flyhalf against the Young Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday and deserved his promotion.

Cooper was pleased to get the opportunity but knows it's a competitive Reds squad in 2008.

"I'm really looking forward to it, I can't wait to play," Cooper told reporters.

"It was tough going back down to 'Queensland A' but I had a good time and got back in the side so I'm very happy.

"There's good players all across the board and we've got a lot of depth so everybody's got to play (well) week in, week out."

The QR Reds side is (15-1): Chris Latham, Digby Ioane, Morgan Turinui, Chris Siale, Clinton Schifcofske, Berrick Barnes, Sam Cordingley, John Roe (c), David Croft, Hugh McMeniman, James Horwill, Van Humphries, Rodney Blake, Stephen Moore, Greg Holmes. Reserves (16-22): Sean Hardman, Dayna Edwards, Ed O'Donoghue, Leroy Houston, Will Genia, Peter Hynes, Quade Cooper.


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