Roe to rack up century for Reds
February 26, 2008
Reds captain John Roe is hoping to mark his 100th game for Queensland with a win over the Brumbies in Canberra in Saturday's third round match of the 2008 Super 14 tournament - but more for the team's sake than his own.
Roe, 30, will become the 25th Queensland player to reach the century mark, joining current team mates Sean Hardman (113), Chris Latham (112) and David Croft (105) in the elite group.
But for now Roe is determined to set aside the emotion of the occasion to focus on beating the Brumbies for the first time in Canberra and putting the QR Reds' season firmly back on track after their disappointing 23-18 loss to the Hurricanes in round two.
"It's great to play an Australian team for a milestone game and (I'm) very much looking forward to going down there and beating them," Roe told reporters at Ballymore today.
"It's something I am very proud of and will be very proud of. However at the moment there's a real team focus. We've got a lot of work to do, we really want to make something of this season and this is a very important game for us."
Roe said there would be plenty of time when he eventually retires to savour the honour of earning his 100th cap, especially if it was accompanied by a win.
"It'd be great: it's something I'd look back on when I retire and say 'that was a fantastic day, I remember that clearly'.
"(But I'm) very much trying not to get caught up too much in the personal milestone because there's certainly a very significant team motivation for this week."
Even after 99 games, Roe said he is always looking to improve his play and the Experimental Law Variations had thrown up new challenges for him to conquer.
"With the ball in play that little bit longer, being more dynamic and more accurate at the breakdown certainly is one thing you've got to improve.
"The refs have very low tolerance for the ball staying in a breakdown for a long time so as a backrower in particular it's your job to get there fast and get that ball secured very quickly.
"And also towards the end of each half there's certainly some opportunities to have a bit of a run with a bit of space and some tired bigger men, so they're just little things you're trying to adjust all the time."
Roe made light of the fact that he's currently the competition's leading try scorer with three, two of them against the Highlanders after burrowing over from a breakdown close to the line and the third from a lineout against the Hurricanes that earned his team a valuable bonus point.
"The try scoring fiesta that I'm on at the moment, I'd be happy for it to continue. I don't mind scoring tries from half a metre - a lot of work's been done beforehand," he said.