Reds spirit lives on for Tempo
April 1, 2000
Tim Horan's superb chase to pull down Waratah speedster Matt Dowling at Ballymore tonight typified the commitment of a Queensland team with a Super 12 rugby semi-final in its sights.
Horan's turn of speed in the second half may not have turned the course of the game but was one of many examples of why Queensland has one hand on the new Bob Templeton trophy. Templeton, a former Queensland coach and Queensland Rugby Union president, passed away in December. The teams meet again in the Ricoh National Championship on June 3, and should NSW win that game the Cup will be awarded to the team with best for and against record.
Queensland beat New South Wales 31-16 - a lacklustre game marred by a penalty count of 24-13 in NSW's favour.
Queensland second-rower John Eales, playing his 100th game for Queensland, said Horan's pursuit of Dowling - who had a try at his mercy - typified the feeling in the Queensland team.
"Tim of all people typifies Queensland rugby ... striving, striving, striving to the end," he said.
With six more rounds of the Super 12 to play Eales said the team was still under a lot of pressure. "We can't afford to lose from here on in, (but) we're not out of it yet."
Eales left the game late in the second half with cramps, admitting his lack of match play due to injury in the last two years was taking its toll. "I haven't played much rugby over the last two years and it's probably catching up with me a bit," he said.
Reds coach John Connolly said winning the Super 12 match was the first priority with old interstate rivalries not far behind.
"Winning the Super 12 game comes first but its hard to hide what you've grown up with," he said of the rivalry.
Queensland, who have been rattled by a string of injuries this season, escaped the battle relatively unscathed with a minor hamstring injury to fullback Chris Latham the only concern.