Reds aren't dead yet says Daley
May 6, 2014
Prop Ben Daley is poised to fill the void left by James Slipper's suspension © Getty Images
The Queensland Reds are clinging to the hope they can still sneak into this year's Super Rugby finals despite a desperate run of poor form. Last weekend's 44-14 thrashing by the Blues in Auckland means the Reds are 12th on the ladder, 10 points outside the finals spots.
Prop Ben Daley knows results now have to fall the Reds' way for them to reach the finals but he says the team hasn't given up hope quite yet. Daley is poised to return to the starting line-up after James Slipper received a three-week ban for a lifting tackle during the loss to the Blues. He says Sunday's clash at Suncorp Stadium against the Crusaders can still be the turning point in a disappointing campaign.
"Teams can beat anyone in this competition. You've got lower-ranked teams beating top-ranked teams, so we're not dead in the water yet," Daley said.
Daley said the Reds squad is fully behind coach Richard Graham as pressure builds on the former Western Force mentor.
"He's got the support of all the players," Daley said.
For his part, Daley is hoping to use Sunday's visit by the Crusaders to show what he can do for Graham. Slipper's suspension is an opportunity for the 25-year-old to prove his worth to the Reds and forwards coach Nick Stiles believes Daley will fill the void well.
"Definitely losing a player of James' calibre affects not only at scrum-time but across the field," Stiles said. "He's been playing exceptional football for us and to lose him is disappointing. In saying that, having someone like Ben Daley coming into your starting squad is a pretty good sub. He brings a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of aggression and playing a team like the Crusaders that's exactly what you need up front."