‘His decision making is exceptional’: Lynagh masterclass, Ryan hat-trick as future Wallabies help Reds stomp Force


Queensland Reds won personal battles all over Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, from the power of Seru Uru, electricity of hat-trick hero Tim ‘Junkyard Dog’ Ryan and the artistry of Tom Lynagh, to the excellent game management of Tate McDermott.

The Reds’ comprehensive 59-13 win avenged 41-30 loss to the Force in Perth earlier in this season and entrenched them in fifth place on the table, from where they can’t be shifted in next week’s final round.

The Force stay in ninth and will face a Brumbies team with a shot at second on the table next week. After being outplayed from start to finish in Brisbane, it won’t get any easier when they host Brumbies and they’ll need a win and slip ups from the Drua and Highlanders who face off on Sunday.

Everywhere you looked the Reds were dominant and the future of Australian rugby looked a little shinier. After the Brumbies stars turned up big time for their Wallabies auditions on Friday night against the Rebels it was the turn of the Reds hopefuls to state their cases and many did just that.

Uru, yet to be capped for Australia, showed a debut can’t be too far away. He scored a try, broke the line and showed finesse when a cute flick pass helped set up a second try for Ryan.

Fraser McReight scored two tries – one from close range and the second backing up in support as the Reds put on the razzle dazzle in the final quarter.

Lynagh’s performance was perhaps most intriguing. Many judges would have him fourth on the national No.10 power rankings, but he won his battle with Ben Donaldson by a considerable margin.

“His decision making is exceptional. When to inject himself into the game and take contact,” said Justin Harrison on Stan Sport.

“You don’t want 10s being caught with the ball but he’s not afraid to get caught with the ball. 

“Importantly as well, his forward pack has gone to work for him to spread out that defensive line. Look at the amount of time Seru Uru, Liam Wright, Fraser McReight ave carried it across the line, Hodgman, Toomaga-Allen.

“They are making sure the Western Force needs a man up and that is giving the opportunity to get half a shoulder through, keep momentum on the ball. 

“Then you’ve got the Junkyard Dog on the wing, spreading that whole field open.

“Tom Lynagh has the entire run of the game at the moment. He has all the options open, the full billiard table. Every pocket is open for him at the moment and he is controlling the play with and without the ball.”

Morgan Turinui was also raving about the son of former Wallaby Michael.

“Even when he’s not getting the ball, he’s doing little bits and pieces connected to his forwards which mean that their carries can be good,” he said.

While Lynagh was impressive with ball in hand there is still a big caveat – he missed four kicks at goal.

The Reds went over for the first time in five minutes when McDermott, with penalty advantage giving him confidence, looked up and kicked wide to the right touchline where Ryan – an absolute revelation since coming into the team this season – leapt high to score his first try.

 (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The youngster might find this season too soon for a Wallabies bow but if he can help the Reds have a run into the finals then why not? He’s a marketers dream and lord only knows Rugby Australia need as many of those they can get their hands on.

A group of young fans were shown on the Stan coverage proudly wearing Junkyard Dog t-shirts. Matt Faessler probably deserves a bonus for coining the nickname.

TIM RYAN HAT-TRICK ???? The JYD is top dog!

↳ Super Rugby Pacific. Reds v Force, live now. Every Match. Ad-free. Live & On Demand on the Home of Rugby, Stan Sport.#StanSportAU #SuperRugbyPacific #REDvFOR pic.twitter.com/MkuZ410yQL

— Stan Sport Rugby (@StanSportRugby) May 25, 2024

Jock Campbell, who comfortably outshone the Force No.15 Kurtley Beale, scored the Reds second try on 16 minutes. Mac Grealy’s strong run created the space for Campbell to tear into and the cover was non existent.

Uru’s try, converted by Lynagh, took the Reds to a 25-6 just before the break. The Force threatened for one of their own right on the siren when George Poolman felt he’d scored after McReight raked the ball back in a ruck near the Reds line, only for the TMO to find a Force knock on in the melee. It was as close as they’d come.

The Reds continued to bring the heat after the break. Ryan got his second before McReight’s double. The carnage continued with Josh Nasser helping himself at the back of a rolling maul before Ryan shot to nine tries in just eight matches – when he stumbled across the line, his calves appearing to cramp up and his face a mixture of pleasure and pain.

Fraser McReight! The everywhere man goes over again ????

↳ Super Rugby Pacific. Reds v Force, live now. Every Match. Ad-free. Live & On Demand on the Home of Rugby, Stan Sport.#StanSportAU #SuperRugbyPacific #REDvFOR pic.twitter.com/Q2RrXYwH4w

— Stan Sport Rugby (@StanSportRugby) May 25, 2024

There were no poor players on the Reds side but the Force were woeful. Their miserable night was summed up when former Red Hamish Stewart missed the end of the match having copped a dumb yellow – mouthing off at Damon Murphy as the ref’s patience ran out.

“It was up there with one of our most complete performances of the year,” said McDermott. “And coming into the end of the year, we knew we had to be on. So really proud of that effort and a great way to finish our year at Suncorp.

“We’re blessed with the depth we’ve got, and we’re going to need every single member of our squad come finals.”

The Reds will play the fourth-placed team in the quarters – which is shaping as a trip to Hamilton to face the Chiefs. Before that a tune up against a demoralised New South Wales

Force slipper Jeremy Williams was at a loss to understand the nature of the loss.

“I don’t have a lot, really. Pretty tough night,” he said. “We were ill-disciplined. Didn’t have any dominance around the contact areas. And give a team like the Reds, they’ll play on top.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.