O’Connor kicking goals in Super return


Ten years on from his Wallabies’ heroics in Hong Kong, James O’Connor is stepping as much as kick match-winning goals once more in a welcome and acquainted sight for Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn.

Thorn was an All Black in 2010 when a fresh-faced O’Connor kicked the winner in opposition to him, the coach recalling the second after he did comparable in Friday’s 32-26 defeat of the NSW Waratahs.

Fullback Bryce Hegarty had made three of his six makes an attempt for the evening and, with the sport locked up the Reds’ No.10 seized the second.

His two late, emphatic penalties had been the distinction because the Reds snapped a seven-year, 11-game shedding streak in opposition to their border rivals to launch Super Rugby AU.

“It went down to the wire there and James stepped up, a nice cool head,” Thorn stated.

“I believe James stepped up and stated ‘I wish to take it’.

“It was a little bit of a irritating recreation at instances, making an attempt to get the circulate of the sport, however he simply stated ‘sufficient’s sufficient’.

“(It reminded me of) standing there in Hong Kong in 2010 and a young kid stepped up … I remember thinking ‘if the kid kicks it, good on him’.”

O’Connor, the oldest participant of a younger Reds outfit on Friday, will flip 30 on Sunday.

He managed a groin criticism earlier this yr that stopped him from kicking, however has returned from the shutdown absolutely match and assured after periods with famend kicking coach Dave Alred.

“I think this break’s been good for him for his condition and for a lot of the lads,” Thorn stated.

Both groups loved the mid-week banter and the competitors nature of the derby however Thorn wasn’t totally happy, insinuating it was gamesmanship that led to prop Taniela Tupou’s second-half sin-binning.

Twice the ahead ran by way of and knocked over the Waratahs kicker, first conceding a penalty down-field after which being yellow-carded for his troubles.

But neither had been notably late or excessive pictures, Thorn believing Tupou’s solely crime was stupidity.

“If they’re seriously injured and go down they should get a HIA,” he stated.

“Because clearly they had been nice … rugby’s a troublesome recreation, I’m not an enormous fan of that form of stuff.

“On my facet as effectively; I do not need my gamers taking place with a dramatic fall.

“They should take it, get up and get on with the game.”

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