Kefu: Reds scrum ‘world class’

REDS and Wallabies great Toutai Kefu says Queensland’s “world-class” scrum has them primed to beat the Brumbies in Saturday night’s Super Rugby AU grand final in Canberra.

Kefu, who made more than 100 appearances for the Reds from 1996 to 2004, was impressed by what he saw in Queensland’s 25-13 semi-final win over the Melbourne Rebels last Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.

“A very powerful set piece … I think Taniela Tupou, the tighthead (prop’s) been fantastic for them,” Kefu said.

“Their scrum’s world class at the moment, and I think results have come on the back of that.

“The Reds have come a long way.”

Apart from Tupou, Kefu has also been pleased by what he has seen from Harry Wilson, who plays in the No.8 role that Kefu made his own for Queensland and Australia for the best part of 10 years.

“I used to watch Harry Wilson when he was (a schoolboy) back at Gregory Terrace … a very good player, good size. He’s still got a long way to go but his last couple of years have been very good,” the 1999 World Cup winner said.

“The No.8s (Australia) have had just recently have been probably one dimensional, where they’ve just been powerful ball runners and big defenders.

“But Harry’s got an element to his game that we haven’t seen for a while, probably since myself, with a little of footwork and a little bit of ball skills.”

Kefu said Queensland’s kicking game had also stepped up a notch thanks to reformed flyhalf James O’Connor.

“They’ve got more of a kicking strategy now with James O’Connor – he’s been fantastic,” he said.

“That’s something they’ve been missing the last five to 10 years, someone to be able to kick the ball and play really good field territory.

“He’s part of the reason why they’re in the final as well. He used to be a ball-carrier, (have) good footwork and use his speed but now he can really control a game.

“He’s got that kicking element now that’s creeping towards world class.”

Former Wallabies skipper Ben Mowen, a proud Queenslander who played the majority of his Super Rugby career with the Brumbies, sensed the “momentum” was with the Reds.

“What I really want is both teams to go out and really attack for the final,” Villanova College great Mowen said.

“What we’ve seen in the football in the last month it’s been outstanding, ball in hand, lots of tries, and that’s been amazing … it’s been an Australian brand the way we’ve played, so hopefully both teams go with that mindset into Saturday night.

“I know from my personal experience from playing in these games with both sides there was a time there when the Reds just couldn’t get the momentum to win those games.

“I feel that a little bit of momentum has swung to the Reds this year, but the Brumbies are still going to be the favourites, so it’s going to be a cracking game.”

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