Injuries to Queensland flankers Liam Gill and Lolo Fakaosilea overshadowed a 31-18 loss to the Brumbies in their Super Rugby trial at Ballymore on Friday night.
Gill, who this week announced he will leave the Reds to play in France at the end of the season, departed the game after 15 minutes clutching his right shoulder following a tackle on Brumbies winger Joe Tomane.
An even more serious ailment seemed to befall Gill’s back-row colleague Lolo Fakaosilea, who was helped off the field with a knee injury during the second quarter.
Even if the news on this pair is less serious than feared, the second successive convincing trial defeat – following the heavy 31-3 defeat to the Crusaders last week – suggests the club still have some way to go to convince their supporters they can improve on last season’s third-bottom finish in the overall standings.
Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore scored the opening try for eh Brumbies, finishing off a rolling maul after eight minutes.
The Reds showed a similar lack of potency to the previous outing in the first half while the Brumbies were ruthless.
Brumbies No.8 Ita Vaea and scrum-half Tomas Cubelli both dived over from close range giving their side a 19-6 half-time lead.
Tevita Kuridrani added another try four minutes after the break, this time a controversial one as Tomane threw what looked like a forward pass to Scott Fardy leading up to the five-pointer.
The Reds scored two tries in the second half with scrum-half Nick Frisby and winger Eto Nabuli, on the final whistle, sandwiching a five-pointer from Brumbies replacement front-rower Robbie Abel.