Mooney salutes Cordingley

Queensland Reds coach Phil Mooney was more than happy with Sam Cordingley as he led his side to a 40-8 win over the Bulls in his first match as captain. [more]

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Queensland Reds coach Phil Mooney was more than happy with Sam Cordingley as he led his side to a 40-8 win over the Bulls in his first match as captain.

Cordingley openly admits speeches are not his strength, but it was his on-field actions that did all the talking and inspired his team-mates.

"Before the game I thought the way he controlled the team was fantastic and he did give the young guys their head," the Reds coach said of his new general afterwards.

"His communication was excellent and out on the field his decision-making was very good."

"There were times when we sped the game up when we felt they were under the pump and there were times when we kicked for goal. Tactically he was very good."

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Cordingley tried his best to divert the attention away from himself.

"I’m not one for big motivation speeches," said Cordingley who stumbled at one point during the post-match press conference.

"As you can see I can’t even spit the words out. I’m not such a great speaker."

He added: "My line that I was throwing at the boys was to keep their foot on the throat of the Bulls. And that’s exactly what we did throughout the game."

Coming off three straight losses, the Reds desperately needed a victory, and the change in mindset from victims to victors was instantly noticeable.

Mooney reserved special praise for debutant Poutasi Luafuta, saying that the 111kg backrower added much-needed muscle to the Reds pack.

"He [Luafuta] was quite vocal at half-time. It was almost a case of let’s stop talking and go back out there and belt them," recalled Mooney.

Cordingley, on the other hand, was grateful for help he received from his team-mates, especially Chris Latham who, after scoring the first try, celebrated each crossing as if he’d touched the ball down himself.

"Latho was particularly good at half-time. He spoke about remaining composed and making sure we kept the pressure on," said the skipper.

"We could see they were fatiguing and knew that if we could keep the heat on it would go a long way to putting them to bed."

"It’s one of the better performances for Queensland rugby in recent times. To get that little bit of a monkey off our back after last year’s performance was terrific."

"We’ve been under the pump for a number of weeks now not playing a particularly attractive style of rugby and we put 40 points on the Super 14 champions."

The Bulls humiliated a ramshackle Reds outfit 92-3 in the final round last May.

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