Reds still setting the curve in Australia
A third-placed finish saw them advance to the qualifying semi finals, and it was there that the journey ended, with defeat to an in-form Sharks outfit spelling the end of their hopes of another Grand Final appearance.
But it is the third consecutive season that the Reds have competed at the very top of the Super Rugby competition and that is an amazing level of consistency in a league as competitive as this.
The championship rugby experts will tell you that the challenge for Richard Graham’s men in 2013 will be to regain a title that many of their supporters believe should permanently reside in Australia.
And if the trophy is to return to the nation then it is likely to be the Reds who bring it ‘home’, as each of the other four Australian clubs have struggled to make any sort of impact on the league ladder in recent years.
Many have attempted to explain the reason behind the nation’s failure to produce champion sides of late, but the reality of the situation is that the South African and Kiwi clubs are playing with an intensity that the Aussie clubs have simply been unable to replicate.
The Reds have been handed the perfect opportunity to underline their national dominance with consecutive opening fixtures in the 2013 season against the Brumbies and the Waratahs.
Anything other than two victories from those opening matches will represent a disappointing opening, such is the benchmark created by the club’s achievements in the last years.
But that standard set in Rugby Union Championship matches should not manifest itself as a negative.
The club has set an example in 2011 and 2012 that each of the other Australian clubs should seek to follow.
Guest Author: Tom
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