Reds must fix discipline issues: Kerevi
SAMU Kerevi admits the Queensland Reds have discipline issues after captain Scott Higginbotham was banned for three weeks, while Lukhan Tui is also in the sights of the Super Rugby judiciary.
Higginbotham was red-carded after just nine minutes in Friday's defeat to the Melbourne Rebels for an "objectively dangerous" shoulder charge on Matt Phillip. He will miss the next three Reds games - against the Brumbies and Bulls at home, and then away to the Jaguares in Argentina.
Meanwhile, Tui has been summoned to front a SANZAAR hearing on Tuesday night and could face a similar suspension after he was yellow-carded for a lifting tackle on Wallabies halfback Will Genia in the first half against the Rebels.
The Reds were constantly hampered by sin-binnings and send-offs in 2017.
All up, they collected 13 yellow cards and one red in 15 matches last year - the worst record in Super Rugby.
Kerevi, who was on-field captain in Higginbotham's absence and a strong candidate to take on the role for the next three weeks, said it had to change.
"It's something (Higginbotham and Tui) didn't intentionally do but it hurt the team," Kerevi said on Monday.
"From now on, we're trying to really address that side (of the game) to not be in that situation again."
Kerevi said it wasn't a case of them trying too hard to impress new coach Brad Thorn in his first match in charge.
"We just want to be aggressive as a team, we want to be physical," he said.
"Across the board in Super Rugby, every team's physical.
"I guess there is a line you don't want to cross ... but it is rugby at the end of the day. It's a physical sport and the boys will be physical."
The two incidents reduced the Reds to 13 men, a handicap they were unable to recover from as they were thrashed 45-19 in their season opener.
Higginbotham appears to have gotten off lightly, with SANZAAR's foul play review committee initially viewing it as a six-week offence because his left shoulder landed so squarely on Phillip's head.
However, the 31-year-old's clean record, guilty plea and the fact Phillip was not injured meant the punishment was halved.
Tui was cited after his dumping tackle on Genia was adjudged to have met the red card threshold for foul play, but he rejected the proposed sanction offered to him on Sunday.
Liam Wright and Kane Douglas are in line to replace loose forward Higginbotham and lock Tui for Friday's meeting with the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium.