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Dublin: 9 °C Monday 28 May, 2018
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James O'Connor's absolute howler cost the Reds dearly this morning

The Australian franchise’s season took another turn for the worse.

THE QUEENSLAND REDS’ miserable season continued this morning as they suffered their 10th defeat of the Super Rugby campaign in losing 21-14 at home to the Sharks.

Richard Graham’s side have been in dreadful form in 2015 and have won just three times this season, leading to a strong feeling that the head coach will depart at the end of the season.

Source: jp van der spuy/YouTube

Rumours of a bad atmosphere within the franchise have grown in recent months, with a number of players now believed to be looking to get out of what is seen as a sinking ship under Graham.

Matt O’Connor, whose departure from Leinster was announced yesterday, is one of several candidates for the job if Graham is relieved of his duties as expected.

The Reds battled hard in this morning’s clash with the Sharks, scoring two tries through Chris Kuridrani and powerful centre Samu Kerevi, the first of which was a superb team effort.

However, a try from scrum-half Stefan Ungerer as well as the place-kicking of centre Frans Steyn had the Sharks in a 16-14 lead with 12 minutes remaining, when Reds fullback James O’Connor came up with an unfortunate error.

The Wallaby’s attempted clearance kick from behind his own tryline under relatively little pressure skidded off O’Connor’s boot and directly into the hands of Ungerer, who touched down for his second with some ease despite apparently suffering from cramp. Unfortunately, the Australians couldn’t find a way back into the game from there.

In a cruel way, the mistake summed up the Reds’ season from hell.

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Murray Kinsella

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