Andrew Slack and Springfield Land Corp general
manager Chris Safonoff prepare for a round of golf
IT HAS been some time since former Wallaby captain and Queensland Reds coach Andrew Slack has seen his old team involved in a game like last Saturday night.
Slack, along with the likes of Alastair Lynch and Ian Healy, was at Brookwater Golf Club on Monday for a round of golf as one of the club's ambassadors.
He was keen to talk about the rejuvenated Reds after their thrilling 19-12 win over defending Super 14 champions the Bulls at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
Asked when he last saw the Reds involved in such a game, Slack said: "It wasn't in the last couple of years."
Having been part of the Reds coaching roundabout, which has involved seven coaches coming and going in the past decade, Slack was careful in his response when asked what was behind the Reds' turnaround this season.
"I think coaches can be over-rated, both in terms of winning and losing," he said.
"The timing of the players maturing, like Genia, Cooper and a few of the forwards, is part of it.
"They are third or fourth year Super 14 players now. But you can attribute a lot of it to Link (coach Ewen McKenzie).
"They're a bit scared of him, which is a good thing. Tactically he's a very intelligent bloke and he doesn't get fooled by anything.
"But the players are the most important thing."
Among those is former Ipswich Grammar School student Rod Davies, who Slack believes would be picked if an Australian B team was selected at the moment.
"He looks very much like a bloke who now knows what he's doing," Slack, the 1984 Grand Slam winning skipper, said.
"He wants to dominate a game and has been one of the great improvers.
"If you'd have said six weeks ago is Rod Davies a potential Wallaby, (no one would have agreed).
"It is also a credit to Link's selections. He hasn't been afraid to drop people."
Slack can't find a place in the Wallaby team for Ipswich Grammar School's other star product Berrick Barnes, who has endured a season of mixed form since defecting to New South Wales.
"I'd play Cooper at 10 and (Matt) Giteau at 12 on what I've seen this season so far," Slack said. "Cooper's got the same game Berrick's got and a few more strengths."