Reds captain Chris Latham has admitted that the boredom of being among the Hamilton hicks put his players to sleep long before kick-off.
The Reds, having shown great passion in their first three home matches, wandered around the park against the Chiefs and Latham told the Aussie media it was because they had been so bored in the build-up to the match. There simply wasn’t any energy.
“We had three very high intensity games at home and this was our first game away in what would not be the world’s most exciting town,” Latham said. “There’s not really that much to do and I think our preparation certainly was different to what individuals do to prepare here at home.
“If we were here in sunny Brisbane, there’s a lot of things to do and a lot of places to go and get out and get motivated and get moving.
“Stuck in a hotel lazing around just counting the hours till we can get out and get playing certainly wasn’t the best preparation.”
Hamilton, which SA players reckon to be the worst of the New Zealand cities to play in, is home to the Chiefs.
The Reds play three matches in South Africa and Latham said it was important to ensure there was more excitement around the pre-match build-up.
He shouldn’t worry. There’s always an Aussie or two getting boozed up in South Africa and getting sent home because of it.
“As a senior player group and as a management group we’ve got to make sure that, one, we’ve learnt lessons from that and we can move forward and, two, make sure the less experienced players and junior players are aware of what’s required in preparation when we’re away from home,” said Latham.