Super Rugby Pacific: Reds winger Filipo Daugunu dropped

Filipo Daugunu’s mixed Super Rugby Pacific season has continued after he was dropped again from Queensland’s starting 15.

Wallabies winger Filipo Daugunu has been dropped from Queensland’s starting side after a poor performance in the Reds’ 30-17 Super Rugby Pacific loss to the Hurricanes.

Daugunu, whose hands let him down at AAMI Park last Saturday, has been replaced in the Queensland 15 by Josh Flook for Friday night’s clash against the Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium.

Daugunu’s demotion to the bench is a continuation of his rollercoaster season.

Having started in the opening two games of Queensland’s campaign, Daugunu was then banished from the entire squad for the Reds’ next four games.

He was then recalled and played three successive matches only to again pay the price after an ordinary weekend display.

His replacement Flook – who has profited from the electrifying Jordan Petaia being forced to miss another week with a hamstring injury – has also been unable to nail down a permanent spot in Queensland’s top 15, but his inclusion was applauded by Reds captain Tate McDermott.

“Flooky’s just a young sponge really,” McDermott said.

“He brings energy, and something I’ve been really been happy (about) with Flooky is around his voice this year.

“His voice, particularly on the wings where it might get pretty quiet sometimes, will be really important this weekend particularly in defence when they try to skin us on the edge, so Flooky will have a big game hopefully.”

In the other change to Queensland’s starting side, flanker Angus Scott-Young has been promoted from the bench to replace Connor Vest, who has missed out on the squad altogether, perhaps due to his undisciplined weekend display that included a sin-binning that aided the Hurricanes’ comeback from 17-0 down.

“Youngy’s been a rock for us in the past and that’ll be no different this weekend, particularly around the defence component,” McDermott said.

“He’s a really smart guy. He’ll be good for our lineout and a bit of leadership in our forward pack.”

The Queensland bench has also been boosted by the return from injury of towering lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and dynamic flanker Seru Uru.

“Lukhan, we know what we’re going to get. He’s a big body, and he loves the physical side of it,” McDermott said.

“Seru has showed his class pretty much the whole year. Unfortunately, he got injured but he’s a brilliant player.”

McDermott said the Reds required a “complete performance” to beat the Chiefs.

“We need to play for 80-plus (minutes). At the moment we’re opening the door and letting them come in,” he said.

“If we fix our discipline it goes a long way towards winning a match.”

Reds: Harry Hoopert, Richie Asiata, Taniela Tupou, Ryan Smith, Angus Blyth, Angus Scott-Young, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott (c), Lawson Creighton, Josh Flook, Hamish Stewart, Hunter Paisami, Suliasi Vunivalu, Jock Campbell. Bench: Matt Faessler, Dane Zander, Feao Fotuaika, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Seru Uru, Spencer Jeans, Filipo Daugunu, Mac Grealy.

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