QUEENSLAND Reds backline utility Mike Harris is adamant it’s a case of business as usual ahead of the traditional grudge match against New South Wales.
Harris and fellow Red Rob Simmons were popular visitors to Karana Downs yesterday to support the flood-affected Lions Rugby Club.
The in-form Reds can expect less than a warm welcome from the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
Harris was born in New Zealand but he is well aware of the significance of the occasion.
At the same time, despite six straight wins since their 30-6 drubbing by NSW in Sydney, he said it was important to approach it as just another game.
“Big games are what you play rugby for,” said Harris, whose Super Rugby debut was in that game.
“We’ve had a couple of tough challenges in the past couple of weeks building into this one so it should be no different.
“We’ve got to keep doing what we’ve been doing and get things right on the day.
“It’s a traditional grudge match, Queensland versus New South Wales.
"All of that sort of stuff comes into it as well but we’re just wanting to go out there and do the best that we can and do ourselves justice for all the hard work we’ve put in.”
He said the key to the Reds’ success was hard work put in by not just all the players and coach Ewen McKenzie, but everyone associated with the club.
“Everyone collectively is putting in the little things and doing that little bit extra,” he said.
“Obviously Ewen is doing a great job coaching-wise.
"He’s a really smart coach and one of the best I’ve had. I think that’s played a huge part.”
The 22-year-old apologised for resorting to the book of clichés but said it was vital for the red-hot Reds to stay focused after such a great start to the year.
“You do hear about the records, winning streaks and all that sort stuff, but, look, we’re just trying to take it game by game, week by week,” he said.
“It’s a pretty old cliché – I know, it’s pretty bad - but it is true. You can’t look too far ahead.
“Every game is just as important as the next and if we’re looking too far into the future to finals and stuff like that, then you get tripped up.
“Hopefully we can give it to these guys on Saturday but it’s going to be a big game. All things will be on the line but it should be good.”
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