Reds wary of potholes on Super Rugby finals path
Queensland Reds forward Connor Vest hopes his team can ride their red-hot momentum all the way to a Super Rugby Pacific finals berth, but he's not taking anything for granted.
The Reds' finals hopes were in dire straights a month ago when they slumped to a 2-5 record.
But wins over Moana Pasifika, Western Force and the ladder-leading Chiefs in the past four games have catapulted the Reds (5-6) into seventh spot with three rounds remaining.
The 25-22 triumph over the Chiefs in New Plymouth last Friday was the Reds' first in New Zealand since 2013.
More importantly, it has fanned hopes Brad Thorn's men can cause some damage in the play-offs.
The Reds sit six points clear of ninth-placed Fijian Drua, meaning one more win will probably be enough to lock in a finals berth.
Queensland round out their campaign with matches against the fifth-placed Blues (fifth), the 11th-placed Highlanders (away) and Fijian Drua (away).
"It's a massive momentum swing from where we were a month ago to where we are now," Vest said.
"We're three (wins) from four in the last four games.
"The momentum is definitely swinging our way, and we're going to ride this as long as we can.
"We've got a very tough road coming up - we've got (the Blues), then the Highlanders in Dunedin, and Fiji in Fiji.
"It's a tough three games. If we want to lock down a finals spot, we've got to turn up for each and every one of those."
The Blues' four-match winning run was brought to a halt last week when they were beaten 15-3 by the Crusaders.
Vest played for Auckland in the National Provincial Championship last year and he knows the Blues are a dangerous side.
"They're a team full of All Blacks," Vest said ahead of Friday night's clash at Suncorp Stadium.
"They can string together a performance like nothing else.
"I was pretty fortunate I got to play with a few of the players last year so I might know a little bit of the ins and outs.
"I came back with a different rugby mind. They play the game over there completely different to how we do.
"They're a lot more counter-attack and unstructured play.
"So seeing how that is now benefiting the Reds, and what I've brought back to the Reds, we're sort of capitalising on that."