A bright finish by emerging halfback Moses Sorovi was at least something for Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn to hold on to after an otherwise forgettable 36-12 Super Rugby loss to the Chiefs.
A hiding was on the cards when the Chiefs led 31-0 early in the second half before the Reds stemmed the flow with two late tries.
The 22-year-old son of a heavyweight boxing champion grabbed his chance late on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium to give the fans and Thorn something to get behind after a fourth-straight loss.
Sorovi was speedy at the scrumbase and accurate with his passing in a final quarter cameo that may earn him a start ahead of incumbent Ben Lucas next Saturday against the Lions.
"Possibly yeah ... I'm trying to win, but I'm also looking and you'll see each week a guy gets an opportunity," Thorn said of the playmaker.
"Moses worked his butt off in the off-season, missed the tour, kept chipping away and he deserves an opportunity.
"It makes a difference when you have that speed and will definitely give us something to think about."
Former Reds greats were in the stands to celebrate Queensland's 1000th match but there wasn't much to cheer as the Chiefs raced to a 24-0 halftime lead.
The first-half exit of Chiefs five-eighth Damian McKenzie, who passed a head injury assessment but was kept on the bench, helped the Reds stop the bleeding.
Two late tries to Samu Kerevi allowed Thorn to stay positive post game, despite the news captain James Slipper could miss Saturday's clash with the Lions due to collarbone soreness.
"There's a real want - even the (rugby) league people I know - want the Reds to do well, so it's tough when it's not going that well," former All Black and Brisbane Broncos NRL great Thorn said.
"You want to show them something, but if you asked me 30 minutes in I'd go ooo-eee (there was nothing to be proud of)."
Chiefs captain Charlie Ngatai said he could already feel Thorn's impact.
"Yeah it did (feel different); they showed a lot more physicality in their carries," the fullback said.
"They broke a few tackles, they're only going to get better under Brad Thorn, they're fairly young and they just need time to grow."