Brad Thorn to lawmakers: 'let us enjoy some contact'

Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn pleaded with rugby's lawmakers to "let us enjoy some contact" after Caleb Timu was given a controversial yellow card in the 18-10 win over the Brumbies on Friday night.

Timu was punished by referee Angus Gardner for leading with a tucked shoulder on Tom Banks, but the back-rower's contact was to the body, not to the head.

"I see mixed martial arts going gangbusters all around the world, where they just go to war," a bewildered Thorn said.

"There's that side of the game, that's what I loved. My time's well and truly gone but to get in big trouble you had to spear tackle someone or really take their head off.

"It's pretty stringent (now), I know they're doing their best ... (but) it's a contact sport. Let us enjoy some contact."

The Reds didn't score a try, but Friday night's 18-10 win was a marker all the same for Thorn's rebuilding side.

The All Blacks great wants the Reds forwards to become the set-piece kings of Australian rugby, a challenge they look capable of meeting after dominated the Brumbies star-studded pack despite being without Scott Higginbotham and Lukhan Tui.

"Scrummaging's right up my alley. The Brumbies are renowned for their set piece in Australia," Thorn said.

"For us they were a target. We really wanted to challenge them. That's where we want to head."

If it was a seminal moment for Queensland's new generation, but a crowd of only 11,034 was on hand at Suncorp Stadium to see it.

Thorn was confident those attendances will improve once word spreads about how they want to play.

"I think what will bring back crowds is what they saw out there - they saw spirit, they saw Queenslanders, in my opinion, remembering who Queenslanders are and wearing that jersey proudly," Thorn said.

"There was a connection there with the crowd. I felt like they liked what they saw."