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McKenzie's Reds hope to put rivals under pressure

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie will be sweating even if the Reds win

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Article Published: Sunday 8 July 2012|

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie believes that his team are good enough to win back to back Super Rugby titles but he will have to hope that one or more of four other results goes their way so they can qualify for the play offs.

McKenzie's Reds have recovered from an early season wobble largely due to an extended list of injuries and are now on a five match winning streak but it will mean nothing if they don't beat the Waratahs with a bonus point.

Even if the Reds do beat the Waratahs with a bonus point they will have to wait to see if other matches go their way.

"Technically, four games can change our destiny. The main thing is us winning and playing our best match of the season across the full 80 minutes," McKenzie told The Courier-Mail.

"If sport was predictable, we'd all be 100 per cent in our tipping comps and no one would turn up to watch."

"The beauty is a bunch of things can still happen. We have to stay on the winning wagon and generate some pressure on the other teams, not sit around and hope."

McKenzie is hoping that if the Reds can win their game against the Waratahs well the result will add pressure on the Bulls and the Sharks who play later in the round.

The Reds are currently in seventh place on 53 points with 10 victories behind the fourth placed Crusaders (56, 10 wins), fifth placed Bulls (54, nine wins) and sixth placed Sharks (54, nine wins).

If either the Bulls or Sharks lose without earning a bonus point and the Reds earn a single point they would go through to the play offs as they would be equal on points but ahead in number of wins.

Alternatively if the Reds beat the Waratahs with a bonus point they would be on 58 points and the Bulls and Sharks win without a bonus point the Queenslanders would go through as they would have less wins.

The Force might be plotting the Crusaders downfall but the most likely result is either the Cheetahs beating the Sharks or the Lions upsetting the Bulls.

Former Super Rugby champions the Bulls have an advantage over the rest of the Super Rugby teams as they play last and will know exactly what will be needed to qualify so a Cheetahs result is most likely.

"Those two games are played after our game and you have the Brumbies-Blues and Crusaders-Force beforehand," McKenzie said.

Mckenzie said that he is expecting no favours from a Waratahs side who are hurting from six straight losses.

"The Waratahs are on a losing streak and want to change that. Salvaging something and finishing on a win will have them targeting this game," McKenzie said.

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