Queensland Reds head to NZ to take on Chiefs




The QR Queensland Reds have flown out for New Zealand determined to get their season back on course with a win in Friday night’s Tooheys New Super 14 match against the Chiefs in Hamilton, New Zealand.

The Reds beat the Chiefs in the same game at the same ground last year, after also going winless for the first three rounds.

While their 2005 season ended in disappointment, coach Jeff Miller said the 2006 model Reds are a completely different proposition.

‘There’s a huge difference (between last year and this year). I’m really pleased with the confidence of the team this year, the spirit of the team and their commitment,’ he said before boarding the flight to Auckland today (Wednesday).

‘With a little more discipline we could have won a couple of those close games this year.’

Miller said with a three match tour of South Africa coming up at the end of March, it was crucial to do well in the next two games, against the Chiefs on Friday and the Western Force at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday week.

‘We need to win at least one of the next two games, to go to South Africa with some confidence that we can win,’ he said.

Fly half Elton Flatley, restored to his favourite position for this match following a rib injury to Berrick Barnes, said the team was looking forward to finally turning their potential into points in Hamilton.

‘We’ve been disappointed with the results in the first three games, especially when we probably should have won two of them. But we’re encouraged by the way we’ve performed and competed against some very good teams,’ he said.

‘But the guys are not discouraged and are looking forward to the next couple of weeks.’

Flatley said he was excited about returning to a starting role as flyhalf, where he has played most of his 112 games for Queensland since making his debut 10 years ago.

‘I do like playing there,’ he said.

‘I’ve played most of my footy there for Queensland and I’m very comfortable there.’

From Auckland the team will have a two hour bus trip to Hamilton in the heart of the Waikato region.

Kick-off on Friday night is at 7.35 pm local time (4.35pm Queensland time).

The QR Queensland Reds team is:

1 Greg Holmes
2 Stephen Moore
3 Rodney Blake
4 Cameron Treloar
5 Hugh McMeniman
6 Tom McVerry
7 David Croft (vc)
8 Mitchell Chapman
9 Sam Cordingley
10 Elton Flatley
11 Drew Mitchell
12 Lloyd Johansson
13 Julian Huxley
14 Henari Veratau
15 Chris Latham (c)

16 Sean Hardman
17 Anthony Mathison
18 James Horwill
19 Ole Avei
20 Josh Valentine
21 Steve Kefu
22 Caleb Brown

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