Reds name team for Cats


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Backs coach Damon Emtage said fans can expect more of the attacking style of play seen from the QR Queensland Reds backs last weekend when they take on the Cats in Johannesburg this Saturday night.

But he was also quick to point out that it was not a different style of play for the Reds, but rather an example of what the intent has been all season.

‘We just finally backed ourselves to have an attack, to have a crack and there’ll be more of the same this week,’ Emtage said.

‘The confidence we got out of last week from executing plays’is encouraging and certainly the boys are very buoyant.’

Head coach Jeff Miller has been forced to include two of Emtage’s prot’g’s from Queensland Premier Rugby club Sunnybank, Nic Berry and Ole Avei, on the bench for Saturday night’s game to cover for injured players Sam Cordingley and Stephen Moore.

Miller has also re-shuffled the pack brining Mark Connors back into the starting line-up and re-instating Cameron Treloar on the bench.

Hard-running utility back Tim Atkinson has been named on the bench replacing Henari Veritau, and his ability to evade defenders will be handy against the larger Cats players at the back end of the match.

Emtage said the two Sunnybank recruits bring plenty of energy to the team.

‘Ole will add great athleticism and energy when he comes onto the field. Nic also is a very energetic player and will contribute greatly when he’s on the field,’ Emtage said.

He also revealed that the mood in the squad was positive despite the narrow losses.

‘Times like this are very character revealing,’ he said, ‘and the squad at the moment ‘is not indicative of a team that’s had a lot of narrow losses and we’re really looking forward to putting in a great performance against the Cats.’

Josh Valentine has the unenviable task of picking up where in-form halfback Cordingley left off but Emtage said the chance is there for the taking.

‘Josh brings really slick service at the scrum base as well as having a high rugby intellect and he’s another player that’s been waiting for his chance and we expect those players to stand up and take (those chances).’

Berry finds himself back in the side for the first time since he injured his knee in the first round match against the Waratahs.

Far from finding it a tough ask to join the squad mid-tour, Berry said it had been more difficult sitting at home and watching his team’s narrow losses.

Berry also he says he has no concerns about the knee.

‘I managed to get a run with Queensland A and I’ve played two games up at Sunnybank with the club so I’ve had two full 80 minute (games) on it now so it feels great and I’m ready to rumble this Saturday night.’

Berry said having confidence in the knee was probably a bigger issue than match fitness.

‘When the doctors say you’re right, you’re right, but in your own head you’ve got to be ready to take the knocks and run 100% on it and I feel great at the moment.’

The team to play the Cats is:

1. Greg Holmes
2. Sean Hardman
3. Rodney Blake
4. Mark Connors
5. James Horwill
6. Tom McVerry
7. David Croft
8. John Roe
9. Josh Valentine
10. Berrick Barnes
11. Caleb Brown
12. Julian Huxley
13. Ben Tune
14. Peter Hynes
15. Drew Mitchell

16. Ole Avei
17. Anthony Mathison
18. Cameron Treloar
19. Mitchell Chapman
20. Nic Berry
21. Lloyd Johansson
22. Tim Atkinson

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