Reds v Brumbies preview




Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, 19.05 (09.05 GMT)

The Reds have been the surprise package of 2007’s Super 14. Eddie Jones has managed to add some discipline and grunt to a group of players who have not previously looked capable of beating big sides.

Mitch Chapman and Hugh McMeniman have shone up front as they have played with accuracy and aggression in giving the backline possession on the front foot.

But McMeniman is out injured. He will be missed sorely.

The Brumbies too have demonstrated a new willingness to mix it up in the tight exchanges and they will be boosted by return of skipper Stirling Mortlock. They were unlucky to go down to the Blues last Saturday and are looking very capable this year.

The battle will definitely be won up front and it could come down to penalties, thereby meaning territorial advantage will be important if those penalties are to be converted to points.

Prediction: It is very tight to call this one, but finally one has to go with home advantage. Both sides look powerful and the Brumbies have the edge personnel-wise. The Reds will however take this one narrowly, playing at home and with extreme clinical organisation. The Reds will win by five.


Reds Squad:

Forwards (from): Rodney Blake, Mitchell Chapman, Ben Coutts, David Croft, Sean Hardman, Greg Holmes, James Horwill, Tom McVerry, Stephen Moore, Ed O’Donoghue, John Roe (c), Cam Treloar

Backs (from): Berrick Barnes, Nic Berry, Quade Cooper, Charlie Fetoai, Will Genia, Peter Hynes, Lloyd Johansson, Clinton Schifcofske, Ben Tune, Brando Va’alu, Henari Veratau



15 Julian Huxley, 14 Clyde Rathbone, 13 Stirling Mortlock (c), 12 Gene Fairbanks, 11 Mark Gerrard, 10 Stephen Larkham, 9 George Gregan, 8 Stephen Hoiles, 7 George Smith, 6 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Alister Campbell, 3 Guy Shepherdson, 2 Jeremy Paul, 1 Nic Henderson
Replacements: Saia Saingaa, Salesi Ma’asu, Richard Stanford, Jone Tawake, Patrick Phibbs, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Carraro

Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
Touch judges: Matt Goddard (Australia), James Scholtens (Australia)
Television match official: Nathan Pearce (Australia)

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