Reds v Lions preview




Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, 20.15 (12.15 GMT)

The Lions are travelling to Brisbane on Saturday and they have an historic opportunity to notch up a third ever win in Australia when they take on a rather thin Reds outfit.

The Reds have lost the last three; the Lions have won the last three.

The Reds have been playing hard, in-your-face style rugby, but it is doubtful that they will intimidate the likes of Jacques Cronj’ (who makes his fiftieth appearance in Super Rugby and his second for the Lions), Cobus Grobbelaar and the towering and underrated Cobus Grobler.

A brimming with confidence Lions side don’t seem to know too much about the fact that they are meant to lose all structure and pattern on overseas tours. Teams from Johannesburg are not meant to beat overseas competitors three weekends in a row.

Or maybe they are hearkening back to the glory days of the Super 10 when the then Transvaal were probably the greatest provincial side on the planet.

We could be seeing the birth of a new dynasty. The previous one paved the way for the 1995 World Cup victory.

But it is probably too early to talk this way. But it is hard not to be confident if you are a Lion and you are coming up against a Red side short on real match-winning ability, and looking a little unused to the type of game they are attempting to play.

Prediction: Eddie Jones’s outfit will be organised, and the Lions will have to go out and win this one. It certainly won’t be easy. But if they want it badly enough, and they don’t make too many mistakes, they will beat the Reds. The Lions by five points or more.


Reds: 15 Clinton Schifcofske, 14 Henari Veratau. 13 Ben Tune, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Brando Va’alu, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic Berry, 8 John Roe (c), 7 David Croft, 6 Mitch Chapman, 5 James Horwill, 4 Ed O’Donoghue, 3 Rodney Blake, 2 Sean Hardman, 1 Ben Coutts
Replacements: 16 Ole Avei, 17 Herman Hunt, 18 Cam Treloar, 19 Tom McVerry, 20 Will Genia, 21 Charlie Fetoai, 22 TBA

Lions: 15 Earl Rose, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Jaco Pretorius, 10 Jaco van Schalkwyk, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Jacques Cronj’, 7 Ernst Joubert (c), 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Cobus Grobler, 4 Anton van Zyl, 3 Bertus Smit, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Brian Mujati, 18 Franco van der Merwe, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Andre Pretorius, 22 Jannie Boshoff

Referee: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)
Touch judges: TBC (New Zealand), Brett Bowden (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)
Assessor: Dennis Immelman (South Africa), Andrew Cole (Australia)

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