Saturday night sees the Reds host the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium. Despite the recent COVID cases in Queensland. In which would have seen the match shifted elsewhere. But it should be okay as long as everyone there follows these protocols.
Reds come here as undefeated so far after five games. They hope to keep its winning hoodoo going. Especially when they go against one of the best Super Rugby sides here. As the Brumbies lost against them twice in a few months. Bar the Grand Final. One was in Week 10 last year in Brisbane. And the other was R4.
Despite seeing the Brumbies lead for the majority. Before the Reds bounce back from out of nowhere. And hijacked their night in the end by two points. This away side has not lost since then. But have yet to win against the Reds away. If you wind back to Round 5 on 14 March 2015, 0-29.
Feao Fotuaika & Taniela Tupou in the props. With Brandon Paenga-Amosa at hooker. Ryan Smith & Lukhan Salakaia-Loto just behind them. Angus Scott-Young & Fraser McReight on the Blindside & openside respectively. As Harry Wilson completes the Reds forwards department.
Tate McDermott as half-back. Where he is joined by James O’Connor. Jock Campbell & Jordan Petaia on the wings. Hamish Stewart & Hunter Paisami at centre midfield. And Bryce Hegarty rounds off the Reds starting XV for Saturday night.
Alex Mafi behind BPA as the reserve hooker. Richie Asiata & Zane Nongorr in the props. Seru Uru at lock. Liam Wright back from injury so he hopes to have some minutes as loose forward. Kelani Thomas in the half-back role. Josh Flook & Filipo Daugunu as the Reds utility back.
James Slipper is joined by the returning Allan Alaalatoa at loosehead. After seeing the usual skipper served his three-game suspension. Folau Faingaa completes this front three as the starting throw-in/hooker. Darcy Swain back on the second row alongside Caderyn Neville. Rob Valetini & Tom Cusack at flanker. And Pete Samu as Number 8. Which is the Brumbies forward line for Saturday.
Nic White & Noah Lolesio in the 9 & 10 roles. Tom Wright & Andy Muirhead on the wings. As they now switch flanks from the Waratahs away game last week. Irae Simone & Len Ikitau in the midfield. Before Tom Banks rounds off their starting XV Reds. Where he will patrol at full-back.
Lachlan Longeran at hooker. Scott Sio & Sefo Kautai in the props. Nick Frost behind Swain & Neville. James Tucker for Valetini, Cusack or Samu. Ryan Longeran at scrum-half. Bayley Kuenzle in the back up No.10. And Mack Hansen rounds off their matchday 23 anywhere within the back.
This will be another epic grand final rematch. 1st v 2nd best Super Rugby sides in Australia. Just three rounds left before two weeks of Playoffs. Reds as always have a great attacking setup.
Having seen them fire off well. And rebounded later on. Which is something they must continue if the Reds want the championship badly. But they also need to watch their discipline. The last 20 minutes in the first 40 was their low light. They were just ten points at the break. That gave them a wake up call if things do not turn around. Eventually they did and a great start would be the key to winning.
While the Brumbies have the same structure as the Reds. They will pick a fight on the opposition weaknesses. In which is going to help them unleash their own brand of rugby. But they have to better cut the discipline. The early start was there. Just too many penalties given away that exposed the defense. It went on for the majority of the game. Where the Brumbies almost lost to the Tahs. And this is really a wake up call. If they want to get ahead early and avoid these foul calls.
If I was to choose a winner in the end. It will be the Reds to still win by 11 points.