Match Preview - Reds vs Brumbies - Green and Gold Rugby
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Match Preview – Reds vs Brumbies

Match Preview – Reds vs Brumbies

The St George Queensland Reds will be happy to be back home for just the second time this season off the back of a win in Tokyo.  The Brumbies will be hoping to nab the top spot in the Australian conference (at least for a short while) and will be aiming for a big win over the Queenslanders.  So how do they line up?

Form

The Reds pulled out a surprising final quarter to grab their first win of the season against the traditional whipping boys of the competition, the Sunwolves.  Their draw has been hellish so far but there is no sugar coating it, 1 win from 4 is a poor start to the season.  If not for the last ditch effort in Tokyo they would be 0 from 4 and pretty much season over before it even began.  That being said, they have showed in each match this season that they will stick with their opposition and if given the chance will win a few they perhaps otherwise shouldn’t.

The Brumbies have had a mixed start.  Initially most punters, myself included, had them pegged for probably middle of the Australian conference.  They sit in second place just above the Waratahs but have played one extra game so read into that what you will.  Their big win over the Chiefs was initially seen as a big signal to the comp that they could take on the top teams and beat them convincingly.  I’m not wanting to take anything away from what was a sublime performance by the Brumbies, but perhaps that wasn’t the stern test we originally thought it was.  In the matches since they haven’t had it all their way and the results have been mixed.

The Brumbies are deserved favourites but looking at both teams respective form to date, I think this one will be closer than many are expecting.

Wharenui Hawera tries to break the tackle of Alex Mafi and JP Smith

Wharenui Hawera tries to break the tackle of Alex Mafi and JP Smith

The Reds

The Reds have made 5 changes to the starting team that took on the Sunwolves last week.  Tupou has been slotted straight back into the starting number 3 jersey and will partner Alex Mafi and Feao Fotuaika in the front row.  No changes have been made to the second row or the loosies but rested Wallaby, Izack Rodda comes back onto the bench.  In the Jessica’s we see a new halves pairing to the starters last week with Tate McDermott being given the nod and Bryce Hegarty returning from injury. Duncan Paia-aua moves to the bench with Kerevi to inside centre, Feauai-Sautia to out centre and Daugunu given a start on the wing.

The Brumbies

At the time of writing, the Brumbies line up had yet to be announced but no drastic changes are expected.  It has been speculated that James Slipper will earn a start against his old team, with Sio moving to the bench.  The damaging Rob Valentini is also unexpected to play due to his knee injury.  Add to that, David Pocock struggling to recover from his calf niggle and I’m sure the Brumbies would’ve heard the Reds fans collective sigh of relief all the way down in Canberra.

Key Match Ups

Taniela Tupou v James Slipper – This match up is a cliche writers dream.  Mate against mate, the master and the apprentice, the old dog and the new trick etc etc.  These two are great mates but no love will be lost on Sunday.  With conditions set to be sweltering, getting early scrum ascendancy in the referees eyes could be vital.

Liam Wright wins a lineout.

Liam Wright wins a lineout.

The Reds lineout v The Brumbies lineout – In a curious stat, the Reds have converted stolen lineouts into tries on two occasions this season.  To put this into context, the other teams combined have managed this just three times.  They are coming up against one of the safest lineouts in the comp though so how this battle plays out will be interesting.  On the flipside, the Brumbies lineout is clearly one of their strike weapons, scoring tries almost at will from any lineout close to the tryline.  Whether the Reds can shut this down will be critical to their potential success in this match.

Fearless Prediction

This fixture has been a real arm wrestle in times past.  This match will be played in hot and likely humid conditions so handling will be tricky and keeping it tight could be the go to plan for both teams.  The Brumbies may be the favorites but in the past five encounters this match has been won by the home team.   The Reds might not have picked up too many wins in the last few years but have won 4 of the past 5 home matches against Australian conference teams (Rebels x 1, Brumbies x 2 and Sunwolves x 1).  Conversely, the Brumbies have struggled on the road against the other teams in the Australian conference winning just 2 of their past 5.  I may be pinning too many hopes on the venue, I may be completely blinded by loyalty to my team, I may have even finally gone insane but I am tipping the….

Reds by 2.

Winner winner, chicken dinner.

Winner winner, chicken dinner.

Match Details

St George Queensland Reds

15 Hamish Stewart
14 Filipo Daugunu
13 Chris Feauai-Sautia
12 Samu Kerevi (C)
11 Sefa Naivalu
10 Bryce Hegarty
9 Tate McDermott
8 Scott Higginbotham
7 Liam Wright
6 Angus Scott-Young
5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
4 Harry Hockings
3 Taniela Tupou
2 Alex Mafi
1 Feao Fotuaika

Replacements:

16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa
17 Ruan Smith
18 Harry Hoopert
19 Izack Rodda
20 Fraser McReight
21 Moses Sorovi
22 Duncan Paia-aua
23 Isaac Lucas

ACT Brumbies

15 Tom Banks
14 Henry Speight
13 Tevita Kuridrani
12 Irae Simone
11 Lausii Taliauli
10 Christian Lealiifano
9 Joe Powell
8 Lachlan McCaffrey
7 Tom Cusack
6 Pete Samu
5 Sam Carter
4 Rory Arnold
3 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin
2 Folau Fainga’a
1 James Slipper

Replacements:

16 Josh Mann-Rea
17 Scott Sio
18 Tom Ross
19 Blake Enever
20 Murray Douglas
21 Jahhrome Brown
22 Matt Lucas
23 Jordan Jackson-Hope

Match Details
Date: Sunday 24 March 2019
Venue:  Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off:  14:50 AEST
Referee:  Paul Williams
Assistant referees:  Egon Seconds & Jaco Peyper
Television match official:  Ian Smith

 

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Thanks for the preview!

    Personally, I think Reds are horrendous. If the Brumbies lose this, then they may as well give up on their season. I can’t see the Brumbies losing this.

    • Ross

      Horrendous is a bit harsh although it’s hard to argue that they’ve been much good either. You won’t be Robinson Crusoe with that view though.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I don’t know, they’re currently last overall on the table, albeit they didn’t have the easiest first two matches, but they lost to the Tahs and almost lost to the Sunwolves.

        • Mica

          A fair bit of horror show at times, but they have actually been competitive in every game.
          Horrendous is harsh – If you are horrendous you don’t just lose to the Highlanders at home nor do you keep the score with the Crusaders respectable. When I saw how the Crusaders played against the Canes the week prior, the Reds actually did a reasonable job.
          They do have lots of room for improvement and here’s hoping it starts this week.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          They were horrendous against the Sunwolves (for 60 mins) and the Tahs I thought.

        • Ross

          We aren’t last, we are second last thank you very much! If we are going to talk about “almosts” though, you should chuck in the ‘almost beat the Highlanders in Dunedin. The Brumbies had a big win over the LAST placed Chiefs ;-) and snuck home against a fairly average Tahs outfit. Hardly inspiring.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Touché!

        • Singapore Sling

          There’s a struck match between Thorns Reds and Stiles Reds at the moment. You could argue if Stiles was given the support Thorns enjoyed his results could be even better. This is a must win for Thorn and could very well be the tipping point for his career.

          Does he move onto bigger and better things or does he end up running the water at the Broncos with his tongue hanging out like Alfie?

        • disqus_NMX

          The Reds will lose to the Chiefs ;)

        • laurence king

          Unfortunately with the schizophrenic performances of the Brumbies so far, they might get hammered by the Sunwolves one week and thrash the Crusaders the next.

  • laurence king

    I’ve actually been looking forward to this game, I think that the clash in the forwards will be a cracker. It’s a pity that Petaia isn’t playing. It will be interesting to see which Brumbies side turns up and which Reds turns up. At least I think it will be more even than the tahs/saders game

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think the Reds have been pretty consistent throughout the season. A lot of run up runners from the forwards, powerful set piece but forwards (with the exception of Rodda and Salakaia-Loto at lock) disappointing around the park. Attack abysmal and basically based on Kerevi being asked to do something. Reds super dangerous on the counter / in broken play due to guys like Kerevi.

      Brumbies need to make sure they don’t do much shit kicks like they did against the Rebels in the second half, as I think that will be the main way that we lose.

      • laurence king

        Like both sides, hope they both play their best

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I really like the Reds too, but in this instance I just want to see the Reds’ young guys like Sorovi, McDermott, Kerevi, Tupou, etc playing well.

          Beyond that, I don’t mins if they lose by 50 in this one :P

        • laurence king

          One point either way in a cracker

  • Keith Butler

    Love the picture. Do not argue with Thor. Think the Poniesvmight just shade was his one.

  • Bobas

    Sloppy Egon still has a job after last weeks ludicrous display.

    My hot tip is Jaco to make life harder for the man in the middle chiming in with a bunch of crowd calls.

    • Pearcewreck

      Classic Bobas, you will definately win most accurate prediction for the weekend now.
      Jaco Pepyer , uugghhhh, he makes my skin crawl.

  • Brumby Runner

    The Brumbies need a streak of 4 or 5 wins on the trot starting on Sunday to stay in touch with the Rebels. Fall at this hurdle and the season will just about be done and dusted.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Don’t agree. I think the Brumbies have the better depth in the forwards, so by middle and end of the season by the time injuries have started piling up, I think the Rebels could struggle a bit more.

  • Adrian

    I’m going for the Reds, even though bookies favour the Brums.

    Main reasons are Duagunu, Hegarty, Kerevi, Lukhan S-Loto, and Tuopo

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      If Ala’alatoa is injury free, I would be very surprised if Tupou outplays him.

      I’ve been disappointed with Hegarty this year. I thought he was much better at the Tahs.

    • Brumby Runner

      Daugunu is an extremely dangerous runner in open play, and can be expected to put the Brumbies under pressure on their ineffective kicks in play.

      Kerevi and Kuridrani will pretty much nullify each other despite playing 12 and 13 respectively.

      Otherwise, AAT and Tupou are an equal matchup, Arnold is better than Salakai-Loto and Lealiifano is a better No 10 than Hegarty. Put that together with Slipper, Samu, McCaffrey, Powell and Banks likely outplaying their opposites, it really points to a Brumbies’ win.

      Of course, how each team gels together on the day is the more important factor.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I’m terrified of Simone defending against Kerevi. But at the same time, at least the Reds haven’t been able to put Kerevi in many dangerous positions – it has been all up to him to create things himself.

        Daugunu is the most dangerous attacking player in Aus. Kicking to him would be suicidal, especially with our shit kicking game.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Ross. I’m picking that the home location will be enough for the Reds to come through. Going to be tight though

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Interesting to see that McKellar seems to have finally lost faith with Hawera.

  • Pearcewreck

    Go Brumbies!!

  • Pearcewreck

    Oh yeah, forgot tosay
    “Thanks to Ross Wright for the wright up”.

    Or should I say
    “Thanks to Wross Right for the right up”,

  • Bernie Chan

    Happy that Daugunu gets a start, a stepper n flyer outside a bash-brothers centre pairing. Can the Reds playmakers put the runners into a gap…or will it be “give it to Kerevi” again? See the ‘next big thing’, Isaac Lucas, has been benched. Expecting the Reds to be very direct…

Rugby
@RosscoWright

I love the Reds and I love the second row. That probably tells you all you need to know about me. I can often be found engaged in pointless arguments in the GaGR forums as 'Scoey".

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