Preview: Chiefs v Reds - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Preview: Chiefs v Reds

Preview: Chiefs v Reds

After the disappointment of being robbed of a win against our oldest enemy it’s a little daunting to turn around and looked towards this weekends game against the Chiefs. Their eight to one win records looks pretty phat next to the Reds two and seven and the 0-15 win record for Aussies sides doesn’t help build confidence.

So here then, are the key matchups.

Duh: Cruden v Cooper

Duncan Paia’aua gets away a kick despite the charge-down attempt from Aaron Cruden

So Aaron Cruden didn’t win World Rugby’s Player of the year and maybe he’s not the best flyhalf in New Zealand But he’s damned close. With 106 Super Rugby caps and 47 for the All Blacks you can see he’s been around for a long and played at a high standard for a lot of it.

Quade Cooper looks like he’s half a leg short of a two good ones and is struggling to make an impact because of it. It looks like it’s effecting his top speed and his lateral movement. Hopefully the leg is getting better but if it won’t respond with out rest or repair there is no way he can win this contest.

As an aside, it’s a sad indictment of Australia rugby players skills development when Coopers ability to kick off both feet with a pretty bad knee injury is still the best in the country. (that I’ve seen)

The battle for the thin air: Retallick vs Tui

Lukhan Tui scores his first Super Rugby try

Look I’m under no illusions here. Brodie Retallick will run away with this contest but, I want to see if the 20 year old Lukhan Tui will respond to the all black cornerstones challenge and take another step forward. We’ve been crying out for a world class lock for a long time and the Red to the bone giant might be the guy we’ve been looking for.

Fearless Prediction

The Reds have moved forward in a few areas and the had no worries unlocking the Tahs defence seemingly at will but, it was the things that haven’t improved that are holding them back. Defence and penalties are killing their season. The Chiefs are a well oiled machine and should win this in a canter.


1. Sef Fa’agase – UQ
2. Stephen Moore – UQ
3. Sam Talakai – Brothers
4. Rob Simmons – Sunnybank
5. Lukhan Tui – Souths
6. Hendrik Tui – Norths
7. George Smith – Brothers
8. Scott Higginbotham – Wests
9. James Tuttle – GPS
10. Quade Cooper – Souths
11. Eto Nabuli – GPS
12. Samu Kerevi (C) – Souths
13. Campbell Magnay – GPS
14. Izaia Perese – Easts
15. Duncan Paia’aua – Norths

16. Alex Mafi – Bond
17. Kirwan Sanday – Easts
18. Taniela Tupou – Brothers
19. Izack Rodda – Easts
20. Leroy Houston – Wests
21. Nick Frisby – GPS
22. Hamish Stewart – Bond
23. Chris Kuridrani – GPS


1.  Kane Hames
2.  Hika Elliot
3.  Nepo Laulala
4.  Dominic Bird
5.  Brodie Retallick
6.  Mitchell  Brown
7.  Sam Cane
8.  Michael Leitch
9.  Tawera Kerr-Barlow
10. Aaron Cruden
11. James Lowe
12. Charlie Ngatai
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
14. Toni Pulu
15. Damian McKenzie

16. Natha Harris
17. Atu Moli
18. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi
19. Taleni Seu
20. Liam Messam
21. Jonathan Taumateine
22. Sam McNicol
23. Shaun Stevenson

  • Brisneyland Local

    Great write as always Sully. I agree with you about the kicking. I was at Suncorp last week, and Foley was barely making thirty yards! Is that really what we want in a 10?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I agree but I do think Foley controlled the players outside him better than Quade did. That was even with the poor distribution from Phipps. One thing I did notice is that players on both sides are receiving the ball either stationary or behind them. The ability of players to pass a ball for others to run onto was pretty scarce

      • John Tynan

        Have to agree. Quoth the Nutta, meat, gravy, etc.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Definitely did last Saturday. I am not sure but my brain is tending towards the flat structures we play is what causes the standing still, or recieving behind! But I could be worng. Watching the set piece plays when Cooper was passing to Hunt were good, but that was about it.

        • Adrian

          Cooper runs a slightly deeper backline, and stands deeper himself

          Phipps and Foley run a very flat backline when together.

          I think that when players who are used to a flat backline mix with players who aren’t, we get a bit of insecurity, and some receivers tend to end up standing still to avoid over running the ball.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Adrian agree whole heartedly.

        • Who?

          It was also noting just how many players were overrunning the ball carrier – a major issue when you’re running a flat backline. Nabuli overran Talakai, which was poor. But Horne’s MASSIVE forward pass was all down to Folau overrunning the ball, and the pass – which was massively forward – was still (effectively) behind the man!
          Flat backlines make timing absolutely critical, and it isn’t easy to get that timing right.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Especially when your skill levels blow dog!

        • first time long time

          Agreed, our support play is terrible.
          A flat backline is one thing but in support and broken play they need a little more depth.
          A lot of the time the lack of offloads and pop passing off the ground is due to poor support lines not inability of the ball carrier.
          Should be an easy fix but again it keeps happening and I am not sure who is at fault.

    • Braveheart81

      It would be great if Foley had a bigger kick but it’s the least of our worries with a 10. The ones who can kick long have massive problems with the rest of their game. Hopefully Quade can get healthy again and we can see him play some good rugby. He’s running around on one leg at the moment.

      • Brisneyland Local

        As mentioned previously I was hoping Mick Byrne would have more influence there. You are right, it is the smaller of our concerns at 10.

        • John Tynan

          Generational, I reckon. He (Mick B) might be good, but not in 3 months.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Mick B having been in the role now for well over six months, I thought he would have started to push a skills mantra through the Super franchises. As it was evident with the Wallaby defeats last year, when he was in the job, that our skills were complete scheizer! Hopefully, because I truly believe Mick B is part of the solution, he will start to have more ownership and impact of the skills zone for Rugby.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Agree but like JT says it needs to start earlier. You’d get more bang for buck having him teach coaches

        • Brisneyland Local

          It does need to start earlier, but our current Wallabies need some serious help, come to think about it so do our super teams, NRC and juniors!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          True and if I was chieka he’d be part of my team. But if I was the ARU I’d also have him running some courses to teach other coaches how to teach the skills to players

        • John Tynan

          Shit, it’s been that long already?

        • Brisneyland Local


      • first time long time

        Foley let loose the first torpedo I’ve seen him attempt and made almost 20 meters more than usual. Hope he keeps pulling some of those out, it would make a big difference to his kicking game.
        It has been dissected before but he often lines up with his body at a strange angle to the target and his follow through is severely ltd because it is blocked by his body.
        When he hit that torp he was square to the target with a full follow through and the result was a good clearing kick.

        • Pearcewreck

          Love a good old torp.

          Especially as a bomb in windy conditions.

        • first time long time

          The inability of these guys to launch a ball 50+ meters off 1 or 2 steps is baffling.
          I’ve have counted anywhere between 6 and 10 steps when trying to clear the ball under pressure, no wonder they get charged down.

    • It wasn’t meant as a slight on Foley’s kicking for distance more an observation that Cooper seems to have been practicing kicking off both feet and sadness that no one else thinks it’s worth doing. I mean how good was the left foot grubber for Parese.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Special K can kick both feet. courtesy of his time in AFL. If you cant kick both feet there you are screwed. I was hoping with Mick Byrne on board, kicking both feet, as feet as technique to gain more distance. I am having a go at Foley, and all of our other 10’s for that matter. The Kiwi and Saffa 10’s have much better kicking ability then ours!

        • Chinese Dave

          We have other 10s???

        • Brisneyland Local

          Not really!

        • Pearcewreck

          Yep, BBL, these basic skills are schoolboys stuff.
          Should have been taught to them years ago.

        • McWarren

          Agreed, but I think the lack technical coaching at junior level is what is killing us not SR (in reference to your point a few comments up).

        • Brisneyland Local

          Agree. Unfortunately up here in Qld, AFL is called all sorts of derogatory names. I think all rugby players should go and do a season in AFL. Hopefully some of the skills will grow.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Agree 100%. I found myself teaching what I thought was basic skills to U18 players a couple of years ago

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep I agree, but most players cant. I think that all players in the squad should be able to kick. Even the big fat forwards!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Christ I played 8&7 and learnt to kick off both feet at primary school. Got strapped by a Marist brother if I didn’t pick it up

        • Brisneyland Local

          Couldnt agree more! We are not doing that obviously. I was a 4 and could outkick the backs courtesy of a few years in AFL.

  • McWarren

    You know Sully i can see us staying in this one until the front row is changed. I’d also like to see Quade pulled at half time. What have we got to lose except Quade for the season if his knee doesn’t get some rest.

    • I’m nodding my head. But things could go pear shaped from the kick off. Mayne this is the game the props can play to the death in.

  • John Tynan

    Thanks Sully. I think we’ll miss K Hunt, and Magnay will have a big day ahead of him too. Would the backrow have more balance to it if Houston comes on at 8 and Higgers switched to blind side for Tui? I love Tui’s graft, so it’s not a starting option, but with 30 to go, and Leroy making the tight yards, it might work.

    On another note, does anyone know whatever happened to front rower Pet Paraka? Where did he disappear to?

    • I meant to mention Hunt’s injury but was rushing to finish. Big week at work and a very early start today.

      • John Tynan

        Double thanks then mate. If I could string two sentences together without an F-bomb I’d love to help. General lack of coherent thought limits me to comments though. More in the ramble/diatribe writing style.

  • Nicholas

    Unfortunately NZ will be 17-0 against AUS teams. Sigh. The Rugby Championship isnt looking to good.

    • Pearcewreck

      Yep N, Super Rugby is just making NZ stronger and us weaker.
      I really we believe we have to get out of it and go our own way.

    • Muzz

      You’re probably right but an Aussie team has to beat a NZ team one day. Whenever it happens will be a surprise

  • Keith Butler

    Waiting to see Lukan Tui perform against two top class locks. He looks the goods.

  • Mark Courtney

    Im a Chiefs supporter and want them to win but im weary as weve struggled against the reds in the past, even when weve had successful seasons.

    • first time long time

      Thanks for the sentiment Mark, you might be wary but as a Reds fan I am the weary one!

  • McWarren

    Ah Friday lunch time again. That familiar feeling of hunger which can only be satisfied with a liquid meal, and that other inexplicable feeling of optimistic excitement. I know I know what is there to be optimistic about? And you’d be right, the Reds will cop a pasting, and all other Aussie teams will lose badly or win poorly against each other. This optimism, which once must have been a genuine feeling is surely now just a habit, like the habit of eating Friday lunch with glass.

    Come on the Reds!!! I really do think you can win.

    • Pearcewreck

      “like the habit of eating Friday lunch with glass.”
      Wow,McW, you Qlders really are tough!!

      • McWarren

        Yes we are and to prove it we don’t proof read!!

  • Tomthusiasm
    • Waz_dog

      Big loss for them – I’d even say a bigger loss than us losing Hunt. I reckon we’re a sneaky chance.

      • Tomthusiasm

        A loss is just around the corner for them I reckon, also, I don’t think their record in NP is all that flash.

  • Adrian

    Qld always a chance.

    I think their issue is maintaining the pressure, or even increasing it a bit at the end of games.

    They need to keep their enthusiastic players on for as long as possible. When they make substitutions, THINK ABOUT IT FIRST.

    Lukhan Tui should do 80 minutes.

    Frisby should be kept on the bench as injury cover, not brought on as an “impact player”

    Houston should come on, even if Higginbotham goes to lock.

    Smith should be vc and leader of the forwards

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I agree Tui looks the part. By far the 3 best locks in Australia at the moment are Coleman, Arnold and Tui. I’m hoping to see all three as part of the Wallabies this year

  • Simon

    I’ve been hanging out to see a centres combo of Kerevi and Magnay all season. But now that it’s come it’s against the Chiefs in Kiwiland with a 2-7 record and I just can’t summon the enthusiasm I thought I would!

Queensland Reds

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to

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