Preview - Jaguares v Reds - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Preview – Jaguares v Reds

Preview – Jaguares v Reds

The Reds are bordering on the tour from hell fresh on the back of their spanking at the hands of the Lions last weekend which included a season ending injury to skipper James Slipper, a suspension for flyhalf Quade Cooper and a whole lot of yuk in terms of game play.

Meanwhile the Jaguares seem to have found their Super Rugby groove after the letdown that was their debut year in 2016. The Argentines are sitting on the top of their conference having just dropped the one game, against the Stormers in Round 2, while enjoying big wins against the Kings, Lions and the Cheetahs.

The Reds

Changes were always going to happen for the Reds because of the unavailability of Cooper and Slipper.  Slipper’s absence will prove the toughest to fill as rookie Markus Vanzati, not even contracted to the Reds this time last year, gets his first Super Rugby start on the loose head side of the scrum. It means the uncapped Kirwan Sanday comes on to the bench with Sef Fa’agase still injured.

To add a little starch and experience to the front row, Wallaby captain Stephen Moore regains a starting spot at hooker. Moore and Vanzati are two of five changes to the starting pack as Izack Rodda replaces Rob Simmons while Adam Korczyk and Leroy Houston will start on each side of the scrum for George Smith and Hendrick Tui.

Jake McIntyre’s elevation to the starting side for Quade Cooper was always anticipated, however he finds himself partnered with James Tuttle, also making his starting debut. It’s fair to say the McIntyre/Tuttle combination is a more traditional halves combo, based more on distribution than the out and out play making duo of Quade and Nick Frisby.

Deservedly the 12-15 remain the same as consistent performers so far this season. A name to note is Lachlan Maranta, the former Brisbane Bronco, who is line to make his Super Rugby debut having been flown over from Brisbane to replace Cooper.

James Tuttle scores for the Reds

James Tuttle gets his first start for the Reds

Los Jaguares

The Jaquares have made just the two changes to their starting side, as they head into their third home game in a row. Bautista Ezcurra gets a gig on the wing replacing Santiago Cordero while Lucas Noguera Paz will start at loose head prop for Santiago Garcia Botta.

A couple of changes on the bench give the home team a steady squad, understandable given their success of late, as opposed to their opponents of this weekend.

That’s all I’ve got for them!

Key Match Ups

Jake v Juan – The battle of the tens is always significant. Test veteran Juan Martín Hernández has the benefit of playing in a team full of confidence as he plays only his third game of the season.  Jake comes into the game still to prove himself as a Super Rugby 10, with the challenge of freeing up a backline that has struggled to threaten consistently this season.

Pablo v Leroy – this one is about impact over workrate. Jaguares backrower Pablo Matera has been a machine this year and is they top ball carrier in the competition. Leroy Houston has been brought in, for the first time this year, for exactly the same reason. Ball carrying.  The Reds have struggled to make good metres through their pack so far and Leroy will be tasked to lead the way here.

Moore v Creevey – the two skippers and hookers will come face to face in battle over the course of this match and will both be key components of their respective set pieces. Interesting the home team have, statistically, the worst scrum and second worst lineout of the competition so far. Unfortunately for the Reds they, statistically, are only marginally better in both areas. It must be stated that this game is why the Reds have signed Moore. Not so much the game against the Jags itself, but he needs to step up as a leader in the absence of others, and pull his team together to deliver a performance to make a true season statement.

Stephen Moore made a winning return to the Reds

Stephen Moore needs to produce a real captain’s knock

Key Facts

Queensland have won just one of their last 16 games outside Australia, losing each of their last six by an average margin of 26 points.

The Jaguares have been an attacking force this season leading the league in carries (132 per game), they’re 2nd in defenders beaten (26.3 per match), 3rd in metres made (519m per game) and 4th in clean breaks (13 per game).  Compare those exact stats with the Reds – 11th in carries (112m per game), 14th in defenders beaten (18.5 per game), 16th in metres made (382m per game) and 12th in clean breaks (8 per game).

Jaguares backrower, Pablo Matera, leads the competition in carries with 60 across his 4 games. Samu Kerevi sits in fourth spot with 50 carries.

The Jaguares have three players in the top five off-loaders in the comp while none of the chosen Reds team are in the top 17.

The Jaguares also lead the league in yellow cards having given up six so far this season. The Reds have given up four, plus Cooper’s Red.

Samu Kerevi beats Digby Ioane and another Crusaders defender to score

Samu Kerevi remains the main man with the ball for the Reds


Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Bautista Ezcurra, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Tomás Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Marcos Kremer, 3 Felipe Arregui, 2 Agustín Creevy (c), 1 Lucas Noguera Paz

Replacements: 16 Roberto Tejerizo, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Rodrigo Baez, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Nicolás Sánchez, 23 Emiliano Boffelli

Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 James Tuttle, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Adam Korczyk, 6 Leroy Houston, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Markus Vanzati

Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Kirwan Sanday, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Hendrick Tui, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Lachlan Maranta, 23 Chris Kuridrani


Let’s look at form. The Reds have won only one of their last sixteen away matches. It’s enough to suggest they won’t win this one unfortunately. Jaguares by 8

  • McWarren

    Is Simmons injured or just being rested? How the f..k does Douglas retain his spot?
    Happy to see all the run on changes to be honest, I’d have fancied Duncan P over Jake but as stated above Jake will distribute, lets hope its not from behind the dead ball line. I’m not sure about Maranta having a SR debut in Argentina, in the 80s that would have been fine, now? I think he might be found out. Again is Campbell Magnay injured, or is it written in Rugby Lore that signed Leagies have to be chosen over and above proven and better union guys??
    Thanks for the write up Reg

    • RugbyReg

      no indication that Simmons is rested. Like Smith, it seems to be he is being rested.

      Douglas defends a maul well which I think is where he has it over Simmo.

      Magnay is injured, isn’t on tour and I don’t think has played at all this year. I agree about Maranta. Henry Teafu is on tour and I would have thought that he would be a better bench option.

      • McWarren

        Thanks for that Reg.
        What struck me about Douglas at the Crusaders game was his ability to look like he was being aggressive, hard in defence and covering a lot of ground, but in actual fact was completely ineffective. I can’t recall how many times he lined a sader up, hit him hard in the tackle but didn’t bother holding on, the sader just got up and kept going. I haven’t seen any Jagueres games this year, do the maul a lot? I hope so for two reasons, 1. it will justify Kanes inclusion and 2. it will keep the ball away from their backline.
        I can’t help but think we are in for another hiding, the likes of which we haven’t seen since that Bulls game in 2009 (I think). I’m really nervous about this game, for the likes of Korczyk, McIntyre, Paia’aua, Vanzati, Rodda, Perese and Tuttle this game could well be making or breaking of them. All these guys, along with Ready, Kerevi and Talakai are going to be the backbone of Reds teams going forward. A win would be huge, a close loss would be okay I guess, but a big loss will either steal them to never let it happen again or ruin them. A bit dramatic I know. There is no doubt we have the talent to win this game, all games, but do we have the cohesion?

        • RugbyReg

          I think you are right about Kane McWarren. He looks the part but hasn’t delivered.

          As for how the Jags play I think they take more of an off-load approach to the game than try mauling, kind of like the Argies a couple of years ago.

          I don’t feel as concerned with those players you mentioned, other than Vanzati. He has plenty of potential but is so raw and we don’t have much cover on the bench.

          I think your scenarios at the end of your post capture it well.

        • McWarren

          I hope Stile’s put on scrimmaging coaches hat back on this week. It could be a very long day for those young forwards. And as much a I like Stephen Moore I don’t think he has enough starch to carry a youngster against an Argentine front row. Lets just hope in the worst case scenario for young Markus that he isn’t to demoralised or worst still thrown under the bus by supporters, selectors and the media.
          I’d feel better if Smith was playing at 7 and Korczyk at 6. I like Tuttle but I’m not sure about Jakes M’s confidence, in saying that Frisby had to be benched. I’m developing a man crush for Rodda, very similar to Horwill when he burst onto the scene. As for Perese, I like his, how do you put this? His assertiveness. But I think he better cut back on the angry pill dosage.
          Anyway enjoy the game.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Personally I think 8 points difference is optimistic. I was really hoping for better things this year and after the Sharks game I really thought they’d turned around. However, I just don’t see that now. I hope Tuttle and McIntyre step up because they sure as hell need it

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yeah I dont have that level of confidence in JM. tuttle looks to be a good prospect. But last season I watched McIntyre and was bitterly dissapointed. They had another option at the Reds, the didnt give him game time and he pissed off to Japan.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Story of the Reds recruitment. Spend it all on over rated ex league players or older players past their use by date

        • Brisneyland Local

          Some of the older players, eg Smith and Moore (believe it or not), QC as well have been worth while. Kane Dougles not! Higgenbotham not!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah I agree. Nothing wrong with good selective recruiting of anyone but I’m not sure what they were ever hoping to achieve with so many

  • Bernie Chan

    What has happened to Faagase n Paraka…? That front row is not confidence inspiring…Frisby had to be ‘benched’ as he has lost his mojo, but the 9-10 combo is very green…just hope McIntyre can run his lines and distribute the ball, as Paia-Aua, Kerevi and Hunt have shown they can do decent work if given clean ball…

    • RugbyReg

      Fa’agase is injured for a few more weeks.

      Paraka has quietly been cut from the Reds…

  • Lee Grant

    Looking forward to seeing 14 Izaia Perese play again, and 12 Duncan Paia’aua, who has more ‘A’s’ than the school swot.

    I think that IP has “Wallaby” written all over him. Does he have a NSW grandmother? We could use him down here – if not we will provide one – we have lot’s of ‘em.

    It looks like the Jag backs are really hitting their straps as some of their just-in-time passing is sumptuous – and they’re doing real offloading – not standing still playing hot potato, but at top pace with the ball receiver exploding onto the ball.

    Their discipline is still dodgy but if they ever get that right they’ll be hard for any team to beat – especially over there.

    Thanks for the preview – it was top stuff.

Queensland Reds

The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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