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

Preview: Lions v Reds

Preview: Lions v Reds

In Super Rugby it doesn’t take long before phrases like ‘crunch game’ and ‘must win’ start to get thrown around. The Reds are one from three and need a win on an around the world trip to keep in touch of the front runners. One win from five games is not going to do that. On the face of things the Lions game looks the less likely game to give them that win but… and it’s a big but, the Reds generally go alright against the lions.

The Lions have won the last two games but the margin in these match up has never been more than eight points. It’s a small fact to hold onto but some of us are looking for anything to hold onto.

It ignores some other facts like;

The Reds haven’t won away from home since 2015

The Lions have won their last seven at home averaging 47 points per game including 15 against the Tahs.

And the big one. The Lions know their style of play and have embraced it while the Reds are still figuring it out.

170314 Reds training Johannesburg

Elton Jantjes v Quade Cooper

I’ve never been a fan of Jantjes, it’s probably the stupid haircuts, but you can’t deny his talent on a rugby field. Coopers talent is also undeniably but the glimpses of it a few and far between. Granted Cooper is settling into a new backline but their is talent all around him some might say more talent than in 2011 when he won the Super Rugby title. If he gets his shit together and his dodgy knee holds together he’s more than a match for direct opponent.

Faf de Klerk v Nick Frisby

Now Faf is a guy I am a fan of. I like his name, Faf. He has a great rugby mind and can spot stuff others don’t see. I like how small he is but also his fearlessness. Frisby is a talented guy too. But a different style of half back to Coopers great partner Will Genia. While Genia’s passing was his real strength Frisby has been used to the play being centred around him and not his flyhalf. Frisby has made all the right moves but his pass accuracy has let him down so far. You see it time and again in the reds team, not just with Frisby. In fact in al the Aussie sides. Players stopping, reaching back, reaching up or down to catch balls. If Frisby can get a little more accuracy around his pass and let his natural running game loose just a little I think the Reds will look a lot better.

170314 Reds training Johannesburg

Fearless Prediction

I love where the Reds are heading but they are no where near there yet. The lions on the other hand have arrived and are just tweaking things around the edges. The Reds won’t win this.

Lions by 12


1. Jacques van Rooyen
2. Malcolm Marx
3. Ruan Dreyer
4. Andries Ferreira
5. Franco Mostert
6. Jaco Kriel
7. Ruan Ackermann
8. Warren Whiteley
9. Faf de Klerk
10. Elton Jantjies
11. Courtnall Skosan
12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg
13. Lionel Mapoe
14. Madosh Tambwe / Sylvian Mahuza
15. Andries Coetzee

16. Robbie Coetzee
17. Dylan Smith / Corne Fourie
18. Johannes Jonker
19. Lourens Erasmus
20. Kwagga Smith
21. Ross Cronje
22. Jaco vd Walt
23. Harold Vorster

Queensland Reds

1. James Slipper (C) – Bond University
2. Andrew Ready – Easts
3. Sam Talakai – Brothers
4. Rob Simmons – Sunnybank
5. Kane Douglas – Norths
6. Hendrik Tui – Norths
7. George Smith
8. Scott Higginbotham – Wests
9. Nick Frisby – GPS
10. Quade Cooper – Souths
11. Eto Nabuli – GPS
12. Duncan Paia’aua – Norths
13. Samu Kerevi – Souths
14. Izaia Perese – Easts
15. Karmichael Hunt – Norths

16. Stephen Moore – University of Queensland
17. Markus Vanzati – Souths
18. Taniela Tupou – Brothers
19. Lukhan Tui – Souths
20. Adam Korczyk – University of Queensland
21. James Tuttle – GPS
22. Jake McIntyre – Sunnybank
23. Chris Kuridrani – GPS


170314 Reds training Johannesburg

  • John Tynan

    Thanks Sully. Unfortunately I cam to the same conclusion and about the same margin. Always hope to be wrong.

    • I definitely hope I’m wrong. But I may have been generous with the margin.

  • Tomthusiasm

    Bit harsh on Jantjes’ haircuts, Quade has had some pretty horrendous ones himself over the years!

    • Simon

      Right now I just want someone to take a #2 blade to Karmichael. Maybe Squeak, he must know his way around a set of clippers.

      • theduke

        Hold on now. I have a theory that the lack of haircuts is giving Special K special rugby powers. No haircut till the Reds win the premiership.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Samson and Delilah

      • SuckerForRed

        Don’t mind his hair so much….. but the beard certainly could do with a trim….

    • Quades haircuts aren’t munted now! Jantjes are.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Great write up Sully.
    I am going to go against the trend and say Reds by 1 after the Siren!

    • SuckerForRed

      I love your loyalty BL, but….. can I have some of what you are having?

      • Brisneyland Local

        It is Langmeil Freedom 1843 Shiraz. Dr Dan Murphy sells it! A great drop!

        • SuckerForRed

          Might need to find me some of that……

        • Brisneyland Local

          About $145 a bottle. But is better than a Grange in my humble opinion!

        • John Tynan

          I’m coming round to watch footy at your place!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think I will as well

        • Andrew Williams

          I’m in for the free booze – whose place are we fronting to at 1am?

          Reds by 5

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah a few people have made that offer already!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Maaaate you’re dreaming!

      • Brisneyland Local

        I may be indeed! But it is good to dream!

  • Brendan Hume

    I think these blokes are a bit like the Reds a’la 2010. They’ll win a few, lose a few, crack a couple of tough nuts and be raring to go in 2018. Not sure they’ll be good enough to win the comp again next year, but they’ll be having a red hot crack. Jump on the bandwagon before it fills up.

    • McWarren

      and from the sounds of it they might pick up a few players for next year, Genia for one and possibly half the Brumbies.

    • Nicholas

      That was what I was thinking going into too round 1. Yer we might win a few that we couldn’t last year, but we will also throw a game here or there. With the recent problems at the Tahs and Ponnies I think that if the Reds step up get a bonus point here and a big win next week; things might look better for top of AUS conference.

    • Gottsy

      I said this in a reply to a comment last week, wasn’t bold enough to give it it’s own comment though haha
      I’m on board though. Choo choo!

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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