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

Preview: Reds v Bulls

Preview: Reds v Bulls

I have one super clear memory of the Reds playing the Bulls and Suncorp. Mostly because it makes me look like a rugby genius.  I was walking into the game with my buddy Linc and he asked how our lineout would go, would we dominate? I said we’d be lucky to take one lineout win off them all night because they had Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield and the best lineout running around. The Reds pressured the Bulls lineout all night but couldn’t take a lineout off them. About 55 minutes in the game is on a knife edge, and the Bulls have a lineout 45 metres out from their own line. I turn to link and say ‘This is the lineout we need to win”. Moments later the ball sails inches over the catcher’s hands and ricochets off Higgers into Will Genia’s hands. He passes to Chambers who backhands it to fainga’a who dishes it to rocket Rod Davies who scores in the corner. How bloody good did I look?

Those were heady days for the Bulls and the Reds, but both sides have fallen on tougher times.

The Rub

It’s been a while since the Bulls played at Suncorp as you can see from the lone photo from 2011 of a game between the two sides. The Bulls and the Reds will put out two of the biggest packs running around in Super Rugby this year. The Reds pack got the better of the Brumbies last week in a tough contest. The bulls did well to keep up with the Lions finally going down 49-35. The Bulls seem to be trying to play a more expansive game this year but they shipped 49 points last weekend. The Reds are concentrating on stopping the other team from getting any rhythm. It hasn’t really clicked yet but you can see they don’t want to leak points. It an interesting mix of styles and maybe the first time these sides have played these roles against each other.

The Reds have made the surprise move of moving possibly their best performing back, Duncan Paia’aua, to the reserves bench and starting the big centre pairing of Samu Kerevi and Chris Feauai-Sautia. Neither players is known for their distribution skills and it’s not hard to figure out what the Reds plan to do.

Fearless Prediction

Honestly, I haven’t watched a Bulls game this year. Life is hectic right now and I haven’t been doing as much rugby related stuff as I’d like to. Which is one of the reasons I put my hand up for this gig. But that won’t stop me going out on a limb and make the totally predictable prediction of a Reds win. The belief the Reds took from their win against the Brumbies was palpable. And I just can’t see them letting it go. The Bulls have had a hard loss to the Lions and a long flight from South Africa without the usual vacation in Perth for a rest.

The Reds will win by eight!


1. James Slipper (C)
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa
3. Taniela Tupou
4. Izack Rodda
5. Kane Douglas
6. Adam Korczyk
7. Liam Wright
8. Caleb Timu
9. James Tuttle
10. Jono Lance
11. Eto Nabuli
12. Samu Kerevi
13. Chris Feauai-Sautia
14. Filipo Daugunu
15. Aidan Toua
16. Alex Mafi
17. JP Smith
18. Sef Fa’agase
19. Harry Hockings
20. Angus Scott-Young
21. Tate McDermott
22. Hamish Stewart
23. Duncan Paia’aua


1 P. Schoeman
2 J. Visagie
3 F. van Wyk
4 G. Snyman
5 L. de Jager
6 R. Smit
7 H. Liebenberg
8 N. de Jager
9 A. Warner
10 H. Pollard
11 D. Matthews
12 J. Kotze
13 Je. Kriel
14 T. Ismaiel
15 W. Gelant
16 Ad. Strauss
17 L. Gqoboka
18 T. Nyakane
19 J. Jenkins
20 M. van Staden
21 E. Papier
22 M. Boshoff
23 D. Rossouw

  • Sideshow

    Definitely not a game plan that would suit QC at fly half!

    • In attack I think QC would love three big backs and a speedy illusive winger running off him. In defence? No.

      • Huw Tindall

        QC at his peak didnt need a 12 to help with distribution. Long gone are those days it seems. The rush defence is so good it’s hard for a 10 to get it out into the wide channels with flat ball.

        • idiot savant

          Interestingly the Scots beat the Poms by standing deep and getting in behind the rush defence. I wonder if the Reds lack of penetration has been amplified by standing too flat against rush defence? But if youre going to play Kerevi at 12 theres no point in standing deep. I would like to see Stewart and DP at 10 and 12 in the second half varying their depth. After all the Lions stand deep and they put some points on the Stormers. But if its close I doubt Lance will be moved.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The Scots showed the best way to beat a rush defence – throw it over the top of the rushing players.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Sully, great write up! Yep I think you are right on the game plan there. As either Nutta or Hoss (cant remember which on of themsaid it):
    “Meat first, then the gravy!”
    Keep it simple keep it tight, big hard runner hitting a speed looking for the gaps and half gaps to muscle through.
    As I said on the Friday News, I am just hoping for better dicipline, good defence (as opposed to below par defence that we are seeing from most Aus teams), and some basic ball skills. I will be happy with that. A win would make me estatic!

    • Better than five penalties.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah that would help. Maybe the odd meat pie!

  • Happyman

    Sully great write up but I have seen the Bulls play and they are fairly expansive. I have worries for my Reds in this one. they will keep it close. but I suspect a loss by 8.

    • But defence is optional. We could score a try!

  • SuckerForRed

    I haven’t entered any Rugby tipping comps this year for a reason…… I have no fecking idea. I would be ecstatic with a win but will be happy with the Reds consolidation their play and not a routing. Can you tell my expectations are not high?

    • Brisneyland Local

      SFR, I think you and I are on the same playsheet!
      I stopped tipping years ago, because to quote Billy Birmingham (The 12th Man) that some of these games are harder to pick than a broken nose!

    • We are managing expectations.

  • Who?

    Dodgy YouTube replay of that game, Sully! The try after the one you’ve highlighted, they don’t show the full details of the second Bulls try. It was scored because Joubert, the AR and the TMO all failed to pick up the ball came back out of the channel, between the front rows. It should’ve been a reset. But you can’t see that on that replay – they don’t show the rear camera view. But a great game.
    This game could be anything – it could be an absorbing contest between an expansive attack and a willing defence, it could be a chance for a loose defence to tighten against a team that hasn’t put many points on the board… Just weird that it’s the SA team playing expansive rugby, and the Aussie team playing tight (although I acknowledge Qld Rugby isn’t without periods of 10 man rugby in its past).

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Nice Sully. I think a lot will come down to how the Bulls managed their travel and whether they have the full 80 in those not replaced. If the Reds cut loose this could be a big one for them. Reds by 12

  • Brisneyland Local

    I concur, but with our shite teams, just improvement is a win to me!

  • Bay35Pablo

    Your second last comment shows it is time to reveal the ARU/RA’s secret plan in canning the Force all along was the nobble the Saafies and make it harder for them to win here ….:)

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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