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

Preview: Reds v. Chiefs

This Sunday is Mothers Day in Queensland and thousands of them will flock to Lang Park to see the Reds take on the top of the ladder Chiefs. Adding to the incentive of having their mothers in the crowd is the massive ego boost they must have after “modelling” at the very successful Reds Ladies Cocktail Night. Mrs Sully and friends had a great time and will be back for more next year.

Back to the serious stuff. The chiefs are hot. 9 wins in a row and a back line the envy of the competition. Add a no nonsense forward pack and you’ve got the makings of something special. But you know what! Up here in Banjo land we know a thing or two about thspecial. And we have a no nonsense forward pack. And the Reds back line, now with added starch, is pretty darned good too.

At this moment the big Reds machine is running at 93.33% efficiency with only a small dose of Quades needed for them to hit top speed. But right now the Reds mighty defensive structure is at 100% with and Anthony (The Starch) Faingaa hitting top form very quickly after a long lay off. Little wonder Rod Kafer endorsed him as “perhaps the best defensive Australian Centre ever”. It’s great to see the Reds centre getting the accolades he deserves.

Ben Daley is back from his hamstring injury and has been rushed straight back into the run on side at loosehead prop. While flanker Beau Robinson will re-enter the side from the bench. Equally at home at 6 or 7 he will make a difference in the last quarter of the game. The back line is unchanged.

For the Chiefs Sona Taumalolo comes off the bench and swaps places with Toby Smith. Brodie Retallick comes in for Mike Fitzgerald at tighthead lock. Liam Messam causes a reshuffle of the back row with his return to the 6 jersey. Sam Cane drops back to the bench for Tanerau Latimer move from blind to openside. While Kane Thompson makes way for Alex Bradley at #8. Their back line is Also unchanged.

While the Chiefs are running second and the Reds are tenth this is not an easy win for the chiefs. In the Reds favour is the return of key players from injury, improving form, an expected 35000 strong home crowd, Australia’s love of Sunday arvo rugby and their mothers support.



Reds V. Chiefs Team List

Ben Daley1. PropSona Taumalolo
James Hanson2. HookerMahonri Schwalger
James Slipper3. PropBen Tameifuna
Rob Simmons4. LockCraig Clarke
James Horwill5. LockBrodie Retallick
Jake Schatz6. FlankerLiam Messam
Liam Gill7. FlankerTanerau Latimer
Scott Higginbotham8. # EightAlex Bradley
Will Genia9. HalfbackBrendon Leonard
Ben Lucas10. Fly HalfAaron Cruden
Digby Ioane11. WingAseli Tikoirotuma
Michael Harris12. Inside CentreSonny Bill Williams
Anthony (The Starch) Faingaa13 Outside CentreRichard Kahui
Dom Shipperley14. WingLelia Masaga
Luke Morahan15. FullbackAndrew Horrell
Saia (The Toe Cutter) Faingaa16. ReserveHikawera Elliott
Greg Holmes17. ReserveToby Smith
Adam Wallace-Harrison18. ReserveKane Thompson
Ed Quirk19. ReserveSam Cane
Beau Robinson20. ReserveAugustine Pulu
Nick Frisby21. ReserveJackson Willison
Rod Davies22. ReserveRobbie Robinson


Reds overall record against the Chiefs
Played 16, Wins 8 , Losses 8 , Draws 0

Date Sunday 13 May
Venue : Brisbane
Kick Off local: 16:10
Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant Ref 1:Andrew Lees
Assistant Ref 2:Simon Moore
TMO : Steve Leszczynski


Game Breaker

The Key for the Chiefs will be Aaron Cruden and his centres Sonny Bill Williams and Richard Kahui. They have the brute force and finesse to unlock most defences running around in Super Rugby today. That’s why the key to this match for the Reds is mid field defence. Ben Lucas and Mike Harris are an  important part of that but the key man is Anthony Faingaa. That’s why he’s my Game Breaker this week.


The Fearless Prediction

I know that every time I write one of these previews I come out and predict a Reds victory no matter how bleak it looks. But this week we are really in with a chance. The Reds have the look of a team just about to take off. I’m predicting it’s starting this weekend.

Reds by 10 with a bonus point.

Now that’s fearless! Even put it in my footy tips.


Remember to get out and watch some #3rdtier Rugby this weekend. We have a Competition running for the best photo at a #3rdtier game details here. While you’re there post match update and pictures to the forum threads, Facebook or Twitter using the #3rdtier hashtag so we get game updates from across the country. If you write us a one paragraph summary of the match we can include it in out #3rdtier round up.

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  • aussie werewolf in london

    i’m sorry but i cant read kafers quote without commenting. surely he meant to say that faingaa is the most over-rated wallaby centre ever. and there is no way he is a better defender than herbert for starters. perlease!

    • NO! The Starch is the bestest ever.

      • Skip

        Some fella called Horan was pretty good..

    • Newter

      Mortlock was probably the best defensive center we’ve had. He did it constantly, at the highest level.

    • Patrick

      Some guy called Stirling had a decent run for a decade or so there, too?

      • Patrick

        Um, and what Newter said

        • bill

          Dan Herbert over Mortlock for mine. Faingaa does the suicide mission closedown and competes at the tackle for turnovers better than either(Morty’s the best of the 3 at intercepts), so it’s not a bad call from Kafer, still Dan’s better overall, best defence is a good offence…though Finger’s defence is arguably offensive.

        • Dave

          @bill “Finger’s defence is arguably offensive” – gold

  • Lee Enfield

    No excuses for the Reds, that team looks good on paper, and good enough to get the job done.

  • Dave

    I’m too leaning towards the Reds on this one. But I can never tell whether it’s just wish fulfilment or a true belief that they can actually do it. The Chiefs look so good. But if the Reds can do that against the ‘saders (an unlucky loss more than a deserved one) away from home, chances are good for tomorrow.

    I like big Beau but he’s going to have a hard time from now on unseating Liam Gill. He just keeps getting better and better. More likely he’ll replace Shatz (who’s also performing well). This country is not in need of any more ball playing openside flankers thank you very much. I’d love to see Gill (or Hooper) play against Scotland to see how they go in the green and gold. I imagine they’d do well. Had they played as well last year it may have forced Robbie’s hand to go with more than one openside to the WC.

    As much as Kafer’s comments about Faainga seem a bit over stated it’s getting increasingly harder to disagree. Kafer’s never that far off in assessing a players skill, an opinion surely to be trusted. Faainga’s a beast in defence that’s simply undeniable.

    Agree with the 93.33% although I do think Quade adds a little more than the stock standard 6.67% but I’m sure you were just being diplomatic (and keeping the maths simple??).

    The Chiefs however seem to be running at 100%, no? Scary, scary, scary. Should be a good game.

    Reds by 3.

    • the realist

      Can’t wait to see SBW and Kahui run throuh faingaa’s feeble front on defence. It’s funny how many tackles I saw faingaa miss last year and yet his reputation remains cos every now and then he makes a good one. Reputations are often media or fan beat ups.

      Add to the fact faingaa can’t run, pass or catch very well, that makes one mediocre player. No wonder he got dropped from the brumbies set up.

      • The Realist! Tell him he’s dreaming.

      • Dave

        You really must change your name.

      • BloodRed

        I doubt even your mother listens to your drivel.

      • RJ

        Just a kiwi troll. ignore him. i already smoked him last week. how did your beloved saders go mate?

        • the realist

          who says what now?

          faingaa would not make any of the top ten nations starting line ups nor would he have played for the wallabies last year if it were not for Horne’s injuries and the necessity for AAC to play wing. End of. Sorry but someone has to keep it real.

          As for the game again I am sorry but the reds can not possibly win just like the rebels could not possibly beat the crusaders…. there is hope after all!!!!!

        • Lee Enfield

          What would you like your humble pie served with, Ice cream, Cream or Custard.

        • bill

          ..or Richie McCaw’s special sauce!

          btw RJ, that did kind of sound homoerotic.

      • Brax

        The only feeble thing around here is your power of Rugby analysis.

        • murph

          Gee Realist, it must suck to be not only wrong but a complete dick about it too

        • the realist

          budaboom boom chish! “i’ll be here all week, tip your waitress”

        • the realist

          murph i was right. i said there was hope if you read my comment… the comment with the waitress was for Brax, his humour is amazing , he must be a comedian….

      • Hey the unrealist! How that looking for you now?

        • still the realist

          read my comment blow smart@@@@@

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  • Joker

    It’s okay guys, he must be joking. I know because anytime anyone suggests that rob horne is a good option for the Wallabies, they are clearly joking.

    • the realist

      Did u not watch Horne’s performance against the bulls? Best performance of an aussie 13 this year. (Q: does that make up for his mediocre season thus far? A: Yes so long as that from continues of course)

      GREAT to see the reds and the rebels get these amazing wins (and the tahs performance as well to all but beat the bulls). The reds though, I mean 14 points down against the chiefs to not only come back but go so far ahead. And then hang on. Just amazing rugby and well done to them!!!

      and with the brumbies going strong (and a few players from the Force) i am so looking forward to seeing the wallabies with the increase in options from the 5 franchises! all the critics of spreading the talent should now be seeing the benefits ie a stronger wallaby set up.

      just keeping it real…. oh and A Faingaa is still not test standard

      • Joker

        You mean his mediocre career right?

        • the realist

          look if you are one of those queenslanders that resents the fact that players from other states get ear marked as a talent then just go away.

          if you genuinely believe that Horne has nothing to offer than you are entitled to your opinion but lets just say i am glad you are not a talent scout. the guy is young, 6ft2 or 3, trains like an olympic athlete, runs like the wind, tackles like a trojan… and plays a position that we have little depth in. the fact he’s battled injuries for a few years does not change his potential. we should all be excited for the wallabies if he is fit.

          i mean whats not to like?

        • bill

          Realist I like Horne, and yes Fingers has physical limits on his game in terms of his speed but definetely not in terms of his football ability, he is a big reason why the wallabies picked up the tri nations last year. I think it’s a little harsh to say he’s not test standard. If more of our ‘test standard’ players played to the limits of their ability as he does we’d all be better off as spectators.

          He will miss tackles because he has to roll the dice. He can’t give up a cushion to the opposition. The ability to compensate for a weakness and turn it into a strength is an admirable quality…but people will target him because of that as well.

      • aussie werewolf in london

        Bill i have never questioned faingaa’s determination. when he got dumped from the brumbies a lot of players would’ve thrown in the towel. sub 6ft centres that weigh less than 85kg and that have no attacking ability are not test standard. despite his good efforts. sorry, all the good reading of defence and his extra work at the breakdown does not make up for the need to have big centres that offer excellence in attack and defence. its test rugby, there is no room for weakness.

        • the realist

          couldn’t agree more with this!

        • BloodRed

          You should check your stats. Ant Faingaa is listed as 92kg. Horne 90kg. Other than Lucas and Genia, every other member of the Reds back line out weighs him and after tonight’s performance they all out tackle him. Maybe we haven’t seen the best of him because of injury but his frailty is an enormous weakness and his career for the wallabies has been ho hum thus far despite numerous opportunities.

        • aussie werewolf in london

          depends on which website or program. aru website he is 88kg. 85kg was a guess but really everyone knows you can’t trust those programs. eg will greenwood always says he stopped reading programs before he toured because he’d read a player was 6ft 6 and 125kg only to go on tour and run out to see he was taller and heavier. my point is he is not big enough. he is smaller and less powerful than mccabe and horne who should be the aussie centre pairing or possibly aac.

        • aussie werewolf in london

          sorry are you stating faingaa is frail or horne? if it is horne you obviously didn’t watch the tahs this weekend. he smashed the bulls. if u r saying faingaa i agree.

      • Alan

        i really don’t get the man love you guys are giving Horne.
        sure he looks to be a great athlete with a great build, ball skills etc. but too often for too long he has been MIA.

        whats the use being X amount of kg’s if you
        a) miss as many tackles as he does
        b) scores little or no tries

        he played one great game but hell so did the honey badger a few weeks back. For wallaby caps i believe you need to do perform well consistently, week in week out.

        • an inconvenient truth

          Yes his most recent game where he smashed everything that came near him and got over the advantage line everytime he carried, and where he scored a brilliant 40m try running around the full-back untouched doesn’t count because it is too inconvenient for his detractors. That make sense.

          I didn’t think he should’ve been picked last year having played no rugby for 2 seasons but I now see what all the fuss is about. I am man enough to admit the Horne backers were right after all.

        • Joker

          Rob horne is a great rugby player as it has been said but…. When the big games and moments come a calling, he goes missing. seen it for the tahs and the wallabies(did you see who missed the first tackle on ships in rnd 1?)
          Ant is not a flashy player but the way he galvanizes the entire backlines defence into an offensive weapon cannot be discounted, the reds won last year because of their defence. The man has the heart and the courage to get the job done in the big moments. If you ask me, that is what the wallabies need.

      • Red Kev

        Ben Tapuai has been the best Australian centre by a country mile this year. He actually delivers unlike Horne who is all media beat-up about his potential.
        Although Tapuai will miss the mid-year tests he’ll be back for the Rugby Championship and Deans should be damn thankful for it.

        • the realist

          obviously didn’t watch horne v bulls then red kev!

          thats the thing you reds fans live in a bubble and then crap on that the best players are all reds when you have even bothered to watch the other aussie teams. the Joker is quoting something from week 1 ffs and the only reason he watched the tahs then was because they were playing the reds.

          its because you are queenslanders first and australian second , whereas i count myself australian first and my state second. thats why most of your opinions are stupid and why you all get so frustrated when Deans makes his selections which are usually spot on.

        • Dave

          Get over yourself “realist”.

        • the realist

          nice come back dave!

        • Joker

          Maybe we seem stupid cause we like to see people selected on performance not perceived talent and suitability… Just cause casper the friendly ghost (horne – there has to be something supernatural about his ability to be invisible on the field) has all the elements to make up a good centre, doesn’t mean he is one…

        • Joker

          On your criteria, I think I should be up for selection. I’m taller and a touch heavier, I train pretty hard, tackle alright and generate some good speed. I hope robbie selects on the same lines cause I’m in with a shot!

        • wallaby fan

          Joker stop commenting on Horne. You clearly didn’t watch him v the bulls and so yes your comments are stupid because like many reds fans you’re ignorant of anything other than the reds.

        • Joker

          Yes… My comments are stupid and I’m ignorant… Wait, what are you basing that on again?

          I watch and play a fair bit of rugby and I’m just calling it how I see it, the same as you. I however don’t stoop to name calling…how stupid and ignorant of me.

        • bill

          Realist, Dave only expended as many words on you as your contribution merited.

          Having said that I like Horne, he’d be better if had some game time. There was an interesting piece on tv, forget where, covering the female medico for the tahs, but the awareness of how injury can cruel a player’s ambition and potential was pretty sweet.

      • Yes I saw Horne. Was it the best performance by a 13 this year? No it wasn’t. One catch and a straight up the field 37 metres does not turn a season around.

        I won’t comment on Faingaa except to say you know he’ll give everything he’s got if he was selected.

        • aussie werewolf in london

          Yeah cos thats all he did. Cmon he played bloody well. Give credit where its due!

        • It was a good performance but to say it’s the best by an Australian centre this year is too much. And to suggest he’s the leading 13 candidate after it? Really?

  • I’ll never “friend” Bryce on Facebook

    I wonder whether Bryce is watching this match?

    I’m no fan of Bonkers Jonkers, but he’s showing how a great game can break out when the referee gets the f*ck out of the way!

    Somebody needs to confiscate Bryce’s whistle.

    Well done, Marius, and thanks to the him, Reds and the Chiefs for a terrifc afternoon’s entertainment.

  • johnny-boy

    Good call Sully – wooooo hooooo weeeee !

  • aussie werewolf in london

    pissed off the only game that skysports din’t play this week was this one. what the fuck happened? amazing!!!! well done to the reds. Good weekend for the aussie teams even the tahs were promising! (apart from the force)

  • bill

    Awesome game. Well played both teams.

    Ah well, lets see what term Morahan gets, marginal offence at the tackle but he could have changed it I guess, he did lift…bit hard to tell a player stop SBW ..oh by the way don’t drive with your legs while making the tackle, but yeah he could have had better technique there.

    • Morahan got an off field yellow card. No other penalty.

  • bill

    Last week I thought leading upto the game it’s a bit much saying playing the cru away is a must win game, this was and they won. My feeling is we’ve got too much left to do, but thankfully that’s not what matters, what matters is how well these guys play the rest of the season. I don’t think there’s any real pressure on them from the fans given the position they’re in, the only pressure is their own standards.

    Nice to see Hewat signed by the brumb’s. He was a brilliant player.

  • wallaby fan

    Liam Gill is a fantastic prospect for the wallabies not that there was any doubt. I am sure I am not alone in thinking that he will play for the wallabies next time pocock is injured. My question

    is there scope for both he and pocock to start for the wallabies at 7 and 6 at some stage?

    • BloodRed

      Maybe not to start but have one on the bench a la the reds with Gill and Robinson, and let Pocock and Gill go ape shit at the breakdown in the second half. I’m getting half a stiffy just thinking about it.

  • wallaby fan

    Oh and might I say that the whole Faingaa debate is a no brainer. Sorry to have to say this but the realist is right for once.

    • BloodRed

      You’re saying that you and realist are no brainers?

  • M

    I wonder if the Brumbies will be looking nervously over their shoulder now?

    Congrats to the Reds and Chiefs for playing such positive Rugby. The Chiefs will be disappointed, but their fans only need to look back to last season to see how far they’ve progressed.

    Seems to me that there is a changing of the guard within the NZ conference, with the youth and enthusiasm of the Chiefs, Hurricanes and Highlanders winning out.

    • wallaby fan

      fuckme your pat on the head to the chiefs is patronising.

      agree though that the brumbie, paticularly without their no 10 means the aussie conference is still un-decided and now the reds are definitely back in with a shout. it should make the back end of the season very interesting.

      • bill

        I always find the back ends of seasons interesting.

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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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