Preview Reds v Hurricanes - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Preview Reds v Hurricanes

Preview Reds v Hurricanes

I’m not going to lie to you, I tried to get out of this. We are in the middle of the biggest storm of the season and my internet’s been down for twelve hours. But that’s not my biggest issue. My biggest hurdle is talking up the stuttering Reds against the well oiled machine they call the Hurricanes. The boys and girls in the match thread lost the plot and have been cracking ‘Reds under the bed’ jokes for days. The job is daunting so I put the word out about my predicament  and… nothing. So here I am with a jerry rigged hotspot trying to think of something to say…

So here then, are the key matchups.

No bullshit: Beauden Barrett v ANYONE

Jake McIntyre gets the job opposite Barrett this week. That won’t inspire confidence in Reds fans, his game time since Quade Coopers suspension has been barely passable. Barrett on the other hand is probably the worlds best flyhalf at the moment. Here’s what Reds coach Nick Stiles had to say, “He’s a dual threat … that speed, his pass, his short kicking and his ability to just read the play makes him so dangerous.” That’s two… or more… than the Reds ten can claim.

The battle of the breakdown

George Smith hits it up

Korczyk, Smith and Higgers v Shields, Gibbins and Savea

Just let these names sink in. It’s juicy isn’t it. The battle of the backrows is going to be one of the few delights of this game. Brad Shields is in stinking hot form and Savea is just a menace. Higginbotham has looked impressive in the struggling Reds and the aging warrior George Smith is ken to show he still has the goods.

How’s my hair: The back lines

Samu Kerevi

One of the few good things the Reds have managed this year is pick a relatively unchanged backline. Except for old high shot Cooper of course. But slowly, ever so bloody slowly, the give it to Samu strategy is being replaced with a more balance look. Don’t get me wrng I think Samu is awesome but he can’t carry everyone. The Hurricanes backs are no slouches either and Beaudens little bro looks like a star in the making. The Canes will have the upper hand here but the Reds can do some damage.


The Fearless Prediction

Usually here I boldly predict the Reds no matter what the odds but I just can’t bring myself to bullshit that much. The reds forwards just aren’t doing enough to compete with a top flight team. The Reds are leaking penalties and cards like no other team in the comp and their rookie halves especially at 10 just aren’t bossing the game. The Reds won’t win, they can’t win. In fact a win will be to stay in touch.

Hurricanes by 25

Queensland Reds

1. Markus Vanzati – Souths
2. Stephen Moore (C) – University of Queensland
3. Sam Talakai – Brothers
4. Rob Simmons – Sunnybank
5. Kane Douglas – Norths
6. Adam Korczyk – University of Queensland
7. George Smith – Brothers
8. Scott Higginbotham – Wests
9. James Tuttle – GPS
10. Jake McIntyre – Sunnybank
11. Eto Nabuli – GPS
12. Duncan Paia’aua – Norths
13. Samu Kerevi – Souths
14. Chris Kuridrani – GPS
15. Karmichael Hunt – Norths

16. Andrew Ready – Easts
17. Kirwan Sanday – Easts
18. Taniela Tupou – Brothers
19. Lukhan Tui – Souths
20. Hendrik Tui – Norths
21. Nick Frisby – GPS
22. Hamish Stewart – Bond University
23. Izaia Perese – Easts

The Hurricanes

1     Chris Eves
2     Ricky Riccitelli
3     Jeffery To’omago-Allen
4     Mark Abbott
5     Michael Fatialofa
6     Brad Shields
7     Callum Gibbins
8     Ardie Savea
9     TJ Perenara
10     Beauden Barrett
11     Julian Savea
12     Ngani Laumape
13     Matt Proctor
14     Vince Aso
15    Jordie Barrett

16    Leni Apisai
17     Ben May
18     Mike Kainga
19     Sam Lousi
20     Reed Prinsep
21     Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
22     Otere Black
23     Pita Ahki

  • Huw Tindall

    Maybe the storms will require the game to be called off and they can share the points. Probably best chance of getting some points out of this week.

    • Simon

      It would have been ironic if a cyclone had saved us from the Hurricanes, but alas today has been fine and mostly sunny and Suncorp is a well-draining field. I imagine it will still be muddy but that will probably affect the Reds more than the Canes since they struggle to hold onto the pill even when it’s dry.

  • My only shed of hope that the Reds can get something out of this game is that they did pretty much the same thing last year. Reigning premiers, Highlanders, came to brisbane and everyone expected the Reds just to roll over and instead they put up one of the best first halves of rugby I’ve seen in ages and ended up with the win.

    That said, the Hurricanes are a completely different beast and my realistic tip is ‘Canes by 17+

  • SuckerForRed

    I just think that it is terribly unfair that both Beauden & Jordie Barrett are allowed in the same team. Canes are just being greedy.

    S’pose we should count ourselves lucky Scott found a home elsewhere…..

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I think that this is not all doom and gloom. The weather will be a big leveller and let’s face it the Reds can hardly play worse than they did overseas so they have to improve. A wet track and slippery ball will nullify some of the normal Hurricanes play and if the Reds loosies manage to apply some pressure then who knows. It is definitely time for the old and bold to step up and start displaying some leadership here as well as using their experience to close out the plays and stop the stupid 50/50 passes that go nowhere.
      For years I’ve watched the Hurricanes beat teams that should have thrashed them and lose to teams they should have beat so as they say it’s not over until the fat lady sings.

      • Happyman

        Don’t Get me wrong the Reds were average last week but at least they won’t have to deal with that F&^%tard Kiwi ref from last week and the week before against the Lions.

        I will be at the game but not with any hope or expectation. We just lack creativity but it is coming.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate while I agree that the ref was poor and compounded their issues he wasn’t the whole reason. After he didn’t drop a ball or miss a tackle during the whole game

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          And I do get you’re not blaming it all on him

        • Who?

          Spot on. It’s not his fault the Reds have played a couple of poor games. Well, not entirely his fault. But four cards in two games (because he ran both the games against the SA Conference cats)… Two of them not even penalties (Jaguares), one of them a penalty at best (Nabuli), and one vaguely correct in the new system but completely inconsistent with pretty well every other call all year… It’ll just be good to have a different ref.
          Though I have to admit, a 25 point loss would be a moral victory!

        • USARugger

          The Nabuli call was never a penalty and the Ezcurra call was as textbook of an intentional knockdown as you’re ever going to see.

      • Who?

        A wet track and slippery ball hasn’t stopped the Canes so far this year… They’ve played games on wet weekends where their skills make Aussie teams on the same weekend in dry conditions look sloppy!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          They haven’t played on a really bad strip yet this year. It will depend on how much pressure the Reds can put on them and they certainly have the ability to do that

  • Adrian

    The Reds need leadership and need to ditch their old “culture”, which clings to the coach, Moore, Simmons, Higginbotham and others.

    Smith should be 5/8 and captain.

    Smith has been a run-on selection in first class Rugby at 6,7,8,9,10, 12, so knows how to play. He’s 100% effort and leadership, and a former Australian captain.

    The old culture is lazy

    • McWarren

      So you want to replace old culture with an even older player, playing out of position, who is currently out of form?

      We definitely need more from our leaders and our young 10. But I don’t think it is a culture problem through any lack of personal quality, more just a bunch of guys still trying to gel.

      • Adrian

        Yes, well, you live there, and can see them face to face.

        I’m not a Reds supporter, but I want the Reds to perform.

        I only see a bit on television, read blogs and read reports.

        My view is based on the body language I notice from the coach and a few of the players, but it looks very similar to how the last few years have looked.

        I’m not claiming Smith is in great form, nor wishing to bag McIntyre.

        The idea is to show some on the field urgency, which is I think missing. Being a bit layback and unfazed doesn’t impress some of the younger players to the degree that I think Smith would, if given the reins.

        I think that the Reds are not telling, because a few of them think they know what is best, and do it anyway

        • McWarren

          I’m not sure Smith has fully bought into the team to be honest.

        • Adrian


  • USARugger

    Man that match thread sure is something, what a bunch of loons.

    • SuckerForRed

      What happens when QLDers haven’t seen to sun for a while……… twitch twitch twitch

      • USARugger

        It snowed here last month. Send help.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah I had enough of that rain shit so have driven out to Longreach with the tin lids!

  • McWarren

    Thanks for the report Sully, glad you made it through Debs.

    I think as usual the Reds can win, they have the cattle. But will they? Probably not. They do have so much low hanging fruit that could turn their fortunes around though. Simple things like giving the ball to the longest kicker on the team to kick for touch from penalties. Or not pushing passes. Or not running sideways. Or not falling off tackles that have been made and won. Or chasing box kicks. Or when you run a move in the back line which involves a back rower running hard, expect the back rower to break the line and support him.

    All of those aren’t new skills, they are like teaching a prop to scrummage or teaching a person who has never kicked a ball to kick.

    Over to you Stilsy.

  • GoMelbRebels

    “…In fact a win will be to stay in touch”. I thought at first by that you meant they should just keep kicking the ball into touch. That’s one way, I guess.

  • Kokonutcreme

    The Reds at home are one of those sides that warrant respect and despite recent results they have talent and experience in key positions and on the bench to cause an upset – apart from their halves.

    Playing behind a dominant forward pack, that lack of experience won’t be as influential, however if the Reds forwards struggle to carry the ball behind the Canes defensive line, the decisions by Tuttle and McIntyre carry more weight.

    The Reds would be better not to try and get the ball quickly into Kerevi’s hands and attack the space directly behind the rucks instead. The Canes are masters at rushing up wide to shut down the opposition but were exposed a few times by the Rebels when Stirzaker and Mafi ran from the breakdown.

  • Who?

    Is Vanzati still playing..? Reports the other day were that he’d done his calf at training, meaning two uncontracted LHP’s were likely to start for the Reds.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well BL is dry just! Man that was shite, so bad I packed up the trouble and strife and the tin lids and have driven to Longreach where the sun is shining!
    Yep this game is going to be painful, I am not as pessemistic as some. I am tipping Kiwi’s by 7-12.
    Hopefully having Smith and Symons back and with a bit more focus and guidance we might put together a better effort.
    McIntyre is crap but we got rid of our only other decent option so we are stuck with this numpty.
    At least my hotel has cable and I can turn it off before I crack the sads!

  • Owen McCaffrey

    The Reds (and all other Auzzie and Kiwi sides) need to stop picking players just because those players have big contracts. Sam Talakai has the lowest workrate I have ever seen around the field from a first class prop and is getting schooled in his main role – the scrums. This pattern gets repeated team after team and position after position. Best players are not playing. No wonder you lose.

  • Owen McCaffrey

    The best midfielder in all NZ Super teams last season came on from nowhere as a reserve against the Force in the early rounds. His name was Halaholo. The Hurricanes selected him ever since and he destroyed defences helping them to the title in 2016. Where is he now? Well, he was such a nobody that he had already signed a deal with a British club before the Super season so he has left to get the money at 25yo.

    Selecting him. THAT is real coaching.

    • Kokonutcreme

      To my mind Charles Ngatai was the best NZ midfielder last year until his unfortunate concussion. Willis was very good but as you say he had already agreed to terms with Cardiff just after the 2016 Super season began and then put pen to paper late March. At that time he had only played two games for the Hurricanes and while impressing there was no way of knowing then how well he would go on to play later in the season.

      At the time Halaholo was one of five capable midfielders in the Hurricanes squad – Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Pita Ahki and Matt Proctor trying to nail down a spot. Four of them have clearly kicked on from last year and while disappointing that the Hurricanes couldn’t retain Halaholo, with Proctor, Aso and Laumape in fine form, Ahki returning from Sevens rugby, Chris Boyd is to be commended in his astute recruitment from turning a potential weakness into one of strength in just one season.

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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