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

Preview: Reds v Kings

Preview: Reds v Kings

The Reds host the Kings from South Africa at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night in a match that threatens to slip by almost completely unnoticed.  Easter weekend, two lowly ranked team, a traditionally poor drawing South African outfit, rugby in a national rut. The Stadium doors may need to be flung open to get any sort of crowd.

While both teams have just the six competition points to their name, the Reds still have plenty to play for when compared to their African counterparts.  Currently the Kings sit on the bottom of their Africa 2 Conference trailing the high-flying Lions by 17 points. In fact they sit 13 points adrift of the conference third placed team, the Jaguares.

The Reds, however, are still mathematically still in with a shot. In fact a win this weekend over the Kings will see them soar up the Australian Conference table into second spot! Now of course we have the bye the following week allowing both the Waratahs and Force to leapfrog us again to reclaim their advantage, but that’s something for future Reg to deal with.

Let’s take a look at the now (and then).

Key Stats

This will be the first meeting between the Reds and Kings; the South African side have won once, drawn once and lost once in their three previous visits to Australia.

The Reds have won six of their last eight games at home against South African opposition, including each of their last two.

The Kings have won just one of their last five games outside of South Africa, conceding an average of 48 points per game across that period

Stats courtesy of Opta Sports

The Form

Both teams enter this match looking for just their second win of the season.

The Kings’ sole win has been on the road, in Singapore, against the lowly Sunwolves.  Their other away games have been a tight loss to the Sharks (17-19) and last week’s high scoring encounter against the Force (41-46).

The Reds have struggled to regain the fortress feel of Suncorp but managed to win their only game of the year there, back in Round 1 against the Sharks. Since then the Reds have lost home battles to the Crusaders (20-22) and the Hurricanes (15-34).  In both matches the Reds were right in the game at half time, before producing error ridden and disappointing second halves.

The Teams

The Reds welcome back two key players in Quade Cooper at flyhalf and Michael Hunt at fullback. Hunt comes straight into fullback to replace Lachlan Mantaray, who failed to make an impact in his starting debut against the Brumbies, while Quade returns at scrumhalf. Cooper’s return sees Jack McIntyre drop out of the squad altogether as the teenage Stewart Hamish is preferred as his backup.  The other big news is Stephen More’s absence from the match day 22 with Matt Mafi taking his starting spot at hooker and Andrew Reddy returning to the side on the bench.

With Moore absent and James Sliper injured, Samu Kerevi has been named as captain of the Reds fort he first time. Kerevi already carries such a large burden for the Reds so it will be interesting to note how the leadership impacts his play.

Other changes to the starting team include Hendrick Tui and Lukhan Tui coming into the starting side for Kane Douglas and Adam Korzcyk respectively while Kris Curidrani will join them on the bench as Isaiah Perese starts.

The Lions have made four changes to their team that lost to the Force with the loss of their halfback Malcolm Jaer perhaps the biggest loss, on the back of his four try effort against the Rebels last week. There are three further changes in the pack with both props rotated as well as one of the locks.

Key contest

Magic Men

Hansie Cronje showed some lovely touches for his Kings side in their last outing against the Force last week. He put in a perfectly weighted grubber for his winger, Yaw Penxe, to score in the corner. A little while later he one-upped himself with a piece of play that would be the talk of the competition if it wasn’t for the freakishness that was Dillyn Lewis offload for the Stormers against the Crusaders.

His pass around his own back, to himself, and then a grubber off his left foot through the Spirit’s defence for his fullback Malcolm-Jamal Warner to score one of his two tries, was just phenomenal. Have another look here.

Up against Cronje will be the returning Quade Coper, back in the Red 12 shirt after serving a four week suspension. QC ‘s magic seems more confined to youtube clips of the 2010 and 2011 seasons, but he is a key component of this Red’s outfit. Jake MacIntosh, and the entire team, struggled in his absence. In fact the only competition points the Reds have secured this season (a win and two loss bonuses) have been from matches Quade played (and finished) in.


Quade Cooper looks to kick for space


My first prediction is that the appointment of the match officials will anger plenty of Reds fans. Discipline is a big issue for Queensland team and to get three South African officials when playing a South African team seems a little odd.

From a match perspective, I expect the Reds to bounce back to win their first game of the season. Lions by 8.

The Teams


1. Sef Fa’agase
2. Alex Mafi
3. Sam Talakai
4. Rob Simmons
5. Lukhan Tui
6. Hendrik Tui
7. George Smith
8. Scott Higginbotham
9. James Tuttle
10. Quade Cooper
11. Eto Nabuli
12. Duncan Paia’aua
13. Samu Kerevi (C)
14. Izaia Perese
15. Karmichael Hunt

16. Andrew Ready
17. Kirwan Sanday
18. Taniela Tupou
19. Kane Douglas
20. Adam Korczyk
21. Nick Frisby
22. Hamish Stewart
23. Chris Kuridrani

Southern Kings

15. Chris Heiberg
14. Michael Willemse
13.Justin Forwood
12.Mzwanele Zito
11. Wilhelm van der Sluys
10. Chris Cloete
9.Tyler Paul
8. Ruaan Lerm (v/c)
7. Louis Schreuder
6. Lionel Cronje (c)
5. Makazole Mapimpi
4. Luzuko Vulindlu
3. Berton Klaasen
2. Yaw Penxe
1.Masixole Banda

16. Martin Bezuidenhout
17. Schalk van der Merwe
18. Dayan van der Westhuizen
19. Irne Herbst
20. Andisa Ntsila
21.Johan Steyn
22. Pieter-Steyn de Wet
23.Wandile Mjekevu

Leroy Houston charges down a Cobus Reinach box kick the last time the Reds played the Kings

Scott Higginbotham charges down a Cobus Reinach box kick


Date: Saturday, 16 April

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Sydney

Kick-off: 15:05 AEDT

Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)

Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Damian Murphy (South Africa)

TMO:  Damon Mitchelmore (South Africa)


  • RugbyReg

    Let me start by saying that I went into this match preview article with plenty of confidence. I’d been happy with how things had been going during the week. I thought I’d come up with some interesting observations and was looking forward to publishing the post.

    But, look, obviously I am disappointed with how it ended up. I thought it looked good – really good, in the first half. There was some good impact there, strong intent, and overall when it got to the half I was feeling pretty confident that I would be able to go on and finish the job.

    Evidently that wasn’t the case.

    I don’t know what happened but that second half was terrible. Clearly it wasn’t what I set out to do and I am gutted about the end result. It’s just not what I expected. I’ll review it again, but the amount of mistakes in that second half is just so frustrating. And simple mistakes too, you know? That’s the most frustrating thing. There were mistakes in that 2nd half that I’d be pissed off if my 9 year old made them. Misspellings, wrong names, different font. It looked horrible.

    I’ll go back and focus on the basics from here that’s for sure. Perhaps bring in a little outside help, just to give a bit of experienced guidance.

    I can assure my loyal fans that this won’t happen again. I hope you come back again to read my next article.

    • dru


      Eyebrows raised at first. Then seriously? To wtf!?!

      Just like watching the Reds. Perfection in preview Reg. :-)

      • RugbyReg

        excellent. Just as I wanted

        • dru

          I really hope someone pins this on a Red notice board somewhere obvious. Complete with post-Preview announcement.

        • mikado

          Outstanding work Reg!

    • Simon

      It’s ok Reg. There were a lot of positives there in the first half. Lost shape a bit in the second and silly errors let you down, but they are easy to fix and I’m sure you’ll train hard in the bye week and be ready for the Tahs.

      You have the full support of the GAGR board!

      • RugbyReg

        I’ll pack my bags then

    • muffy

      You stuck to plans Reg, it’s just poor execution in the end. But still plenty to work on

    • Brumby Runner

      Back to the drawing board Reg.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hahahaha love it mate. Good to see your passion for the team isn’t taking away from the game plan

    • MST

      Reg, I have just listened to the post preview presser and you deserved the spray and getting sat out next week after being warned about your attitude and commitment the week previous. It’s really poor form and we expect better. You have really let the team and yourself down,

  • Cuffey

    good stuff Reg, sadly there will be 3 men and a dog at this! go reds

  • Bobas

    It would take an all saffa referee contingent to get the Lions to win this game.

  • Tim

    Reds should win. This team is like Australian rugby a lot of talent on the park but just throw away meat pies like their vegans.

  • Brumby Runner

    It was when Michael Hunt came on in the second half that I started to question where they were going.

    • dru

      Another “not to be missed” is Quade variously playing at 9, 10, 12, and by photo comment (I think) 11.

      This weekend I’ll quite happily live with QC taking a simple half decent shot at FH. That would do just fine.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Is that Rocket Rod Davies in the photo Reg? I dont think Quade has ever had that much hair in his life!

  • TwoBluesFan

    Quality work. Definite contender for preview of the year.

  • joy

    I’m so relieved that Quade is back even though they slotted him at at scrum half although l don’ t understand why Mike Hunt will be on the field at all. I am surprised Jake McIntosh got the sack. I haven’t seen him play yet. As for Kris Curidrani, you have the benefit of my doubt. Retracted after I noticed the Rocket.

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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