Reds Preview: Bashing Your Head Against A Brick Wall!
Queensland Reds

Reds v. Stormers Preview: Bashing Your Head Against a Brick Wall!

Reds v. Stormers Preview: Bashing Your Head Against a Brick Wall!

Week 8: One o’clock Sunday morning brings us a top-of-the-table clash of monumental proportions.

The Stormers play their rugby out of Cape Town and bring power and an almost impenetrable defence to the game, while the Queensland Reds bring speed and unpredictable attacking flair. They are two very good teams playing to two very different game plans.

The Stormers have retained the team that won against the Sharks — that’s never a good sign for opposition sides looking to move up the ladder. They will try to dominate with their magnificently balanced forward pack and play for field position off the boot of  Peter Grant. Fourie and De Villiers are the most formidable centre pairing in South Africa and bring power, size and experience to the game. The back three of Poolman, Habana and Aplon will put the high ball up from almost every downtown kick they come across and chase with a vengeance. What they don’t kick, they will run back with aplomb.

But none of the things I have mentioned are the best part of their game. That’s their defence. It smothers you. It knocks you back on your heels and hurts you. It’s a machine that works only with the right coaches, the right players and the right attitude! Somehow everything fell into place at the start of 2011 and delivered all three to Cape Town.


The Reds have made changes — lots of them! Three new selections and one positional change in the forwards, and four positional changes in the backs.

Greg Holmes moves out of the squad for Ben Daley and Guy Shepherdson comes onto the bench for his first run for the Reds. This weakens the scrum but should improve the work rate around the field. James Hanson comes into the starting pack for Saia Faingaa. He has looked good finishing off games and now we get to see what he can do at the front end. Scott Higginbotham moves into Leroy Houston’s No. 8 slot and Radike Samo replaces him at blindside flanker. This gives the Reds a wealth of tall timber, but still not enough to compete with 208cm of Andreas Bekker, the Stormers’ go-to man in the lineout. The changes are meant to give the Reds more grunt up front; only time will tell if they work.

In the backs, nearly everything outside Quade Cooper is different. The Harris-at-fullback experiment has been canned and he moves to the more familiar inside centre position. Anthony Faingaa shifts to outside centre to accommodate him, Digby Ioane steps out to the wing and Luke Morahan goes to fullback. This all seems a better fit than last week, the only concern being Faingaa’s ability to defend in the 13 channel. Any problems there are covered by Will Chambers’s return to the bench.

As a Reds supporter, I’m finding this a hard match to be confident about. The Reds do love playing South African teams and lately seem to lift for big games. Who can forget them knocking the Bulls off at Lang Park last year,  just back from a four-week road trip! But this is altogether a bigger challenge. They face a team on a winning streak, a team that boasts class right across the park, playing in front of their own rabid home crowd with something to prove. The neighbours are in for another torrid weekend because I will be screaming my guts out come Sunday morning, riding the Reds home to their biggest win in South Africa! QUEENSLANDER!

Bottom line: Reds by 5.

Match Officials:
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Pro Legoete (South Africa), Stefan Breytenbach (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)


Stormers: 15. Gio Aplon, 14. Danie Poolman, 13. Jaque Fourie, 12. Jean De Villiers, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Francois Louw, 6. Schalk Burger (c), 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Rynhardt Elstadt, 3. Juan Harris, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Wicus Blaauw. Reserves: 16. Ethienne Reynecke, 17. CJ Van Der Linde, 18. De Kock Steenkamp, 19. Nick Koster, 20. Ricky Januarie, 21. Gary Van Aswegen , 22. Juan De Jongh.

Reds: 15. Luke Morahan, 14. Rod Davies, 13. Anthony Faingaa, 12. Mike Harris, 11. Digby Ioane, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia (vc), 8. Scott Higginbotham, 7. Beau Robinson, 6. Radike Samo, 5. James Horwill (c), 4. Rob Simmons, 3. James Slipper, 2. James Hanson, 1. Ben Daley. Reserves: 16. Saia Faingaa, 17. Guy Shepherdson, 18. Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19. Leroy Houston, 20. Liam Gill, 21. Ian Prior, 22. Will Chambers.

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  • petdr

    My head tells me it will be a close one, but the home ground advantage should take care of the reds.

    My heart says GO REDS!!!!!

    • roland

      Yeah and the 4 home ground referee’s.

      • The Mayor of Perth

        Hang on! These are the officials from SANZAR ref appointments.

        Stormers vs Reds Cape Town

        Chris Pollock, Vinny Munro, Stefan
        Breytenbach, Shaun Veldsman

        • roland

          I have heard Chris Pollock on a number of sites and this other guy on a number of sites. I think they’re mixed up as they had to make way for that muppet Jonathan Kaplan coming bakc from suspensions so they moved some around and most sources have not updated.


        • Skip

          Based on last week Vinny, is in the process of changing his name to van der wanker.

      • The Mayor of Perth

        From official appointments list to which no changes have been advised.
        Ref, AR1, AR2, TMO.

        Fri 8 Apr Highlanders vs Cheetahs Dunedin Nathan
        Pearce Bryce Lawrence Kane McBride Richard Kelly

        Sat 9 Apr Crusaders vs Bulls Christchurch Jonathon
        White Keith Brown Glen Jackson Glenn Newman

        Brumbies vs Hurricanes Canberra Craig Joubert Stuart
        Dickinson Andrew Lees George Ayoub

        Force vs Waratahs Perth Garratt
        Williamson Steve Walsh Julian Pritchard Steve Lesczcynski

        Stormers vs Reds Cape Town Chris Pollock Vinny Munro Stefan
        Breytenbach Shaun Veldsman

        Sharks vs Lions Durban Jonathan
        Kaplan Jason Jaftha Christie Du Preez Gerrie Coetzee

  • murph

    Just cannot see a Reds win here. Surprise me

    • Mr T


  • Muffy

    Four home grown refs that are terrified of the frothing-at-the-mouth Capey supporters…

    Stormers to Lie all over the ball and the reds pinged off the park for not releasing….

    So no change from last week then, except the Reds will struggle to put this one away.

    Head and heart in two very different places

    • The Mayor of Perth

      Last year, when refs did ping tacklers for not rolling away and for lying on the ball, Jaco Peyper let Phil Waugh get away with murder in the last 7 mins of Force v Tahs match. So good luck Reds with him.

  • Muffy

    On another note, a while ago I predicted Hanson to be on the Wallie bench world cup time…..

    He still has to jump Squeak and TPN, but theres always 3 hookers on tour and I personaly think he is the next best hooker at the moment…

    • roland

      i think most people predicted that

  • Old Weary

    Why are all the officals Saffa’s? I thought they always kept a relatively neutral mix?

    Agree – not wanting to put the mockers on him, but Hanson has got some serious talent

  • Hawko

    Its not just that they are all South African, but that they are second stringers. This is a top of the table clash and should have had top rated referees for it. The Appointments Board is nearly as disfunctional as the Judiciary.

    • James

      cant do any worse that the “top rated referees” i would have thought?

  • Brax

    Whats all this whinging about the referees before the match malarky? This is not the Queensland way!
    I reckon we have a better than even chance to win this game. Reds travel to S.A. quite well historically, we beat the Stormers convincingly at home last year, sure, they are a better side than last year…. but so are the Reds.
    Faainga just loves to tackle, I really don’t know why this should be any harder just because he’s one further position out during the set pieces, this will be a successful move.
    Reds by a try.

    • roland

      I used to play inside centre and i was solid in defense, best part of my game, and then someone moved me to outside centre for one match and I was an absolute turnstile. Outisde centres have more room to move, theyre usually quicker, and the attacking fullback is always lurking behind the OC making it impossible to know who to tackle. This is where I got schooled again, and again and again.

      I hope Faingaa has a better time at OC then my short stint.

  • PaarlBok

    The usual ref excuse use before the match. Time Australia start producing their own refs to get balance and neutral refs.

    The Stormers dont use the up and under tactic with Aplon in 15, they’ll try and play with ball in hand and dominate possension. The only way to dictate the Reds dangerous backs.

    • roland

      You need to go to Keo buddy. Then you’ll hear all about referee’s. Most biased pathetic views in the world.

      The general them is:
      – The world is against S.A
      – The ANZAC’s are out to get them
      – Refereeing conspiricies orchestrated by Paddy O’Brian
      – Judiciary bribes
      – How the best 60 players on the planet are in actual fact all from Southafrica.

      Most recent one i read from 2 minutes ago, the best half back in the world is the guy who sits on the bench for the Bulls, and the best prop in the world is some guy from the cheetahs academy who is 18 and never played a super rugby match.

      Maybe they wouldn’t be a lowly third ranked national side if they let these 60 best players in the world play for their national team.

      • PaarlBok

        Only plastic and fucked rugby supporters read Keo. Hope you enjoy yourself there.

  • ben

    Too Many Changes…..Link did this last year when they lost to the Brumbies……Higgers at 8 is a mistake, especially since Leroy plays great there. Also 13 defensively is very tough. The Stormers have one of the best in the world there.

    Strange selections to throw this many changes for such a big game.

    Cant see the Reds getting up here……..would be best win of past 2 years though

    • Red Rooster

      You are right – “would be the best win of the past 2 years” – the rest of your thoughts were wrong – Lucky you don’t coach the team

  • ScrumJunkie

    From memory I think AF mostly played outside centre untill he made the senior team at the brumbies, Morty was at his peak then so they started playing him more at 12. Still, he probably hasn’t played 13 in years.

  • Red Rooster

    Pollock got injured the week before last and has been replaced by the SA No.5 Ref Jaco Peyper.

    You guys haven’t thought it through properly and didn’t see how they defended v Lions. The defence line will be Genia, Harris, Faingaa and Digby – Mozza and Davies on the wings and Quade at 15 – exactly like last weeks defence shape – No change – Faingaa is still at 12 and the the combo is the same – Link even tipped you off by saying dont be distracted by the numbers on their back in the Courier Mail – Wait and see

    • muffy

      Point well made, your are right

    • Reds fan 2011@

      It was a good thing Pollock wasn’t there. I don’t think we ever won last year under him… Maybe once but he did his best. You remember the Sharks game in Durban last year when we should have the penalty at full-time. Refs and touchys were were one of the best this year I thought.

  • MickeyDR

    Two years ago would anyone have thought we would be talking about a top of the table clash involving the Reds? No, you would have been tard and feathers for such stupidity.

    Reds by 5 sounds the goods to me.

  • Alan

    What a performance. Un-fucking-real. Well worth staying up for

  • USA fan

    Reds have arrived as real contenders!

  • Red Rooster

    Would seem a few posters above have some humble pie to eat – some of it large helpings
    Right team, right tactics, great result – can’t say much more – keep it up

    • roland

      Agreed. The biggest slice of H.Pie should be reserved for Eddie Jones. SHows what a knowledgeable rugby expect he is.

      MOTM to the reds front row for smashing a bigger front row in the scrum all night.

      Best game of the season.

  • Doug

    Yes the Reds are the real deal this year. It’s funny but we have to battle not only the Saffas but also the NSW bias from our own Aussie media.

    I was so pleased that the Reds made a statement last night by beating such a quality team in front of 40,000 screaming Saffas.

    I didn’t get much sleep last night as mates from the UK, NZ and all over celebrated a famous Queensland victory!!!!!!

  • redbull

    Link is a dead set genius.

    Does he get the coach job for the Super Rugby Uglies?

    • murph

      Link is a beautiful man!

  • murph

    Pleasant surprise! Was a tough game and the fellas played brilliantly. Will be in CT next week so will be fully armed with bragging rights

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