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

Preview: Reds v Sharks

Preview: Reds v Sharks

The Reds finally delivered in round four of Super rugby 2020. While the Sharks have been delivering since round one. The Reds need a win this week to stay in touch with Aussie conference leader the Brumbies and to create some momentum before their deathmatch with the Crusadists in Round six while the Sharks would love to end their road trip with two wins from three games.

Form

Reds

The Reds started the year with three straight losses on their trip around the world. They struggled with penalty counts and second-half fades in South Africa and Argentina but looked to be in both matches for the first fifty minutes. They had a field day against the Sunwolves last weekend racking up 64 points in a wonderful display of attacking rugby and pleasingly the penalties mostly disappeared.

The lineout problems from the first three games seem to be sorting themselves out but the Reds scrum is going from strength to strength with only the thrown together reserve front row proving to be a problem. The Reds maul defence, which has been shakey, was much improved with the Sunwolve not able to get any traction in that area. The Reds back five has the work-rate and power to match it with anyone in the comp on their day.

The Reds backs have really stepped up in the last few weeks and are starting to compliment the forward power they’ve had for a few years now. James O’Connor after a few false starts has turned me into a believer. The 9, 10, 12, 15 combinations are starting to click and that’s bringing the outside backs into the play more often.

Jock Cambell offloads

Sharks

The Sharks are a wonderful team to watch at the moment. All power and speed. They have three wins from four starts with two of those wins on the road. Last week in Ballarat, despite two yellow cards, they took the Rebels apart 36-24. The Sharks game management during the yellow cards was spot on even if the Rebels response was confusing. Makazole Mapimpi two tries were a highlight but the entire matchday squad new what to do and when and how to do it.

Key Match-up

James O’Connor v Curwin Bosch I’m expecting the fly-halves to have a ding dong battle in this. Bosch, while only 22 has 50 caps for the sharks and a couple of test caps. O’Connor is feeling his way into his 700th positional change but has never looked this at ease at 10.

The Reds forwards should hold a weight advantage over the Sharks pack and their scrum is a weapon. The sharks pack put out an improved performance against the Rebels last week but this is a significant step up for them. The lineout and loose play is there for either team to take but the return of 206 cm Giant Harry Hocking should improve the Reds lineout hopes.

Team news

For the Reds, the bulk of that side remains with Harry Hocking replacing Angus Blyth, who gets a rest and Angus Scott-Young returning from a week off pushing Lukan Salakaia-Loto to the bench in Hocking’s spot. Filipo Daugunu has completed his five-week ban for a lifting tackle and slips into Bryce Hegarty’s spot on the bench.

For the Sharks, Lukhanyo Am returns after his Springbok rest week but, three other players are having theirs this week. This weekend it’s the turn of wing Makazole Mapimpi, together with backrowers Tyler Paul and James Venter.

Dylan Richardson and Henco Venter starts on either side of the scrum, with Louis Schreuder returning at scrumhalf. In the final two changes, Lwazi Mvovo takes over from Mapimpi and Am is back in place of Jeremy Ward.

Bosch in space.

Past 5 meetings

SHARK 14-21

REDS 28-26

REDS 14-21

SHARK 35-20

REDS 32-17

Predictions

This is a hard one. I want the reds to win and they are getting better but, the Sharks are class across the park. The Reds have the edge in tight but the Sharks have pace to burn out wide. I think it’s close and the Reds need the win so much!

Sharks by 6 points.

 


TEAMS

Reds

1. JP Smith

2. Alex Mafi

3. Taniela Tupou

4. Izack Rodda

5. Harry Hockings

6. Angus Scott-Young

7. Liam Wright ©

8. Harry Wilson

9. Tate McDermott

10. James O’Connor

11. Henry Speight

12. Hamish Stewart

13. Hunter Paisami

14. Chris Feauai-Sautia

15. Jock Campbell

Replacements

16. Ed Craig

17. Harry Hoopert

18. Josh Nasser

19. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto

20. Fraser McReight

21. Scott Malolua

22. Isaac Lucas

23. Filipo Daugunu

Sharks

1. Ox Nche

2. Kerron van Vuuren

3. Thomas du Toit

4. Ruben van Heerden

5. Hyron Andrews

6. Dylan Richardson

7. Henco Venter

8. Sikumbuzo Notshe

9. Louis Schreuder

10. Curwin Bosch

11. Lwazi Mvovo

12. Andre Esterhuizen

13. Lukhanyo Am (c)

14. Madosh Tambwe

15. Aphelele Fassi

Replacements

16. Craig Burden

17. Juan Schoeman

18. John-Hubert Meyer

19. Le Roux Roets

20. Phepsi Buthelezi

21. Sanele Nohamba

22. Marius Louw

23. Jeremy Ward

MATCH DEETS

Date: Saturday 29 February
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Kick-Off: 7.15pm AEDT
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
AR1: Graham Cooper
AR2: Jordan way
TMO: James Leckie

  • Gottsy

    Cheers Sully, I agree with everything you’re saying. I hope that the big win against the moon doggies wasn’t a false dawn, and the lads can use it as a springboard to get the season on track.
    Would love to see a win, I reckon we can go better than the rebels did last week, it’s been a long trip for the Shorks

    • And I hope that they just want to get out of Brisbane and get home. They set up camp on the Goldy and that’s killed a lot of sides over the years but they are from an area very much like this so…

      • Yowie

        To be fair, the Durban police might not be as unhinged & violent as their Gold Coast colleagues.

  • numpty

    Outcome of this game will come down to:
    1) kicking dual – can the reds exit their half well?
    2) maul defense – can the reds hold solid?
    3) scrums – can the reds get ascendancy?
    If the reds can’t get out of their half and sharks get plenty of lineouts in the reds 22 with a dominant maul, it’ll be the lions game all over again.

    • 1) kicking dual – can the reds exit their half well?

      Don’t know

      2) maul defense – can the reds hold solid?

      don’t Know

      3) scrums – can the reds get ascendancy?

      yes!!!

      • numpty

        The lack of confidence in those first two is shared and concerning. Belting it straight down the middle, which seemed to be JOCs strategy early against the sunwolves doesn’t give me hope. Also need to solidify their attacking lineouts, lots of sloppy delivery to the 9 currently.

        • I have enough confidence is Jim McKay to trust his research and tactics.

        • numpty

          Evidence of improvement definitely there attack wise. Wouldn’t mind seeing the box kick employed a little more, the more ways you can exit the better. I’m hoping winning this week will be the start of a nice roll on and the creation of a fortress at suncorp.

  • RugbyReg

    Big challenge for Paisami this weekend v Am – we will need a big game, Hunter….

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Don’t forget Stewart facing off against Esterhuizen. Cannot think of many blokes I would want to have to tackle or run at less, aside from maybe Nonu and Vermeulen.

  • Reds Revival

    While the Shorks have been very good, the fact that it took them a while to put the Rebels to the sword says that there are weaknesses in their game too. With big forwards and electric backs, the two teams are very similar. I think if the Reds can get out to a fast start, like they have done in the last 3 weeks, then it will put a bit of scoreboard pressure on the Shorks. As with most teams, they don’t play as well when chasing the lead. That’s typically when teams try to force the pass that isn’t on.
    I also think that the Reds will take some confidence from their away win against the Shorks last year. That will count for a lot with a young team that hasn’t had many wins on the road. Go the Reds!

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Such a big match. As an Aussie fan I am cheering for the Reds, but as a Brumbies fan I am half hoping the Shorks win.

    Big question is whether the Reds can defend against the speed of the Shorks’ back three.

    • No Mapimpi should at least make it slightly easier.

Queensland Reds
@Only1Sully

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 http://www.onesully.com.au

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