Phil Mooney has made three changes to the Reds this week, two of which suggest the team will be on all out attack against the Stormers. Laurie Weeks comes in for Dayna Edwards to sure-up the scrum, but it is in the inclusions of Mungo McLinden and Will Genia that hint at Mooney’s cunning plan.
Both Genia and McLinden provided some real zest to an otherwise flat first up performance by the Reds, Genia with his confrontational style and McLinden with his ‘run-it’ mentality from the back. The challenge for both will be to maintain that level of involvement for an extended period, something that won’t be easy against an equally exciting Stormers outfit.
Outside centre is a problem for the Reds as neither Charlie Fetoai nor Anthony Faainga, had the impact that Mooney would have been hoping for. Hopefully at training this week the Reds will have worked on attacking with some depth, as last week there was not the space to allow the outside men to strut their stuff.
The Reds’ forwards were well beaten last week, particularly at the scrum and breakdown. It is hard to see how this week will be any different going on what the Stormers showed us last week More is required of Daniel Braid, who, while being solid in his only two outings for the Reds, has been well and truly dusted by his opposite number on both occasions.
The up-tempo game of the Reds seems to be at odds with the less than dynamic performance of Braid and Leroy Houston, so I expect the Stormers to force plenty of ruck turn-overs which lead to so many problems for the Reds last week.
The Reds are going to have a real crack at this game after barely raising a whimper last week – you get the feeling with team selection being as it is, the backs have a licence to run it from anywhere. A win seems beyond them, but the Reds will be looking for at least one bonus point for scoring four tries, maybe two for finishing within seven points?
The only reasonable chance of a Reds victory is in the hands of the Stormers. Should the Stormers enter the game in the wrong frame of mind and fail to reproduce last week’s heroics, they might be in trouble given the Reds will attack and score points.
Cote’s head says Stormers by 12
Cote’s heart however, says Reds by 6 – I reckon the Reds will be better for the last weeks run, and, up against a team that is not as imposing as the Bulls, they will fancy their chances. Last week when the Bulls got in front after the Reds had a man in the bin, I expected the Reds to run up the white flag and cop a real pantsing. It didn’t happen, indeed the Reds showed some ticker and kept plugging away, is it heart?…is it fitness? Who cares – they showed enough for me to get out of bed at 3 am and watch them!!!!!