Rarely have I been this excited about a Super Rugby season. It seems like only days ago I was lamenting the end of Pro rugby in Australia, and now we wait for Super Rugby to start, with a new broadcaster with a free to air presence. Personally I can’t wait for this to get started.
Reds v Waratahs
7:45pm AEDT – Queensland Reds vs NSW Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium, LIVE on 9Gem and ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport.
According to almost everyone this is a training run for the Reds but, I’m not so sure. The Reds have lost their skipper, Liam Wright, for the season. LSL is still suspended. New recruit Suliasi Vunivalu got is a scuffle and is suspended before ever playing a game.
While the young Tahs lineup have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They’ve added some bulk to their underrated forward pack and have one of the best halves pairings running around in Australia today.
I think this is much closer than many people are expecting. Reds by 3
REDS: (1-15): Dane Zander, Alex Mafi, Feao Fotuaika, Angus Blyth, Seru Uru, Angus Scott-Young, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor (c), Filipo Daugunu, Hamish Stewart, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Jock Campbell
Reserves: Richie Asiata*, Harry Hoopert, Taniela Tupou, Ryan Smith*, Tuania Tali Taualima, Moses Sorovi, Bryce Hegarty, Ilaisa Droasese*
*denotes potential Super Rugby debut
WARATAHS (1-15): Angus Bell, Tom Horton, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Sam Caird, Jack Whetton, Will Harris, Carlo Tizzano, Jack Dempsey, Jake Gordon (c), Will Harrison, James Ramm, Joey Walton, Izaia Perese, Alex Newsome, Jack Maddocks
Reserves: Dave Porecki, Tetera Faulkner, Sio Tatola, Jeremy Williams, Hugh Sinclair, Jack Grant, Tane Edmed, Mark Nawaqanitawase
Force v Brumbies
10:00pm AEDT – Western Force vs Brumbies at HBF Park Stadium, LIVE, ad-free, and on demand on Stan Sport.
In this game it’s the Force that will be the unknown quantity. They’ve recruited heavily in the off season and seem to have test capped players everywhere. Having said that more than half the match day squad played with the force last year so maybe the hope that ‘they haven’t gelled yet’ it a false one.
The Brumbies… Well the Brumbies are the Brumbies. The most professional of the Australian franchises will run out a strong, well drilled side like they always do. They will have a plan to defeat the westerner and as always will have their lethal maul to fall back on.
With no form to go on I have to go with the Brumbies here. Brumbies by 7
FORCE (1-15): Tom Robertson, Feleti Kaitu’u, Santiago Medrano, Jeremy Thrush, Fergus Lee Warner, Tomas Lezana, Kane Koteka, Brynard Stander, Ian Prior, Jono Lance, Marcel Brache, Kyle Godwin, Tevita Kuridrani, Byron Ralston, Rob Kearney
Reserves: Andrew Ready, Angus Wagner, Greg Holmes, Ryan McCauley, Tim Anstee, Tomas Cubelli, Jake McIntyre, Richard Kahui
BRUMBIES (1-15): James Slipper, Folau Fainga’a, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Darcy Swain, Cadeyrn Neville, Rob Valetini, Jahrome Brown, Pete Samu, Nic White, Noah Lolesio, Mack Hansen, Irae Simone, Len Ikitau, Andy Muirhead, Tom Banks
Reserves: Connal McInerney, Harry Lloyd, Tom Ross, Nick Frost, Tom Cusack, Ryan Lonergan, Reesjan Pasitoa, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa