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Sunwolves vs Reds
Super Rugby, 12 May, 2018
|Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium|
|Fulltime - Sunwolves 63, Reds 28|
|Referee: Egon Seconds|
|Touch judges: Akihisa Aso & Tasuku Kawahara|
|TMO: Minoru Fuji|
Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn says his side “got what they deserved”, with the pumped-up Sunwolves claiming their first Super Rugby match win of the season with a 63-28 hammering in Tokyo.
The Reds will look to build on the momentum gained from their last start win over the Lions when they travel to Tokyo to tackle an as of yet winless, but plucky, Sunwolves outfit. Join The Roar for live scores of the match, starting from 1pm AEST.
Whilst these two teams have met only once in the history of Super Rugby, there’s plenty to play for in Tokyo this afternoon.
For the Reds, they have lost four of their last five games. However, their last start win over the Lions was very impressive. Brad Thorn has trusted a core group of players so far this season, and he’ll be hoping the back half of 2018 shows some return on investment.
So, what happens in this game?
Firstly, the Reds have a woeful record on the road, only winning two of their last 22 fixtures away from Suncorp. They’ll need to shake that demon.
Jono Lance returns at flyhalf, relegating Hamish Stewart to fullback.
In the forwards, the return of the experienced James Slipper is a big in for the Queensland side. There’s a re-shuffle in the second row with Adam Korczyk moving to the back-row, allowing Izack Rodda to slot into lock.
Their driving maul, and general work at set piece has been a real positive for Thorn’s men, and he’ll no doubt be looking to build on that this afternoon. Brandon Paenga-Amosa continues to impress at lineout time, whilst Taniela Tupou is ever-improving.
For the Sunwolves, they’re looking to record their first ever win against Australian opposition.
If they catch the Reds on an off-afternoon, they very well could sneak an upset.
Coach Jamie Joseph has made a string of changes for his XV.
Wingers Fukuoka and Saumaki have swapped, whilst there’s a new face at fullback in the form of Semisi Mariwera. Yutaka Nagare starts at halfback.
The return of Michael Leitch in the forward pack is a big plus, the ex-Chief will look to rudder their forward pack from 6.
Where the game will be won?
Set Piece, and the last 20 minutes.
The Reds are coming off a bye, and should be well rested for this game. They should play better rugby in the death minutes than their Sunwolves opponents. In addition, their set piece continues to improve, and probably just tips the balance of this fixture in their favour.
Reds by an even 14.
Join The Roar for live scores of the match, starting from 1pm AEST.