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Reds vs Sunwolves
Super Rugby, 13 July, 2018
|Fulltime - Reds 48, Sunwolves 27|
|Referee: Ben O'keeffe|
|Touch judges: Damon Murphy & Jordan Way|
|TMO: Damien Mitchelmore|
The Reds‘ Super Rugby season is at an end, but they’ve got the chance to build some positive momentum with a good strong finish against the Sunwolves. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:45pm AEST.
When these two teams last met, it was the Sunwolves who pulled a swift one on the highly dynamic and unpredictable Rebels. Hayden Parker was immense that afternoon, and set the Sunwolves franchise point scoring record for a single game, dropping 38 of them as his side ran away 63-28 victors.
For the record, I don’t expect the same to happen tonight.
Being the last game of the season, both sides are out of finals contention, and playing for pride – but that doesn’t mean tonight’s fixture won’t have a bit going for it.
The Reds are playing their last game with George Smith in and around the squad, and while he failed to recover from a knee injury in time to take the field, they’ll be keen to see him off in style.
For the Sunwolves, despite their position on the table, they have played some enterprising, and at times breathtaking, rugby this season. They’ll see tonight as a chance to win two games against Southern Hemisphere opponents for the first time in a season.
First, the Reds.
As mentioned above, George Smith failed to recover in time, and Liam Wright holds his spot at 7. Lukhan Tui comes back into the starting team, and Kane Douglas shifts out of the matchday 23.
In the backs, Tate McDermott starts in place of Moses Sorovi, playing 9 in an otherwise unchanged backline from the one that unseated the Rebels last week.
For the Sunwolves, Temisi Masiwera is serving the first game of his three-game suspension, and is replaced on the right edge by Harumichi Tatekawa.
Jason Emery starts at fullback, with Michael Little shifting to outside centre. Willie Britz returns at number 8, while Wimpie Van Der Walt returns in the second row.
Where the game will be won
Are the Reds keen on retribution?
They were pummelled and totally out-enthused the last time these two met. Brad Thorn is too proud a coach to let their levels slip as badly as they did that afternoon, again.
Up front, the Reds scrum dominance should be telling if last week is any indication. If they can control the set piece, they should have too much for a willing and ever-improving Sunwolves outfit.
The Reds will win their last game of the season, rolling over a gritty Sunwolves outfit.
Reds by 11
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:45pm AEST.