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The Brumbies host the Reds on Saturday evening at GIO Stadium, Canberra. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:20pm (AEST).
Brad Thorn’s Reds have made it a habit to win home games lately, which includes the 19-point domination over the Brumbies two weeks ago. It was a lacklustre performance by the Brumbies, which has resulted in the replacement of a number of their players today.
They did a similar thing a few weeks ago after being trounced by the Rebels, resulting in convincing subsequent wins against the Waratahs and the Force. These preceded their embarrassing loss to the Queenslanders.
But that was before today’s return of Brumbies playmaker Noah Lolesio, who was sorely missed by his team. He jumps straight into the fire against a red-hot Reds and their in-form flyhalf James O’Connor.
There are many great match-ups, including Scott Sio versus Taniela Tupou, followed by James Slipper versus Taniela Tupou. Tupou will look forward to serving another face fend on Tevita Kuridrani on his last game before Kuridrani’s reported move to Perth.
Jordan Petaia and Hunter Paisami will also try to go through the 13 channel and give Kuridrani a fair share of nightmares.
Tate McDermott versus Joe Powell plays an instrumental role in determining who will win the final. It will be as cutting as the Canberra cold, which in the end will also be a deciding factor.
The Brumbies and Reds backrowers are going for broke today. This final will be brutal and is expected to be smart in part.
The Brumbies will be sore and angry from their last encounter in Brisbane and be fired up for a big win. For the Reds to win an upset, they need to harass Lolesio, retain possession, and force errors from the Brumbies.
Kick-off: 7:20pm (AEST)
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Amy Perrett, Reuben Keane
TMO: James Leckie
Odds: Brumbies $1.70, Reds $2.20
1. Scott Sio, 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Murray Douglas, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Lachie McCaffrey, 7. Will Miller, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Tom Wright, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Andy Muirhead, 15. Tom Banks
Bench: 16. Connal McInerney, 17. James Slipper, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Nick Frost, 20. Rob Valetini, 21. Nic White, 22. Bayley Kuenzle, 23. Solomone Kata
1. JP Smith, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Angus Blyth, 5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 6. Liam Wright (c), 7. Fraser McReight, 8. Harry Wilson, 9. Tate McDermott, 10. James O’Connor, 11. Filipo Daugunu, 12. Hamish Stewart, 13. Hunter Paisami, 14. Jordan Petaia, 15. Jock Campbell
Bench: 16. Josh Nasser, 17. Harry Hoopert, 18. Ruan Smith, 19. Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20. Angus Scott-Young, 21. Moses Sorovi, 22. Bryce Hegarty, 23. Jack Hardy