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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 7:15pm (AEST).
Eight. This is the number of times that Queensland defeated ACT throughout their entire rivalry, with the Brumbies scoring an average of 28 versus the Reds’ 17. Today, the Reds can turn things around with a bonus-point win that will result in a table-topping position.
Standing in the way of the Brad Thorn’s Reds’ long sought ascension are fellow Queenslander Dan McKellar’s boys, who themselves are in the process of redemption. The Canberrans’ renowned hard rucking and special set piece have been inconsistent since the resumption of post-lockdown games. This could be attributable to the new lock pairing of Nick Frost and Darcy Swain.
Today, McKellar opted to play without any reserve locks. Queensland has a formidable locking team comprising Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (who also played blindside flanker), Angus Blyth, and reserve Ryan Smith. Angus Scott-Young also played lock this year successfully.
The Reds will contest every lineout and challenge the Brumbies’ scrum as a key anchor to their win. However, the Brumbies’ front row and back row are deadly. In their last encounter, Harry Wilson and Angus Scott-Young faced Pete Samu and Rob Valetini seven months ago with some success. Today will be a bigger trial with the Brumbies seemingly being the more settled combination.
The attacking halves have significantly changed since their Super Rugby 2020 Round 1 clash. The Brumbies’ Joe Powell will feed and field his forwards to overwhelm rookie Scott Malolua and his pack.
Conversely the experienced James O’Connor and his potent Reds back line and back row will probe for Bayley Kuenzle’s weakness in defence while also limiting his time and space to attack.
This match might be as close as their three-point thriller earlier this year. In the end, the stinging cold weather that Canberrans love, plus home-ground advantage and high-quality coaching will probably lead to another ACT win.
To produce an upset, the Reds will need to defend like demons, deliver a flawless set piece and avoid silly penalties.
Kick-off: 7:15pm (AEST)
Venue: GIO Stadium
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
1. Scott Sio, 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Nick Frost, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Will Miller, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Bayley Kuenzle, 11. Tom Wright, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Solomone Kata, 15. Tom Banks
Bench: 16. Connal McInerney, 17. James Slipper, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Tom Cusack, 20. Lachlan McCaffrey, 21. Issak Fines, 22. Mack Hansen, 23. Andy Muirhead
1. Dane Zander, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Angus Blyth, 5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 6. Angus Scott-Young, 7. Liam Wright, 8. Harry Wilson, 9. Scott Malolua, 10. James O’Connor, 11. Filipo Daugunu, 12. Hamish Stewart, 13. Hunter Paisami, 14. Chris Feauai-Sautia, 15. Jock Campbell
Bench: 16. Alex Mafi, 17. Feao Fotuaika, 18. Jack Straker, 19. Ryan Smith, 20. Fraser McReight, 21. Tate McDermott, 22. Bryce Hegarty, 23. Jordan Petaia