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The Queensland Reds have won the 2021 Super Rugby AU final, defeating the Brumbies 19-16 thanks to a stoppage-time try to captain James O’Connor.
Queensland Reds 19 def. ACT Brumbies 16
It’s finals time! The Queensland Reds will be wanting to cap off a near-perfect AU season with a win in the grand final as they welcome the ACT Brumbies to Brisbane. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of what promises to be a thrilling final starting from 7:45pm (AEST).
No one is surprised by the fact that these two are our finalists but that doesn’t mean that the result is as easy to predict. Both sides have great talent and while the Reds have the better regular-season record, the Brumbies have been here and done it before.
The Force might be out of the comp but they are still having an impact as two Brumbies’ forwards picked up injuries in the physical game and are out of the final. Pete Samu and James Slipper will be missed for sure and it’ll be interesting to see how the men from Canberra adapt. The downside is that they will be missing two first-choice players. The upside is that with Nick Frost moving from second row to the back row, the Brumbies will have plenty of options in the line out.
After all the talk of Rob Valetini this season it’s crucial that he has a big game on the big stage. He’s having a really good season and seems to be delivering higher-quality performances week in week out. Against the Reds, it’s going to be crucial that he gets his team on the front foot and that he leads the back row to deny the likes of James O’Connor any time and space.
The Reds are coming in as favourites after a really impressive season but they too have made some changes to the starting line-up. Brad Thorn has chosen to put club captain Liam Wright on the bench and give the armband to JOC who has a perfect win record this season as skipper.
Hunter Paisami will miss out on the final because of a facial injury and is replaced in the centres by Josh Flook – the man who scored the winning try late on in the game against the Brumbies in their last clash.
The Reds do have a very strong bench with the likes of Seru Uru, Wright and Filipo Daugunu, all of who could have a very big impact when they come on.
Both sides are missing first-choice stars but there is still a wonderful amount of talent on display. The key – as it so often is – will be upfront and then how each flyhalf directs his troops around the pitch. Because of this, it feels like it’s going to be the Reds day with JOC to have a man of the match performance.
Reds by 10
Kick-off: 7:45pm (AEST)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Live stream: Stan Sport
Odds: Reds $1.56, Brumbies $2.42 (odds via PlayUp)
Feao Fotuaika, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Taniela Tupou, Ryan Smith, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Scott-Young, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor (c), Jock Campbell, Hamish Stewart, Josh Flook, Jordan Petaia, Bryce Hegarty
Reserves: Alex Mafi, Dane Zander, Zane Nonggorr, Seru Uru, Liam Wright, Kalani Thomas, Isaac Henry, Filipo Daugunu
Scott Sio, Lachlan Lonergan, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Darcy Swain, Cadeyrn Neville, Nick Frost, Rory Scott, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Noah Lolesio, Tom Wright, Irae Simone, Len Ikitau, Andy Muirhead, Tom Banks
Reserves: Folau Fainga’a, Harry Lloyd, Tom Ross, Henry Stowers, Luke Reimer, Ryan Lonergan, Reesjan Pasitoa, Mack Hansen