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A lot goes on the line tonight at Brookvale Oval when the Melbourne Rebels meet the Queensland Reds. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 7:05pm (AEST).
After the Brumbies, these are the form teams of Super Rugby AU. Let’s start with Melbourne. Backed to finish second in Super Rugby AU, they played their first game last week. A tryless first half left them in the lurch, and despite an improved second 40, they couldn’t get the win down in Canberra.
Their first five-pointer didn’t come until the 58th minute, at which point they were trailing 24-6. Due to COVID-19, they’ve spent the last couple of weeks on the road and will give up home advantage for at least two games, including tonight’s match-up with the Reds.
The Reds started strongly with a victory against the Waratahs. While NSW are a pretty average team, in years past the Reds wouldn’t have had the fight to beat them. That’s all changed now, and they’ll even start slight favourites tonight.
The Reds typically win the battle up front, but the pressure is on them to convert that into tries tonight against a Melbourne team with an accomplished backline. The Queenslanders boast the best back row in Australia, so if they can win the ball back from the ‘hosts’, that’ll give them a huge advantage.
In team news, the only change for the Rebels is Campbell Magnay slotting into 13, pushing Reece Hodge back onto the pine. As a result, Andrew Deegan misses out this weekend.
The Reds have gone with the same squad as last round.
It’ll be close, these are two evenly matched teams. The Reds are in better form, but again, it’ll be down to whether or not they can dominate up front. If not, the Rebels backs will run rings.
Reds by six.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 7:05pm (AEST).
Kick-off: 7:05pm (AEST)
Venue: Brookvale Oval
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
Betting: Rebels $1.97, Reds $1.87
Referee: Damon Murphy
Matt Gibbon, Jordan Uelese, Pone Fa’amausili, Matt Philip, Michael Stolberg, Josh Kemeny, Richard Hardwick, Michael Wells (VC), Ryan Louwrens, Matt To’omua (VC), Marika Koroibete, Billy Meakes, Campbell Magnay, Andrew Kellaway, Dane Haylett-Petty
Bench: Efi Ma’afu, Cameron Orr, Jermaine Ainsley, Trevor Hosea, Esei Ha’angana, Rob Leota, Frank Lomani, Reece Hodge.
Harry Hoopert, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Taniela Tupou, Angus Blyth, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Liam Wright, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor, Filipo Daugunu, Hamish Stewart, Hunter Paisami, Jock Campbell, Bryce Hegarty
Bench: Alex Mafi, JP Smith, Josh Nasser, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Angus Scott-Young, Scott Malolua, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Josh Flook.