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The Reds host the Rebels on Saturday evening at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:15pm (AEST).
Izack Rodda, who? I would Rodda have a good lineout. For whatever reason, the Reds are sorely missing their lineout general and on-field leader. Despite last week’s humiliation, Brad Thorn’s boys showed last week their ability to score points, if they can retain possession.
In the contemporary age of scandals, pandemic, leadership tussles and high drama, boring is beautiful sounds about right currently. This is where the Rebels come to mind. Hardly any of the forwards are famous. Many of their backs are unheralded. Yet they have been playing well, culminating in a surprise thrashing of the Brumbies.
Today their forwards will be targeting the Reds’ lineout. The Rebels’ backs will target the slower Queensland defence. The new attacking spine in Frank Lomani, Andrew Deegan and Matt To’omua have the skill and spark needed by the Melburnians to move defences about, keeping them on the back foot and winning the territorial battle.
In today’s match-up the Rebels also seem to have an advantage over the combination of Tate McDermott, James O’Connor and Hamish Stewart. The Reds have re-set their back row with the injection of Fraser McReight to add a bit of speed and hussle. I am unsure this is enough because the Brumbies couldn’t do the same against the Rebels.
The Reds are now second bottom in the ladder. But a win will enable them to skip over the Rebels and match the second-placed Waratahs’ tournament points.
Lineout notwithstanding, this is going to be a hard fought match. The Rebels’ forwards will play a simple game, playing for territory, tie up the Reds’ pack before unleashing their backs. Dark horse 130-kilo tighthhead prop Pone Fa’amausili is propelled as a starter, expected to continue his awesome rugby league type runs, tearing into the Reds’ defensive line.
To win this game, the Reds need to win their lineouts and number up in defence, especially after turnovers. The Rebels’ forwards will contest the breakdown well. So the Reds need to avoid penalties, especially McReight and their young captain Liam Wright.
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Kick-off: 7:15pm (AEST)
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
Odds: Reds $1.73, Rebels $2.17
1. Jack Straker, 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. Reserves: 16. Alex Mafi, 17. Jethro Felemi, 18. Zane Nonggorr, 19. Tuaina Tali Tualima, 20. Angus Scott-Young, 21. Scott Malolua, 22. Bryce Hegarty, 23. Josh Flook.
1. Cameron Orr, 2. Jordan Uelese, 3. Pone Fa’amausili, 4. Matt Philip, 5. Trevor Hosea, 6. Josh Kemeny, 7. Brad Wilkin, 8. Isi Naisarani, 9. Frank Lomani, 10. Andrew Deegan, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Matt To’omua (c), 13. Campbell Magnay, 14. Andrew Kellaway, 15. Reece Hodge. Reserves: 16. Efitusi Maafu, 17. Cabous Eloff, 18. Charles Abel, 19. Esei Ha’angana, 20. Michael Wells, 21. Richard Hardwick, 22. James Tuttle, 23. Billy Meakes.