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2018 Vodafone Super Rugby Season: Queensland Reds v Hurricanes Squad Preview

Queensland Reds Head Coach Brad Thorn has rounded out changes to his Starting XV & Bench roster today.

The entire squad will now travel to Wellington, New Zealand tomorrow morning so they can prepare for Friday Night’s game at Westpac Stadium.

Front Row

James Slipper hasn’t been considered to start or sit on the bench for tomorrow due to welfare reasons.

Instead, JP Smith will take Slipper’s spot at loosehead prop.

Angus Scott-Young will move to blindside flanker at the No.6 position which means Adam Korczyk will not play at all v the Hurricanes.

The Reds are still missing Caleb Timu in the Number 8 Position as he battles an ankle injury.

Caleb Timu won’t play this Friday but is hopeful of playing next Saturday’s night match v the Highlanders at home.

It means Scott Higginbotham will get his first go since their loss v the Brumbies a few weeks ago.

Higginbotham has been out with a calf injury in the past few weeks and recently played for Wests in the Queensland Premier Rugby competition last weekend.

Although, that match he played for 40 minutes was a 45-29 heavy defeat v the University of St. Lucia.

His calf has been okay when he ran for the Reds first team the other day and is ready to play tomorrow.

Back Line

Duncan Paia’aua is going to get his opportunity to start across the Reds backline.

Brad Thorn relegated Paia’aua to the bench since they won against the Bulls two months ago at Suncorp Stadium.

According to Jim Tucker’s article via the Courier Mail, Paia’aua will offer his position with:

  • Nimble Footwork
  • Strengthening Wide Areas with the Offload and Pace
  • Coming in as a Primary Team Player to Support their back and front Rowers

He’s 10 KG lighter and is ready to come on the field.

Paia’aua is replacing Feauai-Sautia who suffered a head knock during the Sunwolves game from Sautrday.

He’s not medically cleared to play tomorrow as Paia’aua will go at inside-center alongside Samu Kerevi who shifts on the outside-center position.

Bench

Hooker Andrew Ready is back on the bench for the first time since Round 5.

Ruan Smith, who didn’t play at all v the Sunwolves last week, also comes returns on the matchday 23 roster.

Izaia Perese, who plays as an Outside Back, also followed Ruan Smith’s comeback in the reserves after Paia’aua’s promotion into the Starting XV.

Harry Hoopert and Alex Mafi will not be required to travel to Wellington, New Zealand this week.

Line-Up

  1. JP Smith
  2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa
  3. Taniela Tupou
  4. Izack Rodda
  5. Kane Douglas
  6. Angus Scott-Young
  7. George Smith
  8. Scott Higginbotham (Captain)
  9. Ben Lucas
  10. Jono Lance
  11. Jordan Petaia
  12. Duncan Paia’aua
  13. Samu Kerevi
  14. Filipo Daugunu
  15. Hamish Stewart
  16. Andrew Ready
  17. Sef Fa’agase
  18. Ruan Smith
  19. Harry Hockings
  20. Liam Wright
  21. Moses Sorovi
  22. Izaia Perese
  23. Aidan Toua

Team Position

They currently sit 3rd in the Australian Conference ahead of the Brumbies and Sunwolves.

In the Overall ladder, the Queensland Reds sit in 12th place.

Combined with the two ladder conferences, they played:

  • Ten Matches
  • Four Wins
  • Six Losses
  • One Bonus Point
  • -106 Points Difference
  • Total: 17 Points

They’re six points behind the Stormers in 11th and seven by the three other teams in the South African Conference.

  • 8th, Jaguares
  • 9th, Bulls
  • 10th, Sharks

Conclusion

The Queensland Reds need a lot of groundwork to get up to speed after a massive 63-28 loss to the Sunwolves a few days ago.

They need a lot more support from the front row to defend a lot more and build a wall.

That means, they would need turnovers, superior discipline and not concede too many penalties.

Then they create set pieces; line breaks as well as driving forward with the scrum and maul to frustrate the home opposition.

The conditions will be different as the Reds play in New Zealand soil.

It’s not accessible to play a very attacking minded side like the Hurricanes.

Jamie Joseph’s Sunwolves play a similar style of Rugby that seen most of their back rowers dominate possession and building structure to embarrass the Reds.

Fly-Half Hayden Parker dominated most of the kicking duties, 100% perfect without a single kick away from the sticks.

Hosea Sumaki & Grant Hattingh both added more width and depth which means they have the freedom to create linebreaks.

It means the Sunwolves created more opportunities across the center and both vast areas with speed & that’s where the Reds failed to arrest them to their territory.

The Reds need to take some notes down from them because Jamie Joseph’s style of play will be similar to what the Hurricanes would want to demolish them easily.

As Izack Rodda said via press conference, the Reds can as hard as they like.

However, they still need to carry that progress from training into gameday.

Every match the Reds play in Super Rugby is crucial, so it’s like basically like a do or die game.

Make sure you tune in to watch the Reds play the Hurricanes tomorrow at 5.30 PM AEST LIVE on FOX Sports 501.

At last but not least

If you’re a die-hard Queensland Reds fan, you can shop and support when you purchase the official Reds 2018 shirts to support the Men in Maroon with pride via the link here.

Stay tuned for more Reds’ updates via:

Image Credit: Brendan Hertel & Tom Kennedy, Queensland Rugby Union.

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