Kerevi backs Cooper to create more magic

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Reds stand-in skipper Samu Kerevi expects Quade Cooper to pull something special out against the Kings on Saturday afternoon.

Cooper returns to the Reds team for the first time after a three-week suspension for a dangerous tackle, in a week where the Reds desperately need all their big guns.

The flyhalf’s magical flick pass in 2010 against the Highlanders had some competition from Stormers winger Dillyn Leeds against the Chiefs, but Kerevi said he hadn’t seen any extra practise from Cooper this week.

“He hasn't been practising the round the body pass but I'm pretty sure he'll try and pull something out of the rabbits hat to showcase his skills but he'll go around doing his job,” he said.

“He's been doing really well, the time he's had off to work on his game and work on his body as he gets ready for this weekend.

Queensland has a chance to head into their bye with two wins from eight games, a record that would keep them in touch with the top of the Australian conference and give their fans some much-needed optimism.

Internally the vibe is being helped by George Smith, who will play his 150th Super Rugby game on Saturday, a milestone Kerevi was quick to shine the spotlight on.

“Obviously playing that many games, he's been a part of a lot of successful teams and he's gained a lot of knowledge through wins and losses and that,” he said.

“It’s been a real credit to his character to the addition that he has been to the team and he's been really positive and gone about his business and doing his extras and doing the things that a lot of people don't see but we see as teammates and I think he'll have a big game this weekend.

“Playing your 150th game is a massive milestone so it just shows the calibre of player he is.”

Kerevi will captain the side with James Slipper injured and Stephen Moore rested forthe Kings game and he interim skipper said he was wary of the South Africans’ threats, after a six-try effort against the Force.

“They're an amazing team and they've got a lot of tries in them, especially their back three,they've got a lot of gas where if you give them any space or time they'll take it,” he said.

“They like to play in behind, little kicks and little trick plays but our main focus on us is for our shape this weekend and make sure we stay consistent the whole 80 minutes.

“I believe there's a lot of leaders in the tem and it's just that c beside my name that says I'm captain but I thinks there's a lot of leaders in our team that will play well for our team.”

The Reds host the Kings on Saturday afternoon, kicking off at 3:05pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on