Simmons not expecting 'Big Dell' response at Suncorp

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Rob Simmons isn't entirely sure what the Suncorp Stadium crowd has in store for him on Saturday night.

As far as flammable personalities go the veteran lock is some distance from Wendell Sailor, who was viciously booed by almost 40,000 fans when he donned the sky blue against the Reds in 2006.

Some gentle jeers may be a more realistic response from the Queensland faithful, who rarely take to defectors kindly, but the emotion has largely subsided for Simmons now that he has already faced his former club earlier this season.

"As the season goes on I've sort of moved on," Simmons said.

"I've played them once and that was a big thing for me, to do that, and then I think the way we've been playing there is much more that I need to concentrate in my own game (rather) than worrying about the emotional side of things."Rob Simmons has rejuvenated his career in NSW. Photo: Getty ImagesSimmons has swapped clubs at an ideal time.

NSW have won eight straight against their oldest enemy, sit atop the Australian Conference and are playing their best rugby of the season at the very best time.

The shift south has rejuvenated Simmons, who was told to find a new club by Queensland prior to the end of last season as their lock stocks overflowed.

Simmons' face off with one of those promising locks - Izack Rodda - will add an extra wrinkle to a match filled with individual battles across the field.

"It's very important - it's something we have been trying to do the last couple of weeks is win those one-on-one battles," Simmons said.

"You have to do your research on your own guy and figure out how you can get over him."


Simmons' time at Ballymore came to an end before Brad Thorn took the reins but he is expecting a Reds pack desperate to win every contest from the opening whistle.

"It's a real let's go to battle mentality," he said.

"The forwards take that on and try to punch little holes in you through the field.

"They'll be getting up for the physical battle and they'll want to win every little battle on the field."

The old adage says games of rugby are won up front and the Waratahs' mobile pack will have to blunt the burly Reds forwards if they are to maintain their lead atop the conference.

The Reds host the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and RUGBY.com.au radio.