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Reds on alert for in-form Sharks

Super Rugby
AAP
by AAP

A 10-try therapy session helped the Queensland Reds overcome a frustrating start to the Super Rugby season but they've quickly moved on ahead of defining clash with the Sharks this Saturday.

The Reds' record 64-5 defeat of the Sunwolves last Saturday was reward for three previously encouraging but fruitless weeks on the road.

"The best way to vent was to do good stuff; we're glad we could put them to the sword and the vibe's been good since," captain Liam Wright said.

"We wanted to put down for a lot longer, for that 80-minute performance, but we still let up at stages which we'll try and fix this week."

Wright knows the lapses in previous games can't be repeated against the Durban-based Sharks (3-1), who he says will test his young team's football smarts at Suncorp Stadium.

Lightning-fast winger Makazole Mapimpi and fullback Aphelele Fassi tormented the Melbourne Rebels in their Ballarat win last weekend, while they are complemented by a typically brutish South African forward pack.

Wright knows what's coming on Saturday but says the challenge is to be clever enough to stop it.

"They tend to kick the ball back, make us play out and use on-ballers to win it back, play off turnovers and attack out wide from there with their pace," he said.

"That opens up opportunities for us; they're going to make us play with the ball a lot, so we have to manage that well, use our game managers to put us well into their end and trust our defence to keep us there.

"A big part of it is not overplaying our hand ... playing smart footy, getting to the right end of the field and jumping on their errors."

Almost 12,000 fans turned up for the side's first home game last week and Wright said he felt the sense of occasion as they looked to prove their credentials this weekend.

"We are playing for them, so it was awesome to see them show faith in us and hopefully they'll do it again this week," he said.

The Reds take on the Sharks on Saturday February 29 at Suncorp Stadium, kicking off at 6:15pm local, 7:15pm AEDT, LIVE on Foxtel, Kayo Sports and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.