Reds preparing for fightback in potential finals decider

Thu, 08/04/2021, 06:30 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Reds prop Taniela Tupou celebrates his double in the opening half. Photo: Getty Images

There are more than bragging rights on the line when the Reds host the Brumbies on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium.

The two teams have established themselves as the dominant forces in Super Rugby AU across the past 18 months.

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This has been reflected in selection for the upcoming Wallabies camp, with 26 of the 40-man squad coming from the two teams.

With top spot and hosting rights for the Grand Final on the line, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and the selectors will be keeping a close eye on the action before they enter camp in the coming days.

However, Reds coach Brad Thorn isn't buying into any hype surrounding his team and the match, focused on preparing for a Brumbies outfit looking for revenge after their narrow loss in Round Four.

“I don’t have any interest in that chat. It took us our sixth game to get near a complete game so to me that’s all noise,” Thorn said.

“I just know that we’ve got a really good opposition coming up and they will be highly motivated to play good rugby.

“Closer to the back end of the season is where the selectors are looking more at what is going on.

“If you look post-Super Rugby AU, you’ve got the New Zealand games and I’d say they would be looking heavily at that so there is a fair bit of footy to be played.”

Hunter Paisami swoops and no one can catch him.

Thorn made just one change to the side that defeated the Rebels, re-introducing injured skipper Liam Wright via the bench.

Wright (foot) has missed the entirety of the season so far, with Thorn praising his influence on the squad both on-and-off the field.

“He’s been eating a few steaks to try and put a few kilos,” he joked on Wright.

“He’s a really influential guy in the club…he’s been doing a really good job, being around the team. I’ve been calling him the ‘assistant assistant coach.’”

The Reds will be looking to maintain their impressive winning streak at Suncorp, which will extend to ten games with a win on Saturday.

Wright admits that the prospect of extending it and ensuring they can deliver a home final to their fans was all the motivation needed.

“The boys are psyched, it’s a top-of-the-table clash which we always look forward to, we’ve got a pretty good rivalry going with the Brumbies," Wright said.

“We only just pipped them at the post down there last time so we know they will be coming back for our blood. We know that we’re in for a tough game.

“We know that Suncorp is a great ground for us, we love playing there. Queenslanders get around us there and we thank them for that so the best way to do that is to get a tenth win in a row and hopefully rewarding those guys.

"If we do, we know the prize at the end is pretty great. We want to do it for them, we want to do it for the jersey and we want to do it for Queensland."


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It’s going to be a top-of-the-table clash when the Reds take on the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, kicking off at 7.45pm AEST, catch all the action LIVE on Stan Sports and simulcast on 9Gem, click here to purchase tickets.

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