Reds name unchanged squad to bust 10-year Hurricanes hoodoo at Super Round

Wed, Feb 28, 2024, 3:30 AM
Lachlan Grey
by Lachlan Grey
Highlights from the Round 1 clash of Super Rugby Pacific 2024 between the Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs

Queensland's Super Rugby Pacific campaign got off to a flying start against NSW but they'll have to bust their 10-year Hurricanes hoodoo to stay aloft.

The Reds haven't posted back-to-back wins since April 2023 and while last week's 40-22 win over the Waratahs showed plenty of promise, the Hurricanes pose an entirely different challenge.

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Fresh from a 44-14 win in Perth, the 'Canes currently lead Super Rugby Pacific and have been Queensland's bogey team for the past decade, winning their last seven encounters by an average score of 36-19.

Digby Ioane and Rob Simmons were the Reds' heroes last time they tasted victory over the Wellington franchise - an 18-13 grind in 2013 - while last year's 47-13 thumping in Townsville saw a fresh-faced Tom Lynagh make his Super Rugby debut.

"I think we had a good first half last year but fell away in the second half," Lynagh said.

"To start with a win (against the Waratahs) obviously gives us a lot of confidence but we know we've got a lot of things to work on for the Hurricanes this weekend.

"One thing that came from it was our breakdown work, the rest of it was pretty good but we need to fix up our breakdown to secure our ball and attack off that.

"We've seen them (Hurricanes) a bit, obviously they had a good win over the Force, they looked pretty strong but we'll focus on ourselves and what we need to work on."

Lynagh looked assured in his 53-minute stint and retains his starting berth despite a strong bench cameo from Harry McLaughlin-Phillips with Les Kiss making just one change to the matchday 23.

"I felt pretty confident, obviously didn't get a lot of reps or training down but last few weeks have been pretty solid," he said.

"There's plenty of talent around the 10 position at the moment. The boys have been firing through preseason so sitting on the sidelines for some of it and watching the boys compete was good.

"It's definitely motivated me a lot of more to get back into training and try and take a spot. … but things are never certain, you've just got to put your best foot forward and go into the week looking positive."

REDS (1-15): Alex Hodgman, Matt Faessler, Zane Nonggorr, Seru Uru, Ryan Smith, Liam Wright (co-c), Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott (co-c), Tom Lyngah, Jock Campbell, Hunter Paisami, Josh Flook, Suli Vunivalu, Jordan Petaia

RESERVES: Josh Nasser, Peni Ravai, Sef Fa'agase, Cormac Daly, John Bryant, Kalani Thomas, Harry McLaughlin-Phillips, Mac Grealy

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