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McDermott, Reds primed for high-stakes match with Brumbies

Tue, 29/03/2022, 4:00 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Reds hosted the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.

Reds co-captain Tate McDermott knows there's more than just state pride on the line against the Brumbies.

Saturday's clash at Suncorp is a battle of the top two teams in Super Rugby Pacific, with a win potentially elevating them to the top of the ladder.

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Along with this, the game will be the last before the Wallabies meet up in camp, with 23 of the 40 players selected from both sides.

“It’s massive isn’t it? You’ve got two large cores of players who are battling in the Wallabies squad so we’ve got more than just playing for your state on the line,” McDermott believes.

“You have gold jerseys, but also that proud tradition in playing the Brumbies. In particular, over recent years, it’s been a great grind and it’s games you love being a part of, going down to the wire. Fans love them and we love them too.

“You still look back on that (2021 Grand Final) memory as one of the greatest in my career. When we have Queenslanders show out in numbers, especially against the Brumbies, it gives us that leg up.”

Arguably the biggest battle for national selection will come at scrumhalf, with McDermott to line up against Nic White or Ryan Lonergan.

With all three firmly on Dave Rennie's radar, the Reds co-captain was excited by the challenge.

“It’s good. (Nic White) is not too chirpy to me but it’ll be good to see him out there if we’re both selected,” he said with a smile.

“I’m really excited to play in the nine jersey.”

The 23-year-old made his return from injury last week during the win over the Waratahs, missing the defeat to the Brumbies a fortnight ago due to an ankle injury.

This has given the Reds further motivation to perform, with McDermott pointing to discipline as key to victory.

“It’s good to be back out there,” McDermott added.

“There’s nothing like returning at Suncorp and it was good to see the home fans out there in the wet weather. The body ended up a little sore but I’m looking forward to the massive game last week.

“We were really good in patches, I think we were almost better with 13 men. I’m proud of about 70 minutes of that performance but when you come up against the Brumbies, we have to be going for 80+.

“I think mainly (the learnings from last game) were around our exits.

“They are going to come hard at us and they are very good at disrupting that (exit). If we can fix our discipline and hopefully no yellow cards, if we can fix our discipline in terms of holding onto the ball and kick well, I think we’ll get a good result.”

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