'Storm warning': Reds draw on 'Canes centurion ahead of Jordie Barrett's 100th cap

Fri, Mar 1, 2024, 2:45 AM
Lachlan Grey
by Lachlan Grey

Last week, Reds coach Les Kiss demanded his side "be the storm" in their interstate win over NSW.

Now, they'll need to weather one of their own ahead with the Hurricanes out roll the Reds and deliver a milestone win for Jordie Barrett in the All Black's 100th Super Rugby game.

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Sunday shapes a huge opportunity for Queensland to test themselves against a Kiwi opponent but the odds are against them with the 'Canes unbeaten against Queensland since 2014.

"Hurricanes - that's quite a storm isn't it? We'd better beware, get the sirens going because that Hurricane can come hard and we've got to be ready," Kiss told media on Friday.

"They were impressive, massively impressive against the Force. They seemed to have good timing, good flow, they were deadly off turnover.

"Psychologically, I think it's important we do the right things this week and that's what we're focused on.

"They've got Jordie Barrett, an absolute legend of the game, playing his 100th. I think he's had 50-odd Test matches as well and he's a talisman for them.

"He'll be coming hard and wanting to do a good job for his 100th game so you know, we're going to have to be on the ball … you give them a sniff and they can step offload and get that ball away."

The front row battle also looms large with Wallabies Zane Nonggorr and Matt Faessler packing against All Black incumbents Asafo Aumua and Tyrel Lomax, however Kiss has enjoyed the luxury his very own Hurricanes centurion to call on during this week's preparation.

117-cap prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen has proved invaluable this week, offering key insight into the Hurricanes machine ahead of Sunday's clash. He'll also take to the field for a Reds Development XV against Souths in Brisbane on Saturday.

"Jeffrey's done a lot of work … he's getting his engine running again and he's been superb, the way he's talked about this week and helped us with the Canes prep," Kiss said.

"As an ex-Canes boy, he's been very useful this week I can guarantee you. He also talked about what it means to them to play for someone like Jordie. A hundred games is bloody brilliant so it'll be nice to try and match it there on the weekend."

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