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Super Rugby | Brisbane
09:00 (GMT) | 24-02-2017
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Scrum to the Sharks at their 22. They move the ball up field and make it to their own 10 with some wrap around plays but the ball is passed into touch. Line-out for the hosts now. The Reds holding in the maul. The referee calls to use it. They do and clear the ball to end the game
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The reset kick is there and the Reds get a turnover. They rush to the 22 of the Sharks and the ball in the hands of Kerevi. he sends it back to Douglas. The ball in the ruck and passed to Faagase but it's lost forward after he offloads
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Lambie takes the kick and misses his first kick of the game, much to the crowd's delight
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The referee rules the tackle worthy of the bin. Hunt is sent off for the remainder of the game
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Du Preez trying to shove his way through the Reds' defence. he is brought down and Mvovo tries to slip through but he is brought down with a rough tackle by Hunt
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The Reds now with a soft lead. The ball sent down field to Kerevi with a long pass and he is tackled into touch. The ball is stolen from the Sharks in the line-out and they make their way forward. The referee halts play around the mid field area for a penalty to the Sharks. Scrum to the away team
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The try-scorer looks to take the kick as well. He fails to add the 2 points
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The ball ran across the field and the man who takes it off Cooper's hand is Duncan Paia'Aua who offloads to Tuttle who's been on for 30 seconds before making an impact. He makes it over the line to score the TRY
  • 69
The referee scraps the scrum and awards Reds a penalty after some infringements by the Sharks. Cooper takes a shot at the sticks and misses
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Scrum reset
  • 67
The Sharks look to break but the ball is fumbled after some confusion with where the ball should be played. Scrum to the Reds at the 10 of the Sharks
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Reds win a penalty and kick into touch at the 22. The home team now more resilient as they push into the 22 of the Sharks. Cooper gives short pass but it's fumbled by the receiver. They lose possession but the Sharks gift them the ball and the Reds are back at it around the 10 of the visitors
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The reset kick is booted back by Frisby. The Sharks start their attack from the half way with Slipper
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Cooper misses his second conversion attempt of the game
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They send it short side and Kerevi makes it over the line to cheers of the crowd. The referee decides the TMO is needed for the decision. TRY awarded
  • 62
Kerevi contesting the reset kick but van der Walt comes out with it surprisingly enough. The ball bounces around and is scooped up by Lambie who clears it. The Reds come again with Smith. He offloads Korczyk and the Reds are inches away from the try line
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Lambie lines up his kick sends it down the middle
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The referee blows for an offside against the Smith. Line-out after the penalty to the Sharks. The Sharks maul and make it over the line in a pile of bodies. The referee halts play and refers to the TMO. TRY to Mtembu
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The Sharks doing everything they can to make it over the line but the Reds defend well enough. The ball is cleared and the Sharks come again
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The Sharks with a one man advantage now. They make some ground in a maul after a throw. The referee blows for a penalty after the maul is collapsed. Lambie boots it into touch around the 5
  • 56
The referee sends the second rower to the bin after referring to the TMO
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The Reds building from the mid field and the referee halting play for an arm around the neck of Beast by Douglas
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The Sharks scrambling back for the defense and the ball lands in the hands of Frisby now inside the 10 of the Sharks. He kicks the ball forward into touch. Line-out for the Sharks. The ball is in play and Reinach clears. Cooper gets it and sends it right back
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They make it within inches of the line and it's sent back to Lambie who does a cross field kick but it lands in the hands of Cooper inside the try area. The referee calls play back for a penalty and Lambie puts it in touch at the 5 again. They give away a foul to the Reds. Cooper clears and the attack ends
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Mtembu gets it after the scrum and looks to send it off but is fouled. Lambie puts it into touch at the 5 and the Sharks have a line-out
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The Sharks in possession now looking to increase their lead to a comfortable standing. The referee blows for a penalty after Du Preez makes a carry for his team. Scrum for the Sharks at the 22 of the Reds
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Cooper fails to add the extras
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The ball moved up field to Kerevi quickly after the scrum and he shows his worth by slipping passed 2 to make it over the line and score the TRY
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The referee blows for a penalty and it's taken quickly. The Reds progress to the 22 of the the Sharks. Smith carrying forward and makes a few meters. The referee blows for a penalty to the Reds. Scrum just outside the 22
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The restart kick is returned. The Reds chase a return kick from the Sharks. Cooper racing against Bosch, but neither of them reach the ball as it bounces into touch. Line-out around the 5 of the Reds for the home team. The ball is thrown in but the referee blows for penalty to the hosts. Cooper boots it into touch around his 22
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The referee blows for a penalty to the away team. Lambie sets up from a relatively easy angle around the 22
  • 42
The ball being booted back and forth. Cooper with the 22 meter restart. He kicks it short and the Sharks look to rush the hosts but the Reds find possession. The ball being sent all over the field by both teams. The Sharks decide to run with it and make it to the 22 of the hosts. Mtembu sends it to Lambie who makes an attempt at squeezing through but Talakai brings him down
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Lambie gets the second half underway

Half Time

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Lambie sets up for a penalty from just outside the 22. He makes the 3 points and the referee blows for HALF TIME
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Line-out taken and cleared by Cooper. The referee calls play back for a line-out to the Sharks. They take their throw and push forward in a maul. The referee blows for a penalty to the Sharks
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The ball goes into touch. Throw-in for the Reds. They take the throw and try to make some ground with a maul. Frisby tries to clear but it hits a Sharks man. Line-out at the 22 of the Reds
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Scrum to the Sharks around the mid field area
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Reds take their scrum and clear. The boot outfield is returned
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Cooper boots the ball out after the reset kick. Line-out to the Sharks around the 22 of the hosts. The Sharks move down field and then over the 22 AM goes down to a high arm and the players tempers flare. The referee calls fro a scrum to the Reds, despite the tiff
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Cooper makes quick work of the extras
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Frisby slips it in and gives to Kerevi. The Reds shoving their way to the middle of the sticks. The referee blows as the bodies cover the ball. He refers to the TMO for a try confirmation. TRY awarded to the home team; Higginbotham
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Scrum reset
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Reds take their scrum and Cooper clears. The ball lost forward after the Sharks' throw. The Reds take it down field and rush forward with Korczyk who wins a scrum for his team around the 5 meter of the Sharks.
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Scrum reset
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The Sharks get a line-out at the 10 of the Reds after the reset kick. They move the ball down field and Du Preez breaking through a sloppy effort at defending by the Reds. He makes it to the edge of the 5 and sends the ball up field but the referee blows as it reaches the other end of the field. The ball lost forward. Scrum to the hosts
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Lambie takes the kick from outside the 10 and adds another 3 points. Both flyhalfs showing their kicking prowess
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The Sharks win a penalty after some tussling for possession around the mid field area
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Cooper converts a penalty after the scrum.
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The Reds get possession at the 10 of the Sharks and Cooper makes a run handing it over to Moore but the Sharks trek back and hold. The referee blows for a penalty. Scrum to the Reds
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Lambie clears into touch at their own 10
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The Reds now inside the Sharks' 22 moving swiftly with Kerevi who sends it down to Nabuli. The Sharks reform their line quickly. The referee blows. Scrum at the 5 of the Sharks for the Reds. The Sharks win the scrum
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Lambie sets up for a kick 40 meters from the sticks. He makes the 3 points and regains the 7 point lead
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The ball is lost after the line-out and cleared. Sharks in possession now at the 10 of the Reds. The referee blows for a penalty as Beast helps his team over the Reds 10 meter line
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Cooper kicks into touch around the 22 of the away team
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The Sharks opt to clear after the scrum and attack the ball on the Reds' 22. The home team clear but the referee blows for a penalty to the hosts
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The ball sent up field by Copper but lost forward by Paia'Aua. Scrum to the Sharks on their 22
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Lukhanyo Am trying to ram his way through the Reds defensive line but he is brought down. The referee stops play again as the ball is lost forward. Scrum to the Reds. Scrum reset
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The ball is over thrown and lost. The visitors clear but the Reds come again now inside the 10 of the Sharks
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Cooper sends it to the 22 of the Reds for a line-out. The home team try to move it down field quickly but the referee again stopping play for penalty to the Reds. He kicks it even further, this time a line-out at the 5 of the Sharks
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Lambie with the reset kick. The ball lands straight in the hands of his opposite number and it's cleared into touch. Line-out for the Sharks at the 10 of the Reds. The referee blows for penalty shorty after to the home team
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Cooper lines it up from inside the 22 and gets his team on the board
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The Reds looking for a swift response, now inside the Sharks' 22 edging towards the 5. Kuridrani shoving his way through the away team defence before the ball is sent down field. The referee halts play for a penalty to the boys in red
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Pat Lambie secures the extras
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They fumble the ball down field and the Sharks find themselves in a lucky position to grab the ball with Du Preez who runs from the 22 to score the first TRY of the fixture
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Reds with the ball now after the initial kick is sent back. They build from their own 10
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Nick Briant, the referee for this fixture, blows and the game is underway off the boot of Cooper with a deep kick
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The players exiting the tunnel now to cheers of the crowd
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The wind speed pushing 20kmh in an Eastly direction
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The Sharks have taken 4 victories from the last 5 games between these two sides
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Welcome to the Suncorp Stadium where the Reds will tackle the Sharks
Mc reds logo 80x50
Mc sharks graphic80x50
  • 1 James Slipper
  • 2 Stephen Moore
  • 3 Sam Talakai
  • 4 Rob Simmons
  • 5 Kane Douglas
  • 6 Adam Korczyk
  • 7 George Smith
  • 8 Scott Higginbotham
  • 9 Nick Frisby
  • 10 Quade Cooper
  • 11 Eto Nabuli
  • 12 Duncan Paia'Aua
  • 13 Samu Kerevi
  • 14 Chris Kuridrani
  • 15 Karmichael Hunt
  • 16 Andrew Ready
  • 17 Markus Vanzati
  • 18 Sef Faagase
  • 19 Izack Rodda
  • 20 Hendrik Tui
  • 21 James Tuttle
  • 22 Jake McIntyre
  • 23 Izala Perese
  • 1 Tendai Mtawarira
  • 2 Franco Marais
  • 3 Coenie Oosthuizen
  • 4 Etienne Oosthuizen
  • 5 Ruan Botha
  • 6 Philip van der Walt
  • 7 Jean-Luc Du Preez
  • 8 Lubabalo Mtembu
  • 9 Cobus Reinach
  • 10 Patrick Lambie
  • 11 Lwazi Mvovo
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 13 Lukhanyo Am
  • 14 Kobus van Wyk
  • 15 Curwin Bosch
  • 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle
  • 17 Thomas Du Toit
  • 18 Lourens Adriaanse
  • 19 Stephan Lewies
  • 20 Jacques Vermeulen
  • 21 Michael Claassens
  • 22 Jeremy Ward
  • 23 Clement Poitrenaud
Mc article tom english rebels 800

SR PREVIEW: Round One, Part One

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:09

LET THE GAMES BEGIN: It is with great excitement that we await the opening salvos of the 2017 Super Rugby season - which, for the first time, includes a Thursday game.

While the Rebels and Blues will get the action underway with that historic first Thursday match, it is followed by two very intriguing Friday matches - the all-New Zealand derby between the Highlanders and Chiefs, as well as the Reds hosting the Sharks in Brisbane.

It is these three match we pay attention to in Part One of our preview!

Thursday, February 23

Melbourne Rebels v Blues
(AAMI Park, Melbourne - Kick-off: 19.45; 21.45 NZ time; 08.45 GMT)

The Melbourne Rebels host the Blues in a game that will give us an early glimpse into their prospects for 2017 - two teams who have promised so much last year, only to drop out the race.

The Blues campaign could hit an early speed bump, with several leading players missing the opening round.

Co-captains Jerome Kaino and James Parson, along with fellow All Black, lock Patrick Tuipulotu, and as expected Sonny Bill Williams, will all miss the Blues' first match.

It is part of the agreement with the New Zealand Rugby Union to 'manage' key All Blacks.

Charlie Faumuina, carrying a leg complaint, George Moala and Rene Ranger have been named to come off a powerful bench - all making graduated returns from injury.

Blues coach Tana Umaga said they are "very happy" with where they are at.

"The group are committed to starting well," he told

"They know there is a lot of competition and a lot of people coming back that have got some reputations so they want to stay where they are.

"We learnt last year the Rebels didn't do so well in the preseason but won three out of their first four games so we're under no illusions how tough it is going to be for us over there."

The Rebels will kick off their seventh Super Rugby season at home for the first time since their 21-point victory over the Cheetahs in 2014.

The previous two years the Rebels have started the year on road to the Crusaders and Western Force respectively.

The Rebels have historically enjoyed their first game of the year - winning their last four season openers against Force (2013), Cheetahs (2014), Crusaders (2015) and Force (2016).

Home field advantage made all the difference in previous encounters between the Blues and Rebels, but will that trend continue in the first Super Rugby clash of 2017?

If history is any guide we can expect a high-scoring affair.

The Blues and Rebels first met on Good Friday in 2011, with the Auckland-based side winning a little more easily on the scoreboard than on the field, as it took a late burst to first secure the bonus point and then pad out the margin to 40-23 in front of a home crowd.

In 2012, the Rebels triumphed 34-23 in Melbourne, but we got our revenge in a try-fest at Eden Park the following year, winning 36-32 and scoring six tries to five.

More recently, the 2015 match against the Rebels was one to forget as the Blues went down 42-22 away from home, and the 36-30 victory last year was one to remember, especially as it was James Parsons' first match as captain.

Both teams scored roughly the same amount of points last season (Blues 374 v Rebels 365) but the Australian side conceded over 100 points more during the course of the season. That's 18 more tries over 15 games, plus conversions.

So expect the Rebels to focus their efforts on containment, as our boys look to light up AAMI Park in Melbourne.

Recent results:
2016: Blues won 36-30, Auckland
2015: Rebels won 42-22, Melbourne
2013: Blues won 36-32, Auckland
2012: Rebels won 34-23, Melbourne
2011: Blues won 40-23, North Harbour

Prediction: The bookmakers may fancy the Blues, but the home factor and depleted Blues line-up make us think the Rebels have more than just an even shot. We suggest the Rebels will win by five points or less.


Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Tom English, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Steve Cummins, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Cruze Ah-Nau.
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Tom Moloney, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Jake Schatz, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Sione Tuipulotu, 23 Jonah Placid.

Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 4 Jimmy Tupou, 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 Matt Moulds, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Scott Scrafton, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Sam Nock, 22 George Moala, 23 Rene Ranger

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Will Houston (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

Friday, February 24

Highlanders v Chiefs
(Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin - Kick-off: 19.35; 06.35 GMT)

The Highlanders start the season with a brand new coaching panel, in contrast to the Chiefs that will be in their last season under Dave Rennie.

Highlanders assistant coach Scott McLeod made it clear the likes of new head coach Tony Brown and forwards coach Mark Hammett will play a key role.

Brown has taken over from Jamie Joseph, now the Japan coach.

"The coaching styles are different," McLeod told the Otago Daily Times.

"That is not a good or a bad thing.

"We just have to find ways to be effective with that.

"Maybe more of us have to step up to do the things that maybe Jamie [Joseph] would have done in the past. And that is a good thing as well.''

The new forwards coach, Hammett, was showing his worth.

"There is a lot of big picture thinking from him and also a lot of details to our forwards.''

The Chiefs mentor, Rennie, does not believe that the changes in the Highlanders coaching panel will make the home team any more vulnerable.

"New Zealand games are so tough and you have good runs against certain sides. Other sides may have the wood on you," Rennie told the Waikato Times.

"Every game we've got into [against the Highlanders], we've been in the arm wrestle and they've been tight affairs.

"We certainly won't be reflecting on history because it really counts for nothing. We certainly won't be going down there without throwing everything at it."

McLeod said pre-season had been different from others for the Highlanders, but he is confident the side is fit and ready to go for Friday's opener.

"It was a different challenge for us in December," the Highlanders' assistant coach said.

"We had 17 guys out and 17 new guys in - with four boys from school, which was really different for us. We have had not had that in the past. We got through that well; the boys put in a great effort,'' he said.

"Lately it has been about integrating our All Blacks back in. It was a large number again and getting them up to play.

"They are getting there. They are available [to play]. For some of them, we just don't think we can play them all at once. So we just have to work out how to manage that and integrate that.''

Recent results:
2016: Highlanders won 25-15, Dunedin
2016: Highlanders won 26-13, Hamilton
2015: Highlanders won 24-14, Dunedin (first round play-offs)
2015: Highlanders won 36-9, Dunedin
2015: Highlanders won 20-17, Hamilton

Prediction: The smart money is on the home team and we also think that is a safe bet - the Highlanders to win by about seven points and the Chiefs to get a losing bonus point.


Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Smith, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Mitchell Karpik, 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Tuake'iaho, 17 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Mitchell Brown, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

Reds v Sharks
(Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - Kick-off: 19.00; 11.00 SA time; 09.00 GMT)

The Sharks can expect 'all-out war' from the Reds when the two sides meet up in their opening 2017 Super Rugby match in a blistering hot Brisbane on Friday.

The Reds have talked themselves up, in the wake of some astute off-season signings - which include Wallaby legend George Smith and veteran Wallaby captain Stephen Moore.

Despite being 36, it is expected Smith's experience - 111 Test caps and almost 150 Super Rugby appearances - will bring that steely resolve that lacked so often in the Reds of recent vintage.

The Reds are determined to improve on last year's 15th place, but so are the Sharks keen on going better than being losing quarterfinalists in 2016.

Sharks backline coach Sean Everitt was under no illusion that the visitors were expecting a "total onslaught" from the Reds.

"They have a transformed squad, headed by a born-and-bred Brisbane man in hooker Stephen Moore [the current Wallabies captain], who has returned home from the Brumbies," Everitt said.

"Then they also have [veteran loose forwards] George Smith and Scott Higginbotham back in Brisbane.

"However, as a backline coach the player I have identified as being a major threat is centre Samu Kerevi."

The giant Fijian (at 108kg and 1.86m) will have an equally physical Andre Esterhuizen (1.94m and 112kg) to contend with in what will be a brutal midfield battle.

Another appetising contest will be between Pat Lambie and Quade Cooper, the respective flyhalves.

Everitt said that captain Patrick Lambie has been walking around with a smile on his face all tour.

"He has mentioned that he has not made a Sharks Super Rugby tour since 2013 because of injury," Everitt said, adding: "He is just so pleased to be here and the players are feeding off his enthusiasm. He is a really popular captain.

"We know how clever Cooper can be, and he has a new scrumhalf partner in Nick Frisby [succeeding Will Genia], who has a beautiful pass, so we have to get up quickly on defence [to shut down Cooper and Kerevi]."

Recent results:
2015: Sharks won 21-14, Brisbane
2014: Sharks won 35-20, Durban
2013: Reds won 32-17, Brisbane
2012: Sharks won 30-17, Brisbane (first round play-offs)
2012: Sharks won 27-22, Durban

Prediction: Home ground advantage and a massive off-season recruitment drive mean there is justification in making the Reds six-point favourites. However, we believe it will be much closer and a late Pat Lambie penalties will win it for the Sharks.


Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia'aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Adam Korczyk, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Markus Vanzati, 18 Sef Fa'agase, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Izaia Perese.

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Clement Poitrenaud.

Compiled by Jan de Koning

Mc article reds v sharks action 800

Reds come from behind to edge Sharks

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 08:30

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Reds got their 2017 season off to a winning start, coming from behind for a 28-26 squeaker against the Sharks.

Despite outscoring the visitors by for tries to two, the Reds trailed till the 70th minute - a James Tuttle try sealing the win.

The Reds trailed 18-26 with 17 minutes left - before centre Samu Kerevi and Tuttle scored tries.

However, they had a nerve-wrecking final 10 minutes and Sharks captain Patrick Lambie could have won in the 77th minute. However, despite having succeeded with all his attempts at goal up to that stage, Lambie pushed the pressure kick wide.

It was a big tonic for the Reds, who won just three games last season but have significantly bolstered their squad with the signings of Wallabies Quade Cooper, Stephen Moore, George Smith and Scott Higginbotham.

Queensland's win was even more merited with two players, Kane Douglas and Karmichael Hunt, both sin-binned during the second half leaving their team a man down at vital stages of the game.

"We showed a lot of character tonight and that's what good sides build on, so hopefully that means something," Reds skipper James Slipper said.

"We had two yellow cards and we defended really well, I'm just glad we got the win and especially back here at Suncorp Stadium."

For a time it looked as though the Sharks, seeking their fifth victory in Brisbane, would go on and win after leading 16-13 at half-time and with Lambie in exceptional goal- kicking touch.

When Lubabalo Mtembu scored off a driving maul the Sharks led 26-18 on the hour before the Reds launched their comeback to claim victory.

"We hung on for a long time, we had a chance to win at the end but we just weren't good enough to get over the line," Lambie said.

"Our fitness levels were good, but more importantly we didn't execute well today and we put ourselves under a lot of pressure.

"We had to make more tackles than we would have liked and a few too many penalties, our discipline wasn't good."

Playmaker Cooper had a mixed match for the Reds, whose handling mistake led to Jean-Luc du Preez's opening try in just the second minute and landed just three-from-six with his goal- kicking.

The Reds cross the country to play the Western Force in Perth next week, while the Sharks stay in Australia to face the Brumbies in Canberra.

Man of the match: Samu Kerevi certainly tested the Sharks defence in a game of few highlights. However, veteran flank George Smith showed the value of his experience and despite a few mistakes wins our award.

The scorers:

For the Reds:
Higginbotham, Kerevi, Nabuli, Tuttle
Con: Cooper
Pens: Cooper 2

For the Sharks:
Du Preez, Mtembu
Cons: Lambie 2
Pens: Lambie 4

Yellow card: Kane Douglas (Reds. 56 - foul play, neck choke), Karmichael Hunt (Reds, 76 - foul play, swinging arm)


Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia'aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Adam Korczyk, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Markus Vanzati, 18 Sef Fa'agase, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Izaia Perese.

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Clement Poitrenaud.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Nic Berry (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

Scott Higginbotham (32min), Samu Kerevi (48min), Samu Kerevi (63min), and James Tuttle (71min)
Jean-Luc Du Preez (2min) and Lubabalo Mtembu (60min)
Quade Cooper (33min)
Patrick Lambie (2min) and Patrick Lambie (61min)
Quade Cooper (5min) and Quade Cooper (22min)
Patrick Lambie (14min), Patrick Lambie (25min), Patrick Lambie (40min), and Patrick Lambie (44min)
Kane Douglas (56min) and Karmichael Hunt (76min)
VENUE Brisbane
REFEREE Nick Briant (New Zealand)