Rabid Reds seeking retribution
Don’t try telling Queensland’s Lukhan Salakaia-Loto that their Super Rugby AU final round match against the Brumbies is a dead rubber.
Both teams are already locked in for the play-offs but the Wallabies lock says there’s still plenty to play for in Saturday’s Suncorp Stadium showdown.
In their round five meeting in Canberra last month the Reds looked to have secured an upset win only for the Brumbies to kick a penalty two minutes after the full-time siren for a heart-breaking 22-20 scoreline.
“It’s a massive grudge match for us this week,” Salakaia-Loto said on Tuesday.
“It was a pretty gut-wrenching way to go out and lose the game,”
“We took a lot of positive stuff out of that game so we’re looking to get one back up on them this week.”
Rather than there be “no love lost” between the sides, he said there wasn’t much in the first place.
He said the Brumbies forwards were full of chat, particularly former Reds prop James Slipper, Scott Sio and their captain Allan Alaalatoa, and he was happy to give some back.
“I speak to Slips [Slipper] a lot but the week leading up to the Reds game he doesn’t like to talk – maybe cause he’s realised he’s a bit old now and all us young boys are here,” the 23-year-old said.
“I’ll have to wait until the second half when he [Sio] comes off the bench behind ‘Slips’ to hear a bit of the chat.
“Allan looks squeaky clean as captain but he throws the most chat on the field but we’ll see if he can hack the chat on the weekend.”
As runaway competition leaders the Brumbies have already locked in a home grand final on September 19 while the second-placed Reds will host either Melbourne or the Waratahs in a qualifying final the Saturday prior.
Salakaia-Loto said his team was ready to recognise their potential
“We’re starting to realise we’re no longer a team with potential, we’re now doing what we say we’re going to do.
“We’ve woken up and saying: ‘We’re here now and ready to play ball’.”