Wed 25 May 2022 | 10:37

Reds on Super Rugby's magical mystery tour

Reds on Super Rugby's magical mystery tour
Wed 25 May 2022 | 10:37
Reds on Super Rugby's magical mystery tour
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Queensland doesn’t know whether to pack for two days or 10, but is ready for anything at the pointy end of the Super Rugby Pacific season.

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Sitting seventh on the ladder heading into the final round, the Reds fly to Christchurch to take on the second-placed Crusaders.

If the ladder positions don’t change they will remain in New Zealand to take on the Crusaders in the quarterfinals again.

It’s a big ask with the Reds needing to break an 11-year, eight-game drought against the Crusaders.

Only three points split the Reds, Waratahs (sixth) and Hurricanes (fifth) going into the last round, with the latter two playing on Saturday.

“It’s interesting – we’ll find out Saturday,” Queensland coach Brad Thorn said.

“Whatever’s in front of us the most important thing is being in finals footy – a new competition, what will be will be.”

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“It’s a tough task with the Crusaders as they’ve been a champion team for so long.”

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Super Rugby Pacific standings 25-5-2022

Queensland co-captain Liam Wright will make his return via the bench after injuring his ankle in round seven, but that good news is tempered by the loss of playmaker James O’Connor with a hamstring tear.

Lawson Creighton is at 10 with Thorn feeling he will be better for his stint earlier this season during another O’Connor injury.

“Obviously losing James is disappointing but Lawson comes in this time having experienced starting against different sides and he’s excited.”

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Jordan Petaia has been shifted infield to No.13 to cover for Josh Flook’s shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, the Waratahs have made five changes to their forward pack for a home clash with the ladder-leading Blues on Saturday.

Ned Hanigan will start at lock after his impressive cameo off the bench in his first match back for the Waratahs since arriving from Japan.

The Waratahs are looking to back up their 32-20 victory over the Highlanders last round in Dunedin.

“Ned comes into the starting team as his performance off the bench last week was too good to leave out,” said NSW coach Darren Coleman.

In other matches, the Brumbies look to fine-tune their game ahead of the play-offs against Moana Pasifika at home on Saturday, before the Western Force host the Hurricanes.

The Force needs a win to clinch the last spot in the playoffs while the Rebels take on the eighth-placed Highlanders on Sunday.

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