VIDEO: Higginbotham issues Brumby warning
SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: Scott Higginbotham forecasts some tough selection decisions for coach Brad Thorn after the Reds’ comeback win in Japan breathed life into their campaign.
The Reds turned a 5-21 half-time deficit into a last-minute 34-31 victory against Tokyo’s Sunwolves and at one loss and three wins are suddenly up and about ahead of hosting the Brumbies (two defeats and three wins) on Sunday.
With Bryce Hegarty (ribs) injured, Thorn threw 20-year-old Isaac Lucas into flyhalf on the weekend, while Hamish Stewart returned to the side at fullback after losing the No.10 role a week earlier.
Both were impressive in the victory, with Stewart’s boot icing the last-gasp win.
But Hegarty is expected to be fit for a return either at fullback or flyhalf, while Tate McDermott’s form off the bench is also keeping livewire halfback Moses Sorovi on his toes.
Wallabies big men Izack Rodda and Taniela Tupou were also rested ahead of this year’s World Cup.
“That’s a difficult decision for Thorny and I’m glad I’m not the one picking the team,” loose forward Higginbotham said.
“It’s great to have that sort of depth and nice to see some young guys getting and taking some opportunities.
“Moses and Tatey are both electric, bouncing around, full of energy halfbacks … there’s not a lot that separates those two.”
The Brumbies have lost two tight games to Melbourne this year, but boast a 19-13 win over Waratahs and put 54 points on the Chiefs (54-17) in the second round.
“I think they’re playing some really good football,” Higginbotham said.
“They’d be disappointed with their two games against the Rebels, but their rolling maul has been a strength and their scrum.
“We’ll have to be on our game around the park.”