Super Rugby Final time! Brumbies Vs Reds. You fucking beauty.
Last time they met?
Well it was just two weeks ago wasn't it, the Reds scooted out to an early 18 point lead. 2 tries coming down the right side, first one orchestrated by fullback Jock Campbell who put skipper Liam Wright over. A couple of James O'Connor penalty kicks later and the Reds then executed a brilliant set piece play with winger Chris Feauai-Sautia crossing. The Brumbies hit back on half-time with a try through Pete Samu, but the Reds always seemed in full control.
That would be the only points the Brumbies had in them that night. The Reds dominant again in the second half, Tate McDermott sealing the 26-7 victory with a try in the last 5 minutes.
Arguably, you could say that the Reds should have well beaten the Brumbies earlier in the year when referee Nic Berry penalised flanker Fraser McReight in the dying stages to give the Brumbies the chance to nab victory. Mack Hansen obliged, slotting the penalty kick.
On that occasion it was a 22-20 win to the Brumbies at their fortress down in Canberra. They get the same sort of conditions this Saturday night.
Both teams see a fair deal of stability in their sides with the Reds no doubt buoyed by their excellent defensive efforts over the past month. The big change to the QLD side, Hunter Paisami comes back into the starting line up with Jordan Petaia shifting to the wing.
The set piece, in particular scrum time, will go a long way to determining this match. If the Reds forwards can hold their own, if not dominate, like they did a fortnight ago, then they'll set the platform for McDermott, O'Connor and co to go to work. Remember, the Reds can score from anywhere on the field.
The Brumbies welcome back young gun Flyhalf Noah Lolesio, that's a big in. Lolesio's debut season after impressing in NRC has been outstanding. Like always, the Brumbies pack is strong and boasting a bit more experience than the Reds. It'll be interesting to see how the battle of the forward packs plays out.
What does the betting tell us?
What the fuck? That isn't right. I know we're in Canberra but jeez there's just something about this Reds squad that fills you with confidence. Brad Thorn and skipper Liam Wright have done an excellent job of getting this group to love each other and you can tell that by the way they play their rugby.
There's a changing of the guard happening in Australian rugby and it will be underlined and emphasised on Saturday night. This crop of young Reds players is top shelf, they're going to be leading us into battle with the All Blacks, Springboks and the rest of the world for years to come.
Tipping they'll make a statement here, a big statement.
Reds by 14.