Queensland Reds

Preview: Lions v Reds

Preview: Lions v Reds

I’d open with something classy about the Lions lying in wait for the Reds but there is a good chance that Queensland made it to South Africa before the Lions made it back from Argentina after their loss to the Jaguares. Perhaps a full day earlier!

Unusually, for me, I’ve done the hard yards and watched the Lions dawdle against the much more fancied Jaguares. It was uninspiring, to say the least. The Lions forwards didn’t win the set-piece battle and had little impact in general play but were respectable in defence until the last third of the game. their halves seemed to be phoning it in, happy to move the ball on without creating anything.

The Reds on the other hand nearly held their own against one of the best-drilled packs in the competition. In fact, I believe it was only youthful exuberance that let the Reds forwards down, pushing a pass here and running away from support there. Flyhalf Issac Lucas felt the heat of the Brumbies rush defence early on and fought his way back as the game went on. Queensland has decided to run Lucas off the bench this week and let the vastly experienced James O’Connor start at flyhalf.

Let’s face it O’Connor has never set the world on fire at flyhalf but I’m willing to see how it pans out. With three other players in the squad who have played there for the Reds, there are plenty of options if things don’t work out.

Key matchups

Front Row/scrum

The Reds touched up the Brumbies in set-piece last week. The return of Izack Rodda and JP Smith will only make them stronger. While, as I write this, the Lions side hasn’t been announced there is an opportunity for the Reds to dominate the area. The only cloud on the horizon is two front-row debutants on the bench.

Elton Jantes v James O’Connor

Jantes is South Africa’s version of Quade Cooper with less talent and without the good sense to ditch the silly haircut. He’s up against the new and improved James O’Connor who has returned to his home state seeking redemption and looks to be doing a pretty good job of getting it.

I haven’t watched O’Connor play at 10 since Robbie Deans picked him there, out of position, against the lions instead of Cooper and set him up for a hiding to nothing. Seven years later O’Connor is a different proposition and Jantes looks completely off his game. But who know what could happen in a week.


Before I watched the Lions game against the Jaguares I’d predicted a win for the lions but having watched that game I believe the Reds must be Favourites for this. I think set-piece and general forward play goes to the Reds. Tate McDermott should have it over, Andre Warner at halfback and O’Connor, Stewart and Petaia will be a brick wall in the midfield
Reds by 17.

Damn it. The teams out. New halfback. Okay.

Reds by 10



1. Dylan Smith
2. Pieter Jansen
3. Jannie Du PLessis
4. Ruben Schoeman
5. Marvin Ore
6. Marnus Schoeman
7. Vincent Tshutuka
8. Len Massyn
9. Morne Van Den Berg
10. Elton Jantes
11. Courtnall Skosan
12. Dan Kriel
13. Duncan Mathews
14. Tyrone Green
15. Andries Coetzee

16. Jan-Henning Campher
17. Sti Sithole
18. Carlu Sadie
19. Wilhem Van Der Sluys
20. Ruan Vernaak
21. Dillon Smit
22. Manual Rass
23. Shaun Renolds


1. JP Smith – GPS
2. Alex Mafi – Bond University
3. Taniela Tupou – Brothers
4. Izack Rodda – Easts
5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – Souths
6. Angus Scott-Young – University of Queensland
7. Liam Wright © – Easts
8. Harry Wilson – Brothers
9. Tate McDermott – University of Queensland
10. James O’Connor – Brothers
11. Henry Speight – Bond University
12. Hamish Stewart – Brothers
13. Jordan Petaia – Wests
14. Jock Campbell – University of Queensland
15. Bryce Hegarty – GPS

16. Sean Farrell* – Souths
17. Dane Zander – Norths
18. Josh Nasser* – University of Queensland
19. Angus Blyth – Bond University
20. Seru Uru – Easts
21. Moses Sorovi – Wests
22. Isaac Lucas – Sunnybank
23. Hunter Paisami – Wests

*denotes potential Super Rugby and Queensland debut


Match: Lions v Reds
Date: Sunday 9 February
Venue: Emirates Airlines (Ellis) Park, Johannesburg
Kick-Off: 12:05 Qld
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant Ref 2: Griffin Colby
TMO :Marius Jonker 

Queensland Reds

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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