Queensland Reds

Preview: R13 Sunwolves vs Reds

Preview: R13 Sunwolves vs Reds

The St George Queensland Reds travel to Tokyo for the first time to play the Sunwolves.  Both teams are coming off a bye and are desperate for a win.  Will the Sunwolves jag their first win of the season or will the Reds go back to back?

Whilst it may not have the appeal of a NZ derby this weekends match between the Reds and the Sunwolves is shaping to be a really intriguing contest.  The home team are yet to register a win this season and are languishing on the bottom of the ladder.  The Reds have been up and down and after a strong start to the season, have struggled to now be sitting in the middle of the Australian conference, two wins off the top.  With their win over the then competition leaders the Lions before the bye, they kept an ever tenuous grip on the Rebels and Waratahs and another win this week could potentially see them officially back in touch with the top of the conference.  It’s a strange old competition, Super Rugby.

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 Why should I bother?

Why should you bother?  Easy.  Because you love it.  Face it, if you’re reading this then chances are your affliction isn’t curable.  It may be tough to hear but it’s your truth.  Embrace it. I had a quick look at some stats (thanks Opta Sports) whilst writing this and based solely on them, I’m not sure either team can win.  I was surprised to learn that the Sunwolves are yet to beat an Australian team.  They are the only nation that they are yet to beat.  Less surprising is the fact that the Reds have lost 20 of their past 22 away matches.  The Sunwolves (2.6) are scoring more tries per game than the Reds (2.1) but are conceding nearly twice as many tries per game (SUN 6.2 / RED 3.9).  In the few victories for the Reds this season, discipline has played a big part.  Well, the ledger in this match is almost equal with the Sunwolves conceding the fewest penalties per game of the comp; the Reds are conceding the second fewest.

Key match ups

Filipo Daugunu vs Hosea Saumaki

One of the big positives for both the Reds and the Sunwolves would have to be the discovery of these two guys.  Daugunu for the Reds has been exceptional.  Excellent feet and an ability to shed tacklers and then burn defenders with sheer pace.  He’s not just a finisher, he’s started plenty of tries of his own too.  Saumaki is the leading try scorer for the Sunwolves.  He’s quick and powerful but has a brilliant offloading game.  If you don’t believe me, have a look at his performance against the Lions.

Hamish Stewart vs Semisi Masirewa

This one isn’t so much about the match-up.  I’ve gotta be honest, I’m just excited to see young Hamish Stewart starting for the second match in a row.  I was in two minds about what to do about Jono Lance being fit again.  Then i remembered that it wasn’t up to me when Thorn made it clear that when fit, Lance would start at 10.  Hamish playing fullback could prove to be a wonderful move.  Whilst Aidan’s left boot has been useful, I really think his down sides are outweighing his up sides at the moment.  He seems lazy and at times almost unwilling in defence and his option taking has been very poor.  Hamish gives us more starch in defence and can join the line as a second play maker.  His booming boot should also be an asset. Embed from Getty Images


Fearless Prediction

This was harder than I first thought it would be.  Don’t let their 0 and 9 record fool you, the Sunwolves are no easy beats.  They kept with the Hurricanes in Wellington for most of the match before 3 rapid fire tries sunk them. I really think though, it will come down to which Reds team turn up on the day.  The immense first half vs the Lions Reds or the woeful rabble that barely fired a shot against the Tahs Reds.  I’m tipping it will be the former and the Reds by 10.

Match Details


1. Craig Millar
2. Shota Horie
3. Takuma Asahara
4. Wimpie van der Walt
5. Grant Hattingh
6. Michael Leitch
7. Ed Quirk (c)
8. Kazuki Himeno
9. Yutaka Nagare
10. Hayden Parker
11. Hosea Saumaki
12. Michael Little
13. Timothy Lafaele
14. Kenki Fukuoka
15. Semisi Masirewa

16. Yusuke Niwai
17. Shintaro Ishihara
18. Hencus van Wyk
19. Uwe Helu
20. Yoshitaka Tokunaga
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Yo Tamura
23. Jason Emery

Queensland Reds

1. James Slipper (c)
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa
3. Taniela Tupou
4. Izack Rodda
5. Kane Douglas
6. Adam Korczyk
7. George Smith
8. Angus Scott-Young
9. Ben Lucas
10. Jono Lance
11. Jordan Petaia
12. Samu Kerevi
13. Chris Feauai-Sautia
14. Filipo Daugunu
15. Hamish Stewart

16. Alex Mafi
17. Harry Hoopert
18. Sef Fa’agase
19. Harry Hockings
20. Liam Wright
21. Moses Sorovi
22. Duncan Paia-aua
23. Aidan Toua

Match Details

Date: Saturday, 12 May 2018

Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium – Tokyo

Kick-off: 1:05pm AEST

Referee: Egon Seconds

Assistant referees: Akihisa Aso and Tasuku Kawara

TMO: Minoru Fuji

Queensland Reds

I love the Reds and I love the second row. That probably tells you all you need to know about me. I can often be found engaged in pointless arguments in the GaGR forums as 'Scoey".

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