With the help of Money Lab, our scout in the stands has put down his binoculars and compiled a dossier on our Qualifying Final opponents the Queensland Reds.
Reds Form: WWWLLWDW
Rebels Form: WLLWWWDL
Most Recent Match
The Reds tackled their way to victory in Round 7 when they made a combined 193 tackles over 80 minutes and prevented the visitors from scoring a single try.
The 19-3 Reds victory was made more amazing by the fact the Rebels controlled 70% of possession and only had to make 72 tackles in a performance that had statisticians scratching their heads.
With COVID restrictions forcing the Melbourne men to fly in and out of Brisbane on game day, it remains to be seen how much the 16-hour round trip affected the Rebels.
Despite this, the Rebels can’t be faulted for not creating opportunities last time round; the men from Melbourne held up over the line an incredible five times in eighty minutes.
The match also marked the return to action for Jordan Petaia, who dusted off the cobwebs to cross early and give some indication of his freakish finishing skills.
Whether he’s selected on the wing again this week or shifted to centre will give the Rebels defence something to think about.
Player To watch: Liam Wright
The Reds flanker may well own a claim to being the best defensive player in Australian rugby after a season that has seen him dominate the collision area.
Wright currently sits third on the ladder for most tackles in Super Rugby AU (101) behind the Force’s Henry Stowers and Fergus Lee-Warner.
He is equally adept at the breakdown, manufacturing 11 steals and placing himself second on the turnover list behind his Reds teammate Fraser McReight.
All this points to a Reds outfit that loves to contest possession on the ground and the efficiency of backrow trio Wright, McReight and Wilson will dictate the speed at which the Rebels can play.
Key Match Up: Koroibete vs Daugunu
Whilst the two number 11s will technically play on opposite sides of the field, there’s little doubt the crowd will be on the edge of their seat when either of these blokes get the ball.
The two Fijian flyers repeatedly turn a game on its head with their blinding speed and nose for the line.
In fact, Daugunu currently leads the competition with 5 tries in this Super Rugby AU campaign.
The Red’s speedster also leads the competition for metres made (594), just ahead of Koroibete in 5th place (443 metres).
Whilst Koroibete is a little more abrasive in his carries, Daugunu displays a finesse on his feet that make him equally difficult to stop.
Make no mistake, the hum of the crowd will be a clear indicator that the ball has found its way into the hands of these gas men.