Sadly round four of Super Rugby AU didnt back up the hype of round four and was back to being another disappointing round. Heading into this new round, the Western Force kick off the action on Friday night taking on the Rebels and then on Saturday evening the Brumbies will be back at home to take on the Reds, in what should be our game of the weekend. Thankfully we don’t have to see the Waratahs this weekend. Lets take a look at the two matches…..
FORCE vs REBELS – Leichhardt Oval
After such fiery starts in the first few rounds of Super Rugby AU, the Force ran out of steam before the game even started last week but hopefully that’s not a sign on the rest of their season. Coming up against a Rebels side who much like themselves, are having a road trip season without home games.
The way the season has gone so far, this isn’t expected to be the thriller we would like it to be. The Rebels have got better as the season has progressed and make short work of the terribly wasteful Waratahs last weekend. I hope they don’t get as easy a ride this Friday night though.
The Force threw away a lot of chances to take points last week, instead insisting on going for tries, which has normally been a solid plan for them. Against the Brumbies however, maybe not the smartest idea. They really need to be taking those chances, turning the scoreboard over and keeping themselves in the game.
The start for the Force is incredibly important. They will either scored a couple of cracker tries themselves or concede them down the other end. Its a surefire way to know if this match is going to be a solid contest or another write off. They have a strong territory game and are fixated on scoring in fives but are good enough to vary their game, hopefully we see that this week.
The Rebels just need to keep playing their game, its working well and the squad as a whole actually looks like its getting the job done. Then again, any side against the Waratahs last weekend probably would have looked fantastic too. Their real test will come from the Reds and the Brumbies as just like south of the ditch, after a few weeks the competition is starting to see its contenders and pretenders.
RESULT – Rebels by 9
BRUMBIES vs REDS – GIO Stadium
This game should be some good rugby. Thankfully its part of our Saturday night double header so we may get two decent games in a row, lets hope! Its the Brumbies and the Reds and in my opinion so far, the two best sides in Super Rugby AU.
Although the Brumbies did the job quite comfortably last weekend against the Force, it was a very stop-go performance that you could have slept through twenty minute passages and caught the action packed minutes at each end of the halves. That more sums up their attack than anything because defensively they were outstanding throughout against a side that was adamant on scoring tries and tries alone.
The Brumbies wont get that ride against the freshly rested Reds who have shown all season long they are happy to take points on offer and you can only put that down to being the happy Super Rugby side as opposed to that renegade like the Force who are out to make statements.
While its easy to look at this match up and the two amazing packs these teams possess, I’m expecting this game to be more exposed out in the backs. Both sides know what the pack will be against on the other side and will both feel they could get that upper hand elsewhere.
Of course the set piece will be an intriguing battle for the whole eighty minutes and I think that both sides will have joy and pain at those times.
The Reds will want the most from their experienced playmaking options like James O’Connor and Hamish Stewart, who should be really sharp and lead the way for the Reds there.
Its outside those guys that the Brumbies will be licking their lips. Tom Wright has been in exceptional form and when you add him to Tom Banks, Solomone Kata, Tevita Kuridrani and Irae Simone, they will be wanting those guys to get ball in hand as much as possible.
This is a game I am looking forward to watching. As much as I am enjoying the Reds and think they have a hugely successful future in Australian rugby, this wont be their season for glory. Maybe in a year or two, but for 2020 they will push the Brumbies and be that next best thing.
RESULT – Brumbies by 4
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