Just one game to enjoy this weekend from Super Rugby AU, with the regular season complete, its all on the line for a place in the final to meet the Brumbies for the trophy.
REDS vs REBELS – Suncorp Stadium
We started off with five teams, its now shrunk down to three. The Brumbies are waiting in the final the meet the victor of this match up.
The Reds got here by virtual of finishing the regular season in second position behind the Brumbies and even beating them convincingly in the final match of the season.
This Reds team is exciting and aside from one terribly poor weekend against the Waratahs have been continuously up there as the team to watch this season.
The Reds attacking flair has taken itself to a whole new level this season, being the leading team in a number of key attacking statistics throughout the season. Clean breaks, meters carried, defenders beaten and offloads are all areas the Reds have topped which just goes to show what they can do.
They displayed that against the Brumbies last weekend and have been well switched on in recent weeks. James O’Connor and Tate McDermott are the best halves combination in Australia right now and are getting the best from their backline.
The Reds back row has dominated rucks and broken play, forming a key partnership with the link between forwards and backs. Liam Wright, Fraser McReight and Harry Wilson and names that will be huge part of Australian rugby for years to come.
The Rebels have been good in patches, but the way they scratched and scraped their way into the playoffs is a real nutshell of how this teams season really has been.
Lets take nothing away from the Rebels who have made a playoffs of the tournament for the first time in their history, even if only five teams were involved, but only ended up in third by a single point over the Waratahs and only a fifty percent winning record over the season. Although they did draw with the Reds and beat the Brumbies.
So if those last few words tell you anything, its that the Rebels can show up against the big team and you would almost give them a better chance at winning the final the making it past the Reds this weekend.
The Rebels don’t put themselves as league leaders in many categories, but the two that they do lead give exactly their game plan away. Kicks from hand and penalty goals, play the territory game and force the opponent into errors inside their own half.
They did they to good effect against the Force last weekend, but what they don’t have an answer for is the opponent actually making exits and being able to put away their attacking chances, the Force took those chances pretty well too and should show the way to play against the Rebels, if only the Force could exit from restarts…….
Matt To’omua is the guy for the Rebels, his goal kicking got them into the play offs and will go a long way to them going any further.
I mentioned it in the round ten review as well, but Matt Philip has really taken control of the pack and his leadership has lifted it over the season. Its a team overall that has lacked leaders and you can certainly tell where they have developed over the season.
Reece Hodge is the other big key to the Rebels season. He has that uncanny ability to score tries from unlikely situations. He displays such great strength and determination on attack. His boot is always a big asset, although we haven’t seen it much this season, I expect the Rebels will call on it if the opportunity arises this weekend.
Overall, I cant see this game going anywhere but to the Reds. They tick all the boxes to get this job done, but don’t throw the Rebels out the window quite yet. Discipline and pressure will be things to watch. The Reds do give away some tasty penalties and if they attack doesn’t spark the game could quickly slip away in groups of three.
The Rebels defence will need to be on fire, but they know the points will be there from the tee. Both sides have simple tasks to take the game away from the other, which results, surely, in what should be an intriguing match for a place in the final!
RESULT – Reds by 6
Previews and reviews are right here Behind The Posts for each and every round of Super Rugby AU! Rugby is back in Australia! Let me know your thoughts on the action this weekend in the comments and thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts. If you would like to have your say here, get in touch on the contact page today!