Planet Rugby

Preview: Reds v Hurricanes

28th February 2013 12:37

Share:

ben lucas hurricanes reds

Reds hotstepper: Ben Lucas

The Hurricanes arrive in Brisbane on the back of a hefty defeat to the Blues in Round Two and hungry to bounce back.

A thrilling second-half in Wellington saw the 'Canes score tries through Julian Savea, who could have had another if he had not been impeded. The outcome instead was a penalty try.

Scores though from Rene Ranger and Frank Halai in the final ten minutes for the Blues, condemned the Hurricanes to a loss in their opening game of the season.

Mark Hammett has made only one change to the side for this week's clash against the Reds, with prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen coming in at tighthead in place of Ben May.

Hurricanes skipper Conrad Smith fortunately is fit after suffering a concussion last weekend and will face-off in an exciting clash at outside centre with young Reds star Chris Feauai-Sautia.

Meanwhile for the Reds, Aidan Toua will start at full-back as a replacement for Mike Harris. James Slipper again captains the side from tighthead prop, whilst there is a welcome sight in the return of Radike Samo to the Reds bench.

The 2011 champions started hard and fast against the Waratahs and needed every point of their 17-0 buffer to hang on last weekend - Dom Shipperley's early strike and Tapuai's interception putting them out in front.

It took a moment of magic from Reds flanker Ed Quirk to kill the game off after the 'Tahs had levelled the scores, getting their season back on track after a thumping defeat away to the Brumbies in Round One.

Selecting Toua ahead of Harris will give the Reds more of a running-threat from the back and the hosts showed flashes of their open attacking game against the Waratahs.

Where the Reds may come unstuck however is with injuries to key players - Will Genia, James Horwill and Anthony Fainga'a remain sidelined and are up against a well-balanced Hurricanes outfit spearheaded by the experience of Smith, Jason Eaton and Victor Vito - not to mention an exciting half-back combination in TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett and the threat of Savea out wide.

The overall impression is that the Hurricanes can play an awful lot better than they showed against the Blues, whilst the Reds still miss the influence of Genia and Horwill in their decision-making. Both factors make this one close to call.

Prediction: The Hurricanes hold an excellent record over the Reds, with the hosts' last victory over the Wellington franchise coming in 2007. Suncorp Stadium played a key role in the Reds' victory last weekend and their fortress may prove the deciding factor again this time out in a close game. Reds by 6!

The teams:

Reds: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 Ed O'Donoghue, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper (c), 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Nick Frisby, 21 Mike Harris, 22 Luke Morahan.

Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 James Marshall, 22 Reynold Lee-Lo.

Date: Friday, March 1
Kick-off: 21:20 local (10:20 GMT)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
Television match official: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs SaracensBath vs Saracens Preview
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand17:05
Argentina vs Australia19:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff BluesConnacht vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Ulster vs EdinburghUlster vs Edinburgh Preview
Zebre vs OspreysZebre vs Ospreys Preview
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs ToulonOyonnax vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Sharks vs LionsSharks vs Lions Preview
Pumas vs Blue BullsPumas vs Blue Bulls Preview
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , October 2
Auckland 60 - 19 WaikatoAuckland vs Waikato Report
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411