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
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00