Desperate Reds Need Victory

Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au/Getty Images
The Reds will miss Liam Gill through injury. Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au/Getty Images

Reds v Stormers 
Saturday, March 29 – 6:40pm (AEST)
Suncorp Stadium.

What did they do last week?
The Reds blew a 17-point lead en route to a 23-20 loss to the Lions in Johannesburg. The Stormers went down 25-15 to the Brumbies in Canberra.

Things you need to know: Reds duo Liam Gill (hamstring) and Aidan Toua (pec) both face several weeks on the sidelines with injuries suffered against the Lions. Beau Robinson and Dom Shipperley replace them, while hooker James Hanson is the other new face in the run-on side. Richard Graham's men have won two-of-five games to start the season and are languishing in fourth sport on the Australian conference and 10th overall.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has made seven changes after his men suffered their third-straight loss to the Brumbies in Canberra. Springboks entre Juan de Jongh will make his first start of the season while lock Jurie van Vuuren will make his run-on debut for the injured Ruan Botha (ankle). Jean de Villiers shifts to inside-centre while Louis Schreuder has been chosen ahead of Nic Groom at scrumhalf. The Stormers are 1-4 to start the season to sit fourth in the South African conference and 14th overall.

Reason to watch: It's hard to know what to expect from this contest but when Quade Cooper is wearing the number 10 for the Reds it's always worth having a look.

Reason to turn away: This could get ugly pretty quickly with both sides down on confidence and running low on fuel after being on the road in recent weeks.

Say what: "We know it won't be easy but the guys remain positive and determined to make it count this weekend against a Reds team that will also be desperate to get back to winning ways after two losses in South Africa," – Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.

Final instructions: Both of these teams are struggling and both desperately need a win to stay within striking distance of the top six. The Reds will be tired after flying back from South Africa on Monday, while fatigue is also a factor for the Stormers who are winless through three games of their Australasian tour. Instinct tells us to back the Reds at home but the Stormers have won three of the four games they have played at Suncorp Stadium, and six-of-eight games overall against the Reds. We'll go with the stats.

Stormers by three

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