The halves battle will be crucial in the clash between the Reds and the Brumbies.
Reds v Brumbies
Friday, April 11 – 7:40pm (AEST)
What did they do last week?
The Reds suffered their third defeat in four matches with an upset 32-29 home loss to the Force in Brisbane. The Brumbies were far too strong for the Blues, winning 26-9 to record their fifth win in six matches.
Things you need to know:
Queensland have recalled inside-centre Anthony Fainga'a and young gun Chris Feauai-Sautia to the starting backline. Fainga'a replaces Mike Harris (Achilles), however Harris has been bracketed on the bench and is still a chance to play. Lachie Turner is sidelined with an ankle injury that requires surgery. He joins Liam Gill (hamstring), Ben Daley (knee), Dom Shipperley (hip flexor) and Aidan Toua (pectoral) on the sidelines. The Reds have slipped to fourth in the Aussie conference and 11th overall.
The Brumbies will blood part-time barman and teenager Tom Staniforth at starting lock, pitting him against Wallabies James Horwill and Rob Simmons. Veteran hooker Stephen Moore returns from a knee injury and prop Scott Sio is back from an ankle injury. Last year's grand finalists have won five of their first seven games to lead the Australian conference and sit second overall.
Reason to watch:
The battle of the flyhalves. Brumbies playmaker Matt Toomua had first crack at the Wallabies number 10 jumper last year before Quade Cooper took it back off him. They ended up playing alongside each other in several Tests, with Toomua shifting to inside-centre. Both will be out to prove a point on Saturday night.
Reason to turn away:
Don't turn away for a second. It will be a cracker.
"We have lost two of our last three matches by three points, so controlling the back end of the game will be important," – Reds coach Richard Graham.
The Brumbies haven't won in Brisbane since 2011, although they managed a 19-all draw at Suncorp Stadium last season. The Reds got the chocolates with a 27-17 victory in Canberra in Round 2, but a lot has changed since then. On form you have to go with the Brumbies but the Reds will win because they are desperate and their fans will riot if they lose two in a row at home. Reds by five.
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