Battle Of The Cellar Dwellers

Quade Cooper - Super Rugby Reds
Quade Cooper has the skill to help the Reds beat the Rebels. Image courtesy of

Reds v Rebels
Suncorp Stadium
Saturday May 17 – 7:40 PM (AEST)

Rebels: LLWLL

They are the worst of the Australian conference. Both the Reds  and the Rebels  are sitting at the wrong end of the ladder with only six games remaining in the season. The Reds were again demolished by the better side on Sunday, going down 57-29 to the Crusaders. The Rebels showed a little more spirit, only going down by 10 against the Hurricanes in Melbourne.

With only snippets of quality last Sunday, the Reds were just not good enough to overpower the Crusaders at Suncorp. Quade Cooper is having probably his worst season to date. It’s another case of rocks and diamonds. When Cooper is on, everything he touches turns to gold. The problem is he hasn’t been on this season. Passes missing the mark, chip kicks for no one and defense that makes you cringe. The quality of Cooper is well-known, and it’s only a matter of time before he is back to his best. Beau Robinson earns his 50th Queensland cap this week, which hopefully will drive the Reds to put on a performance. Coach Richard Graham has stuck to his guns, naming the same 23 from last week.

The Rebels just can’t get the win. Coming so close in recent weeks, the boys from Melbourne are losing it in the dying minutes. The heart they have shown should bring confidence to captain Scott Higginbotham, who said he was looking for more consistency. Toby Smith returns to the starting 15, after missing the past two weeks with a shoulder injury. With both Male Sau and Shota Horie away on international duty, the timing could not be better.

This is basically the battle for the wooden spoon in the Australian conference. With so much on the line, this one will definitely be a must-see. If Cooper and Will Genia can recapture the form which saw them lift the trophy in 2011, then the home side should win.


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