The second match of the weekend, and again, we have a match that’s result will have a big impact on the play-off scenario.
The Reds, after their slow start to the season, finally have some players returning from injury and the team is playing some rugby that is winning them matches, but is far from the team we saw last year. They are still in the running for either top spot in the Australian conference, or should the Brumbies take that, they could still sneak in with a sixth spot finish on the log, a more difficult route to defending their title.
The Highlanders can mathematically still make the playoffs, but the chances are slim that they will take any further part after the pool stages. They could however, do a host of teams, including the Sharks, a big favour by beating the Reds today, and ruling the defending champions out of the playoffs.
Reds: 1. Greg Holmes,2. Saia Faingaa,3. James Slipper,4. Rob Simmons,5. Adam Wallace-Harrison (vc),6. Jake Schatz,7. Beau Robinson,8. Scott Higginbotham,9. Will Genia,10. Quade Cooper,11. Chris F’Sautia,12. Mike Harris,13. Anthony Faingaa,14. Dom Shipperley,15. Luke Morahan
Replacements : 16. James Hanson,17. Ben Daley,18. Radike Samo,19. Jarrad Butler,20. Ben Lucas,21. Ben Tapuai,22. Nick Frisby
Highlanders: 15. Ben Smith, 14. Kade Poki, 13. Siali Piutau, 12. Phil Burleigh, 11. Hosea Gear, 10. Mike Delany, 9. Jimmy Cowan, 8. Nasi Manu, 7. James Haskell, 6. Adam Thomson, 5. Nick Crosswell, 4. Josh Bekhuis, 3. Ma’afu Fia, 2. Andrew Hore, 1. Jamie Mackintosh (c).
Reserves: 16. Jason Rutledge, 17. Chris King, 18. Jarrad Hoeata, 19. Tim Boys, 20. Aaron Smith, 21. Chris Noakes, 22. Kenny Lynn.
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant Ref 1:Ian Smith
Assistant Ref 2:James Leckie
TMO : Steve Lesczcynski