robdylan

Reds boast threats all over the park


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 21 Feb 2017 at 09:47
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

It will be a completely new-look Reds team that lines up against the Sharks on Friday night (Australian time), with the former champions having embarked on a massive off-season signing spree in the hopes of reclaiming their former glory.

The Reds are a team with an interesting history and one that in some ways looks a little similar to the Sharks’. They were real heavyweights during the early Super 10, winning the competition twice, before being one of the pace setters in Super 12 during the latter part of the 90s. Like the Sharks, they were very much the nearly men of the competition in those days; they twice topped the logs but somehow always conspired to lose a vital play-off game and thus never managed to win the trophy. Those heady days were consigned to history, though as the team battled throughout the early part of this century – in fact, so dire were they between 2003 and 2009 that they were dubbed the “rubble Reds” in South African media.

Again, though, the emergence of some good players, most notably Will Genia and Quade Cooper, sparked something a revival and the Reds enjoyed a fantastic run between 2010 and 2013, with a maiden competition win in 2011 the highlight. Those days, though, once again seem rather far off and they’ve been back to their worst over the last three seasons, with multiple personnel changes both on the field and in the coaching box only adding to their woes.

One sense, though, that all that is about to change. The Reds have gone on the sort of shopping trip that makes them the envy of virtually any other team in this increasingly cash-strapped competition. Cooper is back and along with him come a number of other stars, including Wallaby veteran George Smith, fellow back-rower Scott Higginbotham and (significantly) current Wallaby captain and hooker Stephen Moore. In fact, with 13 new signings in a 38-man squad, the challenge for coach Nick Stiles will not so much be a lack of depth or talent, but more likely about ensuring integration and cohesion.

It’s important for the Sharks, though, to very quickly shake off any notion that these are the “same old” Reds. Moore joins an 80-test veteran in James Slipper in the front row, locks Rob Simmons and Kane Douglas know each other well and are experienced at this level, while the Reds have also added former back rower Leroy Houston to their roster, to complement Smith and Higginbotham. Never really renowned for being a massively dominant team up front, one feels the Reds will be no less experienced than the Sharks up front; it’s among the backs, though, that the real dangers lurk.

Cooper, though occasionally erratic, is a match-winner when on form and with the experienced Nick Frisby providing him ball and dangerous runners like the massive Samu Kerevi and former NRL star Karmichael Hunt outside him, the Reds will ask plenty of questions of the Sharks backs too. The million-dollar question here, I feel, is just how long it will take for this potentially dangerous Reds tam to find each other and establish rhythm. For Rob du Preez and the Sharks, the very strong hope is that this impressive-looking outfit will not quite manage to live up that billing in the first game of the season. That’s pretty much where the hope of an upset lies.

Bring on the competition!



45 Comments

  • I have been thinking about these Reds since last. They are definitely the team to beat. They have assembled a very competitive and scary team. How do we beat them?

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.02.17 09:49:50 by GreatSharksays Reply
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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 1) : set piece? They’ve simply never impressed as a scrumming outfit.

    But in all honesty, I’m not really sure. Humidity is going to be a big factor here and I’m worried that with generally lower skill levels, it’s going to affect us more than them.

  • Comment 2, posted at 21.02.17 09:57:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • The Reds at home will always be tough- Sa sides dont play well there. They will pick a much more experienced side than the Sharks so the Sharks must just have a go at them…if we can get early points those experienced guys in the Reds side will start remembering previous seasons and how it all turns to mud for them. However if Reds get ontop early i think the Sharks could be in trouble. Tough first 3 games for the Sharks- even the ‘home’ game against the Tahs is after we travel back so not easy by any means

  • Comment 3, posted at 21.02.17 10:01:45 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • George Smith is 37 years old and is still a danger. Stephan Moore in the front row, James Slipper, Scott, their entire backline …..Gosh. We are going to have to play smart. Think a slow game based on low risks and counter attack should be out strategy. Let’s just hope we are much fitter than they are.

  • Comment 4, posted at 21.02.17 10:02:43 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 4) : “Think a slow game based on low risks and counter attack should be out strategy”…thats not the rugby the fans want…or so im told. We want ball in hand attacking rugby with no kicking.

  • Comment 5, posted at 21.02.17 10:08:53 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : After reading your article I’m now much more nervous about this game.

    Come on Sharks!!!

  • Comment 6, posted at 21.02.17 11:11:24 by StevieS Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 3) : The Reds have been hard to beat in Brisbane even when they were shyte. Big game. Forwards have to have have to dominate.

  • Comment 7, posted at 21.02.17 11:12:35 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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    West Indies Cricket BoardTeam captain
     
  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 7) : We should be able to pick a pretty good pack for this game. If we can be good on our set piece ball and disrupt theirs we will cause them problems as their 9 and 10 arent the best under a bit of pressure.

  • Comment 8, posted at 21.02.17 11:38:10 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • Biggest difference is level of experience between the two teams,
    Can’t help thinking that the Sharks should have had a serious hit out against quality opposition under real game conditions before this game.
    We go into this game very undercooked.
    what was the Reds pre season program.

  • Comment 9, posted at 21.02.17 11:42:50 by The hound Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 5) : I want to win.

  • Comment 10, posted at 21.02.17 11:54:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Ah Rob so do i…unfortunately there is a large support base that only want to see ‘”7s Rugby” no matter what or they deem it failure. Im afriad that just like cricket , rugby fans are being split into purists who like all aspects of the game and those that just want entertainment and tries being scored and its a bonus if their team actually wins.

  • Comment 11, posted at 21.02.17 12:00:33 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @The hound (Comment 9) : Ad far as i can ser and pick up they also only had one proper game like we did against the Cheethas, they played the Rebels and won 32-13

  • Comment 12, posted at 21.02.17 12:07:08 by Henkb Reply
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    HBAssistant coach
     
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 4) : Good comment. Agreed.

  • Comment 13, posted at 21.02.17 12:13:21 by vanmartin Reply
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  • When are the team announcements?

  • Comment 14, posted at 21.02.17 12:53:33 by bokbok Reply

    bokbokSuper Rugby player
     
  • @bokbok (Comment 14) : Sharks announce tomorrow. Not sure about the Reds

  • Comment 15, posted at 21.02.17 13:37:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Henkb (Comment 12) : Rebels are rubbish this year, IMIO

  • Comment 16, posted at 21.02.17 13:38:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : True, they got hindings in all of their warm ups, reds and force and the bit i saw they not nearly the same team as they were last year, at ine stage they topped the ausie conference

  • Comment 17, posted at 21.02.17 14:18:16 by Henkb Reply
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    HBAssistant coach
     
  • @Henkb (Comment 17) : Aussie teams seem to be in a bit of a permanent state of flux, mostly because they are constantly poaching players fro each other.

    Case in point – the Reds look powerful this year, but look at the Brumbies and you’ll see they have been decimated to a corresponding extent.

  • Comment 18, posted at 21.02.17 14:25:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : They also in trouble if injuries hit key players. So Reds look good but take out Moore, Simmonds, Higginbottom and Cooper and you left with?

  • Comment 19, posted at 21.02.17 14:32:51 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 19) : I think you can apply that same logic to virtually any team in the competition, though.

    We lose Lambie and we’re in shit, just for instance. Or Beast.

  • Comment 20, posted at 21.02.17 14:49:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : oh wait, sorry. I think Hound instituted a new rule. It’s an immediate ban for talking about Pat getting injured. I’ll go sit in the corner for 30 minutes.

  • Comment 21, posted at 21.02.17 14:50:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : Yeh was actually thinking the same thing. Seems there is depth in terms of numbers but quality depth is a different matter

  • Comment 22, posted at 21.02.17 14:52:26 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : So i think our warm up was a better game, as the Cheethas is not a walk over team by any means, not that im saying the reds will be, but like you say, keeping track if hoe thr ausie players move around inside thr country is something else, the brumbies lost quite a bit of fire power, but so did the Tahs also

  • Comment 23, posted at 21.02.17 15:10:14 by Henkb Reply
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  • When I saw a month ago how the Reds had revamped their team I figured this was going to be tough one. we better stay focused

    Brumbies may have lost a few players but they have agained a few too, and they are always tough due to their systems, level of coaching and team ethos

    Tahs in durban could also be a difficult one, depends on the state of their team when they get to SA, but like the brumbies they have winning mentality

  • Comment 24, posted at 21.02.17 19:43:03 by revolverocelot Reply

    Team captain
     
  • @Henkb (Comment 23) : sorry to say, but the Cheetahs were shit against us. If they don’t improve a lot, fast, they will get hammered this year.

  • Comment 25, posted at 21.02.17 19:54:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • Reds: 1. James Slipper (C), 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Sam Talakai, 4. Rob Simmons, 5. Kane Douglas, 6. Adam Korczyk, 7. George Smith, 8. Scott Higginbotham, 9. Nick Frisby, 10. Quade Cooper, 11. Eto Nabuli, 12. Duncan Paia’aua, 13. Samu Kerevi, 14. Chris Kuridrani, 15. Karmichael Hunt, 16. Andrew Ready, 17. Markus Vanzati , 18. Sef Fa’agase, 19. Izack Rodda, 20. Hendrik Tui, 21. James Tuttle, 22. Jake McIntyre, 23. Izaia Perese

  • Comment 26, posted at 22.02.17 07:35:13 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Baylion (Comment 26) : Thats probably the strongest team they will put out all year. Strong pack, not the most mobile but they are good in the collisions.

  • Comment 27, posted at 22.02.17 08:27:47 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 27) : So many Polynesians in that team they probably going to do the Hakka,

  • Comment 28, posted at 22.02.17 08:32:28 by The hound Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 27) : First real game of the season so one with have some ring-rustiness on both sides but it will be interesting to see how the new Reds players gel with their style of play, especially the two old men, Moore and Smith.

    Quade Cooper has never really impressed me unless he pairs with Will Genia and could be key to the game, win or lose

  • Comment 29, posted at 22.02.17 08:37:17 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @The hound (Comment 28) : haha which Haka…NZ, Samoan, Fijian, Tongan? A Combo?

  • Comment 30, posted at 22.02.17 08:49:10 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @Baylion (Comment 29) : Both Frisby and Cooper can be easily rattled but both can also try the ridiculous and actually pull it off. If the pace of the game is high i just wonder how long guys like Moore, Douglas, Smith and Higginbottom will last. Going to be interesting to see the Sharks approach to this game…just hope our discipline is good.

  • Comment 31, posted at 22.02.17 08:53:17 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 31) : What makes you doubt their fitness?

  • Comment 32, posted at 22.02.17 09:24:02 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 31) : Well it’s the 1st game of the season so those guys you mentioned, if fit, won’t have any fatigue yet, on the other side they may struggle with actual match fitness, harder to get match fit at an older age I reckon. I’m not too worried about what the Reds will do, I think we can expect a few tricky inside passes with their wings running of Cooper and a few chip kicks over the defense. I’m more concerned about how we go about stopping that, how we look defensively etc. and especially how a few ‘new’ guys handle the pressure of SR if they get the opportunity.

  • Comment 33, posted at 22.02.17 09:26:20 by Quintin Reply

    QuintinSuper Rugby player
     
  • I see that Stephen Moore is married to a girl from Umthlanga and spends a lot of time here’s thats him ,Campo,Plumtree and Mitchell all married to Mount Edgecombe girls.

  • Comment 34, posted at 22.02.17 09:26:21 by The hound Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 31) : On the discipline, only 2 guys worry me, Ettas and Coenie, the latter to a greater extent although both seem to have lessened their penalty count. I just don’t want any unnecessary ‘off the ball’ incidents.

  • Comment 35, posted at 22.02.17 09:28:47 by Quintin Reply

    QuintinSuper Rugby player
     
  • @The hound (Comment 34) : It’s funny that you never see any one famous marry someone from the Buff or even Toti :lol:

  • Comment 36, posted at 22.02.17 09:36:55 by KingRiaan Reply

    KingRiaanTeam captain
     
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 36) : :grin: :grin: :grin:

  • Comment 37, posted at 22.02.17 09:47:51 by The hound Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 29) : Cooper could be a weak link for them and I expect Coach Rob has probably targeted the player in his preparations. Hoping the Sharks are planning a really smart defense this season with some crib notes taken from last season’s Canes.

  • Comment 38, posted at 22.02.17 09:52:43 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 11) : I wonder where I fit in, Im not a huge 7s fan at all, its hardly even rugby in my view. I want to win and I want to be entertained when watching rugby. I will take a win any day of the year but if after a few games of watching I come away “bored” then I will take the win anytime but I will easily rather go fishing instead of watching the game. Jakes spell at the Sharks was a case in point,he won mostly but to be honest there was not that euphoria that comes with winning and being entertained simultaneously…..and its not all about scoring tries helter skelter. Defece can be highly entertaing as can scrums, lineouts, well all aspects actually – they need to gel.

    As for cricket, nothing can beat a good 5 day test match, but these too can end up boring the 5 spectators to death.

  • Comment 39, posted at 22.02.17 09:57:29 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 32) : They not the most mobile guys and often get subbed in games.

  • Comment 40, posted at 22.02.17 10:15:58 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 39) : I would still say you are still a purist in the general sense. Purists still want to be entertained. It just depends what entertains you. A 6-3 game can still be entertaining with massive hits and a brutal contest in the tight. But a 6-3 game can also be boring as hell depending on the level of play etc. In my opinion though a lot of the new modern day fans only believe that seeing tries and lots of them is entertaining and that defense and a tight game with a forward battle is boring….and most cant concentrate the 80minutes without checking their phones

  • Comment 41, posted at 22.02.17 10:22:13 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 39) : @SheldonK (Comment 41) : I think the problem with Jake-ball was that even though we racked up some wins, our execution of his gameplan was iffy a lot of the time, especially our accuracy in kick-chases. That certainly gives the impression of a team floundering around the park at times leading to the assumption that some wins were nothing more than luck. I wonder how it would have looked given another season with him coaching. Could he have tightened up certain skills and aspects of our game? Would we then have remembered his time with us a little more fondly? It’s in my opinion a gameplan that becomes more entertaining the more clinical it becomes and that does unfortunately take time.

  • Comment 42, posted at 22.02.17 10:44:16 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 42) : Fair enough point you make. I do agree that the entertainment value of a gameplan does depend a lot on the enthusiasm and accuracy of the execution by the players.

  • Comment 43, posted at 22.02.17 11:06:34 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 41) : Some of the most intense, entertaining rugby to watch is when your team defends its own tryline, through multiple phases of play with the opposition throwing everything they have at getting over the tryline.

    As for a 6-3 game……once upon a time there were 2 rugby teams playing in Durban, one was the Sharks and the other was from Australia, the Waratahs or the Reds and they played a game of rugby and the score wazzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

  • Comment 44, posted at 22.02.17 11:49:42 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 44) : That game in Durban was Sharks v Reds- kinda appropriate reference i thought.

  • Comment 45, posted at 22.02.17 11:58:13 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     

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