KSA Shark ©

Reds’ young brigade named for Sharks clash

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Super 14 on 11 Mar 2009 at 07:45
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The QR Reds have made seven changes heading into Saturday night’s Investec Super 14 blockbuster against South Africa’s unbeaten Sharks at Suncorp Stadium.

RedsRugby reports that prop Ben Daley gets his first chance in the starting XV with an injury to Greg Holmes, while livewire Blair Connor has impressed enough during the past fortnight to earn a starting position on the wing.

Uncapped wing/fullback Rod Davies, prop Jack Kennedy and Brisbane-born Highlanders recruit Ezra Taylor (lock/backrow) move onto the bench after promising displays in the Reds 2nd XV.

Daley, who will partner Laurie Weeks in the front-row, has earned the role against one of the strongest scrums in world rugby.

The Sharks are blessed with so many quality front-rowers that World Cup winning hooker and captain John Smit has made the switch to prop.

Daley is relishing the challenge, after making his debut off the bench against the Canterbury Crusaders in 2008, his sole appearance in Super 14 rugby to date, where he competed diligently against now All-Black Ben Franks.

“You probably can’t go against a better forward pack,” Daley said of the Sharks.

“Whether it be Jannie du Plessis or John Smit, they’re both tremendous scrummagers, so it’s going to be a tough battle.

“Being my run on debut, you expect to cop a bit of flack, but I guess in any game you have to be aggressive.”

In the crowd on Saturday night will be Daley’s proud father Phil, a former Australian and premiership winning rugby league prop in the 1980-90’s.

Phil, who played for Manly and the Gold Coast Chargers, was famously sacked from the Blues’ State of Origin squad in 1988 when he left camp to be present at Ben’s birth.

“(Phil’s first grade league debut) was around the same age (as me),” said Daley. “He was coming up against the Canterbury Bulldogs and I think they were premiers from the previous year.”

Ezra Taylor’s likely first cap in a Queensland jersey couldn’t come at a better time, with lineout leader Van Humphries withdrawn from the match with a shoulder problem.

Taylor, who graduated from Otago’s Academy to play for the Highlanders, can’t wait to take the field after a foot operation delayed his return to rugby after an injury blighted 2008.

“I’m very happy to be back. We had a plan at the start of the season and I wanted to set my goals pretty high here in Australia,” Taylor said.

“I’ve got my chance now to come off the bench and set things alight.

“I like to play an aggressive style. I like a bit of power play and big tackles now and then if I get the chance.”

The unbeaten Sharks enter the match with plenty of momentum following two successive victories in New Zealand – against the Chiefs and the Blues – but Reds coach Phil Mooney believes his young entourage has the ability to get the job done.

“One thing I think we’ve seen over the past couple of years is when we’ve given young guys an opportunity they’ve really aimed up and there’s no bigger opportunity than against an undefeated Sharks team,” Mooney said.

“That’s the nature of the competition. Whoever you play against, you’re playing a Wallaby, an All Black or a Springbok.”

Mooney concedes victory is crucial at this point of the Reds’ season, with a bye to follow on the next weekend.

“Mathematically we need to win to get back up with the pack,” he said.

“The way the competition has been at the moment, everyone seems to be beating each other, so you’re only stringing a couple of wins away from being back.”

Anthony Faingaa’s versatility has meant he keeps his position on the bench over the desperately unlucky Charlie Fetoai, with Connor’s inclusion in the starting side giving speedster Rod Davies his first opportunity since leaving the Brisbane Broncos last season.

Jack Kennedy moves onto the bench in place of Dayna Edwards, while Adam Byrnes takes Humphries’ role at lock.

Starting XV: 15.Mark McLinden, 14.Blair Connor, 13.Digby Ioane, 12.Berrick Barnes (c), 11.Peter Hynes, 10.Quade Cooper, 9.Ben Lucas, 8.Leroy Houston, 7.Daniel Braid, 6.Scott Higginbotham, 5.Hugh McMeniman, 4.Adam Byrnes, 3.Laurie Weeks, 2.Sean Hardman, 1.Ben Daley.

Reserves: 16.Saia Faingaa, 17.Jack Kennedy, 18.Ezra Taylor, 19.Poutasi Luafutu, 20.Will Genia, 21.Anthony Faingaa, 22.Rod Davies.


  • Still no shortage of talent on that team sheet.

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.03.09 08:04:17 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • so he’s resting his players then…

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.03.09 08:56:54 by rahul Reply
  • @rahul (Comment 2) :

    I’m trying to decide what his plan of action is here?

    Throwing the match, thus targeting his wins?

    Or difficult times call for radical change?

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.03.09 09:07:50 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) : The first one, Blood the youngsters knowing you going to loose anyway

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.03.09 09:19:21 by rahul Reply
  • @rahul (Comment 4) :

    I would love it if that was the case. It could only help the Sharks if the reds go into the match with a “we are probably going to lose” attitude.

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.03.09 09:23:07 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) :The youngsters of course won’t think that, but the coach will. Any picks for Reds in LMS this week? 😆

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.03.09 09:26:46 by rahul Reply
  • Lambs to the slaughter…

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.03.09 09:33:20 by klempie Reply
  • @rahul (Comment 6) : 😀

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.03.09 09:33:36 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @klempie (Comment 7) : Poor things. First the abuse… now the slaughter 😥

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.03.09 09:41:22 by rahul Reply
  • @rahul (Comment 9) : 😆

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.03.09 09:42:28 by klempie Reply
  • Go REDS!!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.03.09 09:46:39 by wpw Reply
  • @rahul (Comment 9) :


  • Comment 12, posted at 11.03.09 09:47:40 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Just hope the Sharks do not take foot off the gas.Reds came back against Bulls and Stormers when they went to sleep in 2 nd half.

    Pace the game and finish stronger, and thrash the Reds.

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.03.09 09:51:34 by Ernie Reply

  • @rahul (Comment 6) :

    Seems you are right about the youngsters.

    Reds have a ‘fly’ in Sharks’ ointment
    Wed, 11 Mar 2009 09:32

    The Reds irrepressible ‘fly in a bottle’, Blair Connor, is buzzing about being picked to start on the wing against the unbeaten Sharks at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

    The 20-year-old Norths prodigy is unfazed by the prospect of marking Springbok wing JP Pietersen in his just his fourth match, his first in the run-on side.

    “[I’m] pretty pumped to be honest. I just want to get out there and rip in,” Connor said.

    “It keeps getting harder and harder each week,” Connor quipped said about facing Pietersen only one week after duelling with Wallaby juggernaut Lote Tuqiri during his 27 minute stint against the Waratahs last Friday.

    “It would be good if I could get an easy game, but you know I’m looking forward to it and hopefully I can go out and score a couple of tries.”

    Pietersen has already notched up four tries in as many matches this year, but Reds head coach Phil Mooney has every confidence Connor’s ability will match his energy and enthusiasm.

    “He’s a little bit quirky Blair. He’s not your traditional private school boy,” Mooney said of the 82kg dynamo with the jet shoes.

    “One of the analogies I guess is the fly in the bottle. He’s great to have around and he’s highly energetic. It’s great for the rest of the team to see the raw enthusiasm.”

    Mooney said moving Wallaby Digby Ioane from wing against the Waratahs to outside centre against the Sharks suits the Reds’ game plan for the match and will give Ioane more chance to attack.

    “This week, [we will play] a different style of game against the Sharks, so moving Digby to No.13 gives him the best opportunity from our point of view to get more involved.”

    Connor agrees that acceleration and fast feet are his main attack weapons and that he’s unlikely to be called on to create holes with brute strength. The human wrecking ball playing infield of him in jersey No.13 should take care of that.

    “I’m not the biggest bloke going around so it sort of suits me when there’s a little space out wide instead of having to run over the top of someone,” Connor said.

    “I really like running the ball, so that’s probably a good thing on the wing as I wouldn’t pass it very much if I was anywhere else.”

    While Connor devastated Premiership opponents for Norths, he entered the Reds fulltime squad late last year as a relatively unknown quantity and expected to spend most of 2009 just watching and learning.

    “This year I really didn’t expect anything. I was just going to practice learning and building my skills, but getting these chances… I’m just going to take them.”

    Uncapped wing Rod Davies will take Connor’s spot on the bench.

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.03.09 09:51:39 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • “One of the analogies I guess is the fly in the bottle. He’s great to have around and he’s highly energetic.”

    Fly in the bottle always drowns after a few minutes… and ruins the drink.

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.03.09 09:55:55 by rahul Reply

  • @Ernie (Comment 13) :

    I am almost as worried about this result as I was about the Stormers result.

    And to add to my frustration there are all these articles flying about about how good everyone thinks we are.

    “Sharks can go all the way”
    “Sharks have sights on record ”
    “Sharks top Super 14 odds”

    I am intentionally not posting any of those articles. 🙁

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.03.09 09:56:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Of the 4 overseas games for Sharks I would rate, Reds, Force, Chiefs & Blues in that order of difficulty, with Reds being easiest.

    Sharks must slow the game down and keep the ball in hand. A few trys in the forwards, just grind them down. To play 7’s rugby will play into their hands.

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.03.09 10:20:57 by Ernie Reply

  • I don’t get the fly in a bottle analogy ❓ When has a fly in a bottle ever been a good thing? 🙄

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.03.09 10:24:00 by McLovin Reply

  • Wonder how the other Aussies feel about this? They go all out against their own, the Waratahs, but then against a foreign team they put out a young side. You’d expect it to be the other way around.

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.03.09 10:25:55 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 18) :
    Me neither – its obviously got something to do with all those bottles whose corks are dangling from hats.

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.03.09 10:37:29 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @McLovin (Comment 18) :

    Maybe he is always on a buzz. 😉

  • Comment 21, posted at 11.03.09 10:39:05 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @wpw (Comment 11) : Not thoooooose Reds! 🙄 Anyway, I have said before, soccer’s for girls..

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.03.09 10:40:24 by klempie Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 20) : @klempie (Comment 22) : It must be an australian thing. 🙄 Maybe he has a fly on his brain.

  • Comment 23, posted at 11.03.09 10:59:28 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) : you’re not going to like MY latest article

  • Comment 24, posted at 11.03.09 11:21:10 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I wonder if there is any other country whose national bird can fit in a (beer)bottle.

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.03.09 11:22:20 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 25) : 😆 😆

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.03.09 11:23:57 by McLovin Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 24) :

    have commented on it 😆

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.03.09 11:25:03 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • The Sharks
    15. Stefan Terblanche 14. Odwa Ndungane 13. Adrian Jacobs 12. Francois Steyn 11. JP Pietersen 10. Ruan Pienaar 9. Rory Kockott 8. Ryan Kankowski 7. Keegan Daniel 6. Jacques Botes 5. Johann Muller (Captain) 4. Steven Sykes 3. John Smit 2. Bismarck du Plessis 1. Tendai Mtawarira

    Replacements: 16. Deon Carstens 17. Jannie du Plessis 18. Albert van den Berg 19. Skholiwe Ndlovu 20. Ross Cronje 21. Riaan Swanepoel 22. Luzuko Vulindlu

  • Comment 28, posted at 12.03.09 08:10:49 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 28) :

    Jannie on the bench, i thought he’d have a rest.

    Certainly NOT fielding a weakened side. 😎

  • Comment 29, posted at 12.03.09 08:11:57 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I hope the bench get a GOOD run in the latter stages.

  • Comment 30, posted at 12.03.09 08:15:32 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 28) : i see aren’t writing an article to keep rob happy.

  • Comment 31, posted at 12.03.09 09:08:11 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 30) : the way the reds stretch and tire the defence the bench could be vital to the sharks success.

  • Comment 32, posted at 12.03.09 09:09:03 by try time Reply

  • any truth in the Beelds story about frans steyn going to play in france next year?

  • Comment 33, posted at 12.03.09 09:11:58 by jarsonx Reply
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  • @jarsonx (Comment 33) : thats fine we’ll bring brad back.

  • Comment 34, posted at 12.03.09 09:19:28 by try time Reply

  • @jarsonx (Comment 33) : probably frans’ agent stirring while he is away, so he can better his contract, but not mess with his focus in the team. he will have to keep quiet when frans is back in sa.

  • Comment 35, posted at 12.03.09 09:21:43 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 35) :

    I’ve received a million emails about that this moring already…YAWN… 🙄

    What I know is that Frans is in Australia with The sharks…and frankly that’s all I care about right now…

  • Comment 36, posted at 12.03.09 09:44:14 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark (Comment 36) : yeah he must win a super 14 trophy then after that who cares.

  • Comment 37, posted at 12.03.09 09:55:55 by try time Reply

  • Steyn heading for France?

    If rumours in France are to be believed, Springbok utility back Frans Steyn will join Racing Metro by the end of the year.

    Racing Metro have been after Steyn for a while and it now appears Steyn will play for the club rather than the Sharks next year.

    Steyn signed a contract of one year with SA Rugby, while his agreement with the Sharks expires this year. He will honour both contracts before joining Racing Metro.

    Informed sources in France have indicated that Steyn has already signed for Racing Metro and will be available for at least one season in 2009/10.

    Steyn will only join his club after the Springboks’ tour of Europe at the end of the year.

    It is believed Steyn’s contract with Racing Metro is the same type of deal that All Black flyhalf Dan Carter signed with Perpignan.

    Carter honoured all his All Black commitments before heading to France for a six-month stint.

    There was a lot of speculation about Steyn’s future at the end of last year when it was decided that Ruan Pienaar would be the Sharks and Springbok flyhalf.

    Steyn wanted to settle in one position after being picked in four positions for the Sharks last year.

    The Sharks decided this year to let him settle at inside centre following Brad Barritt’s departure.

    The 21-year-old held talks with Racing Metro last month.

    While it is not clear how long the contract stretches and how much Steyn will be earning, sources in France maintain he will be on his way there.

    Like Toulon before them, Racing Metro are trying to buy their way out of the Second Division into the Top 14.

  • Comment 38, posted at 12.03.09 10:00:28 by Charlie Reply

  • at least this can get sorted out before he gets back, so he can focus on his rugby without the stupid reporters bugging him. so hopefully the contract is done and dusted by sunday to give the media a week to flog it to death and when he arrives back he can focus on the brumbies game.

  • Comment 39, posted at 12.03.09 10:14:00 by try time Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 38) :
    money money must be funny in the richmen’s world :mrgreen:

  • Comment 40, posted at 12.03.09 10:29:31 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
  • how can this honestly still be news?

  • Comment 41, posted at 12.03.09 10:48:51 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @rekinek (Comment 40) : But at least he can safe a lot for his pension (retirement) days, AJ Venter are still walking around to make a buck or two :mrgreen: 😆 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 42, posted at 12.03.09 10:52:13 by Charlie Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 42) : don’t be fooled aj is making a nice packet.
    @robdylan (Comment 41) : simple the contract is obviously being finalised.

  • Comment 43, posted at 12.03.09 11:00:39 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 31) :

    Sorry mate had to rush off. It’s my weekend. 😎 😎 😉

  • Comment 44, posted at 12.03.09 12:03:01 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @robdylan (Comment 41) :

    Charlie has a vested BOK interest in Steyn leaving the SA shores. 😆

  • Comment 45, posted at 12.03.09 12:03:37 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

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