The Super Rugby AU playoffs are upon us, with the Reds and Rebels duking it out at Suncorp Stadium for a spot in the decider.
History: Played 19: Reds 11 V Rebels 7 (1 Draw)
Last meeting: August 15, 2020: Reds 19 d Rebels 3 at Suncorp Stadium
Final Thoughts: The Reds and Rebels square off for the right to face the table-topping Brumbies in the inaugural Super Rugby AU final next week.
The Reds secured home advantage for the qualifying final by finishing second. They won five and drew one of their eight regular-season games, scoring a competition-high 215 points in the process.
Brad Thorn’s charges are on a three-match winning streak, including an emphatic 26-7 defeat of the Brumbies last Saturday. With James O’Connor providing crucial experience and poise in the No.10, the young Reds are developing into a formidable unit.
The Rebels limped into third spot by the barest of margins last week, edging the Waratahs by a mere one for-and-against point. They were headed for an agonising defeat against the winless Force before Johannes Eloff’s 79th-minute try and Matt Toomua’s conversion snatched a 34-30 result.
The teams drew 18-all in Round 2 of Super Rugby AU in Sydney, with Alex Mafi’s 79th-minute try snatching a share of the spoils for the Reds. Neither side could find the winning score in a historic golden point period.
The Reds claimed a decisive 19-3 victory over the Rebels in Brisbane in Round 7. Jordan Petaia and Brandon Paenga-Amosa scored first-half tries, before Hamish Stewart sealed the result with a 73rd-minute five-pointer.
Leaking four tries to the battling Force – and 12 in their last three games – is a major concern for the Rebels. The Reds, meanwhile, have conceded a total of just three tries in their last three games. The Rebels boast plenty of firepower and seasoned Wallabies, but on recent form there’s only one team work backing here.