The Reds and the Sunwolves conclude their respective Super Rugby campaigns with a Round 19 clash in Brisbane on Friday.
Reds v Sunwolves, Friday 13th July, Brisbane, KO 11:45 (South African time)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Referees: Damon Murphy, Jordan Way
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore
The Reds ended a 5 match losing sequence when they beat the play off chasing Rebels 37-23 in a derby clash in Brisbane last week. That was a fifth win of a season which lost its early momentum after the Queenslanders had won 3 of their first 4 outings.
The Reds have won 4 of 7 home games with the Brumbies (18-10), Bulls (20-14) and Lions (27-22) having lost narrowly in Brisbane earlier in the campaign and whatever the result here they will finish fourth best in the Australian Conference with only the Sunwolves below them.
The Sunwolves crashed 77-25 to the Waratahs in Sydney last week and they remain stuck on 3 wins for the season. They had to wait until Round 13 for their first victory which came in a 63-28 hiding of their opponents here in Tokyo. A week later they beat the Stormers 26-23 in Hong Kong and more recently they beat the Bulls 42-37 in Singapore.
The Sunwolves have lost all 7 of their away fixtures with the closest they have come to victory on their travels being a 40-38 loss to the Lions back in Round 5.
The Sunwolves have lost home and away to the Waratahs, Rebels and the Brumbies this season and they will finish with the wooden spoon in the overall standings.
Reds – 15 Jono Lance, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Hamish Stewart, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Liam Wright, 6 Caleb Timu, 5 Lukhan Tui, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 JP Smith.
Subs: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Adam Korczyk, 22 Moses Sorovi, 23 Teti Tela.
Sunwolves – 15 Jason Emery, 14 Yoshikazu Fujita, 13 Michael Little, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Akihito Yamada, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Yutaka Nagare (c), 8 Willie Britz, 7 Edward Quirk, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Wimpie van der Walt, 4 James Moore, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Craig Millar.
Subs: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Kazuki Himeno, 20 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ryoto Nakamura
Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2018 Tokyo Sunwolves 63–28 Reds (Tries 6-4)
2016 Brisbane Reds 35–25 Sunwolves (Tries 4-3 )
Reds -10.5 points at 9/10 WSB
Sunwolves +11.5 points at 9/10 BetXchange
Note, odds quoted are an average of what was available at the time of last update but are subject to change.
The Queenslanders have done pretty well at home in fixtures such as this but I’m a little nervous that they may run into the Sunwolves on a going day and that double digit start may be enough for plus backers.
It’s not a handicap I would approach with too much confidence but I’ll settle on a nibble at the plus.
Bet: 3.5 units Sunwolves +11.5 points at 9/10 BetXchange
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