Saturday night’s top-of-the-table Super Rugby Pacific battle between the Queensland Reds and Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium will have the added spice of being a forerunner to next week’s Wallabies camp on the Gold Coast. Brumbies vs Reds are on a collision course featuring the league’s current top teams, that and more storylines in Super Rugby Pacific.
The Reds host the Brumbies on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium looking for revenge after the Canberra side dished up their only defeat of the season, with a 12-16 loss in round five earlier this month.
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While a win over the first-placed and unbeaten Brumbies is Queensland’s main focus, Reds co-captain Tate McDermott said some pre-camp selection battles would also be at the back of players’ minds.
“It’s massive,” halfback McDermott said.
“You’ve got two large groups of players who are in the Wallabies, so I think boys have got more than playing for their state on the line.
“You’ve got gold jerseys, but you’ve also got a proud tradition in playing the Brumbies. Particularly in recent years, it’s been a really good grind.”
McDermott’s battle with either Wallabies’ first-choice halfback, Nic White, or the emerging Ryan Lonergan should be a highlight of the contest.
The teams met less than two weeks ago, with the Brumbies winning 16-12 despite being outscored two tries to one, to hand the Reds their first, and so far only, defeat of the season.
McDermott missed the match with an ankle injury but returned in the Reds’ 32-20 weekend win over the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.
“I’m proud of about 70 minutes of that performance, but when you come up against the Brumbies, we have to be going for 80-plus,” he said.
McDermott, who was sent to the sin-bin against the Waratahs for a deliberate knockdown, said the Reds needed to improve their discipline.
At one stage Queensland, who also had prop Dane Zander sent off, had 13 players on the field.
“If we can fix our discipline, hopefully no yellow cards, but also in terms of our defence, holding the ball for long periods of time and kicking well, I think we will get a result,” McDermott said.