The Super Rugby regular season ended in thrilling fashion with the Melbourne Rebels earning their first appearance in Super Rugby finals. So they’ll head to Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night for a clash with the Queensland Reds and both sides will be desperate to earn a Grand Final berth against the Brumbies.
Sat, Sep 12 7:15pm (AEST)
The QLD Reds head into Saturday nights Qualifying Final as deserved favourites on the back of their 26-7 victory over the ACT Brumbies. They finished the regular season as the top scoring team and also 2nd for points allowed. So the Reds attacking style will likely be a handful for the Rebels at Suncorp. In last week's win, Taniela Tupou was a force around the set-piece. Liam Wright opened the scoring last week and has enjoyed a solid season that could see him earn a Wallaby jersey. Jock Campbell also setup a try with a brilliant flick pass and should be a tough matchup for the Rebels edge defence.
Meanwhile, the Rebels have reached the finals by the barest of margins. They just had to beat the winless Force by 4 or more points and that's exactly what happened. However, they needed a late converted try in the 78th minute to secure their finals berth, talk about leaving it late! It kind of sums up the Rebels regular season, which has been pretty inconsistent. Which includes a 30-12 crushing win over the Brumbies and also a 19-3 loss against this Reds team, despite dominating key areas except on the scoreboard. So it's pretty hard to predict which Rebels side is going to turn up on Saturday night. But you would figure, they'll be up and about for their first finals appearance in Super Rugby!
The Reds and Rebels have met on 2 occasions in the regular season. The first meeting was a weird 18-18 extra-time draw as both sides just couldn't figure out how to win. Then in Round 7, the Reds recorded a comfortable 19-3 victory on the scoreboard. However, the Reds gave away 14 penalties to 6 and actually got dominated in run metres. The major difference between the two sides was turnovers as the Rebels were sloppy with 22 total turnovers. So if the Rebels can fix up that part of their game, we expect them to really test the Reds. Ultimately, we're keen on a close finish on Saturday night between two desperate teams and we believe it'll be a close margin - under 6 or fewer points.
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