The first game this weekend in Super Rugby AU see the Reds who is leading the log hosting the Force on Friday.

Although it is a few years ago since the Force played in Super Rugby, they do have a great record against the Reds. In their last ten games they have won seven off them against the Reds.
This is however a totally different Reds side and a lot has happened since these two teams last played against each other.
The host has made a couple off changes from this game.

Scott-Young will come in for the injured Blyth in the second row as well as Feauai-Sautia who will start on the wing this weekend. This sees Jock Campbell move to fullback this weekend.

There is a few changes on the bench as well for the Reds this weekend with Jack Straker and Ryan Smith. Dane Zander and outside back Bryce Hegarty will also have their oppertunity later in game as they start the match on the bench.

The Force coach Sampson has named n unchanged starting XV for their second match in the tournament with only one change on the bench.

Ollie Atkins will take the place off Johan Bardoul on the bench.

Although they let the Waratahs came back to win the game last week Sampson kept faith in his players. He will be looking for his players to reward him for keeping faith in them but against the Reds it is not going to be easy.

He will also be looking at his players to put a full 80 minute sin this week and not let the Reds get ahead off them on the scoreboard.

Mistakes in the second half cost the Force dearly and against a good Reds side you can not afford to let them run the game at their pace.

This will be interesting to watch and see if the Force can better their performance from last week against a Reds side that will want to put scoreboard pressure on them from the start.

Facts from OPTA

  • The Force have won seven of their last 10 Super Rugby games against the Reds, including their last three on the bounce (D1, L2); their last meeting (Force 40-26 Reds in Rd 14, 2017) featured 66 total points – the most in the history of this fixture.
  • The Reds have won four of their six previous fixtures the game after having been held to a draw in Super Rugby; although, the last time they had to back up from a draw resulted in defeat (Round 5, 2016 – 15-13 v NSW Waratahs).
  • The last time the Force opened a Super Rugby campaign with back-to-back defeats was in 2014 when they lost to the NSW Waratahs (Rd 2) and Brumbies (Rd 3).
  • The Force finished their last Super Rugby encounter with the Reds with a 100% success rate at both the lineout and the scrum, one of just seven times they have managed to do so in the last decade of Super Rugby.
  • Liam Wright (Reds) has attended 49 effective rucks so far in Super Rugby AU, more than any other player in the competition; he’s been the first or second hitter in 51 of the 64 rucks he’s attended so far this tournament.

Prediction: Hard to see the Reds not winning this one, Reds by 9

Teams:

Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Hunter Paisaimi, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Scott-Young, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Harry Hoopert.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Dane Zander, 18 Jack Straker, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 21 Scott Malolua, 22 Josh Flook, 23 Bryce Hegarty.

Western Force: 15 Jack McGregor, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Nick Jooste, 11 Brad Lacey, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior (captain), 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Tevin Ferris, 6 Henry Stowers, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Angus Wagner.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Ollie Callen, 21 Jacob Abel, 22 Henry Taefu, 23 Kyle Godwin.