The final Australian Conference derby of the Super Rugby regular season sees the play off bound Brumbies host the Reds in Canberra on Saturday
Brumbies v Reds, Saturday 15th June, Canberra, KO 11:45 (South African time)
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Refs: Ben O'Keeffe, Graham Cooper
TMO: James Leckie
Weather Forecast - Canberra
The Brumbies beat the Waratahs 35-24 in Sydney last week, sealing top spot in the Australian Conference in the process and home advantage in the quarter finals thanks to 8 wins in their last 9 outings.
Coming into Round 18 the Brumbies have an overall record of 9 wins and 6 defeats. Since losing to the Rebels at this venue in the opening round of matches the Brumbies have reeled off 6 straight wins in front of their own supporters. The sequence started with a thrashing of the Chiefs (54-17) before they got the better of the Waratahs (19-13) and the Lions (31-20). The Brumbies then put the Sunwolves away (33-0) and in Round 15 they beat the Bulls (22-10).
The Brumbies have won just 2 of their 5 Australian derby matches this season. In addition to the aforementioned victory away to the Tahs they also beat the NSW side 19-13 in Canberra in Round 5. They lost narrowly at home (34-27) and away (29-26) to the Rebels in the early rounds but went down heavily to the Reds (36-14) in Brisbane in Round 6.
The Brumbies have been trading at around 10/1 to win the Super Rugby title this season.
The Reds launched a late fightback to overhaul the Blues 29-28 in their final home game last week, snapping a 4 match losing streak in the process. They have won 6 and lost 9 of their matches this season and their 2 victories in 7 away fixtures came at the Sunwolves (34-31) in Round 5 and the Sharks (21-14) in Round 10. Of those 7 road trips 6 have been settled by no more than 11 points.
The Reds victory over the Brumbies in Brisbane in Round 6 is their only success in Australian derby matches this season, the other 4 ended in defeat.
The Reds could finish as high as third in the Australian Conference if they win here and the Waratahs lose at the Highlanders on Friday. The Queenslanders last win over the Brumbies in Canberra came in 2014 and in each of their 4 subsequent visits they have shipped more than 40 points.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Murray Douglas, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Len Ikitau
Reds: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Jock Campbell, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (captain), 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 Matt McGahan, 9 Scott Malolua, 8 Angus Scott-Young, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Gav Luka, 19 Caleb Timu, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Sefa Naivalu
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Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2019 Brisbane Reds 36-14 Brumbies (Tries 5-2)
2018 Canberra Brumbies 45-21 Reds (Tries 7-2)
2018 Brisbane Reds 18-10 Brumbies (Tries 0-2)
2017 Brisbane Reds 16-15 Brumbies (Tries 1-2)
2017 Canberra Brumbies 43-10 Reds (Tries 6-1)
2016 Canberra Brumbies 43-24 Reds (Tries 6-3)
2015 Brisbane Reds 0-29 Brumbies (Tries 0-5)
2015 Canberra Brumbies 47-3 Reds (Tries 6-0)
2014 Brisbane Reds 20-23 Brumbies (Tries 2-2)
2014 Canberra Brumbies 17-27 Reds (Tries 1-3)
Brumbies -7.5 points at 9/10 WSB, Sunbet
Reds +10.5 points at 9/10 Hollywood
Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.
In theory the Brumbies can still finish 2nd but in reality they will know they cannot by kick off and that makes this a tricky betting heat. The Brumbies may well be a notch or two below the best but even so they should still pack too many guns for this Reds side and I am backing them to win by 8 points or more as they would have in the last 4 head to heads in Canberra.
Aussie derbies are generally spoken of as dour affairs but interestingly the Brumbies have scored more than 40 points in their last 4 home games against the Reds.
(Unit Scale 1 to 10)
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