Still stinging from their last-minute loss to the Brumbies, the Queensland Reds are intent on taking out their frustration on the wounded NSW Waratahs on Saturday night. After snapping a seven-year losing streak against the Waratahs in round one, the Reds can all but eliminate their fiercest rivals from the Super Rugby AU finals race with victory at the SCG on Saturday night.
And that’s precisely the plan according to no-nonsense hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa, who says the Reds are trying to draw the positives from their last-up 27-24 defeat to the Brumbies.
“It was a tough loss. That one hurt, especially because we know we did a lot of good things out there and we definitely know that we deserved the win,” Paenga-Amosa said on Tuesday.
“But we’ve definitely built momentum heading into the Waratahs so we’re excited to take the field and to give it to them.
“Emotions will be high. Certain individuals will be out there to prove a point so I know they will definitely bring a lot.
“But I know us Queenslanders will definitely go in, play smart, stick to our processes that we know best, which is good, hard, tough strong Queenslander footy.”
Paenga-Amosa said a brutal scrum session on Tuesday under the discerning eye of former Queensland and Wallabies prop Cameron Lilycrap had the Reds fired up to the set the tone up front.
“Here at Queensland, we pride ourselves on our scrum. Set piece is everything; scrum and lineouts,” he said.
“So scrum sessions here look like going at it for a good 20, 30 minutes. Sometimes even an hour if Cameron Lilycrap’s running the session – very intense, a lot of noise.”
Despite being unbeaten until last Saturday night, the Reds now find themselves in a fight to seal a finals berth.
With only the top three teams advancing, the Reds have suddenly slipped eight points adrift of the Brumbies at the halfway point of the 10-round competition.
They are just one point ahead of the third-placed Melbourne Rebels and could conceivably slip to fourth behind the Waratahs if they suffer a bonus-point loss this week.
“It’s a tight competition but that’s a huge if,” Paenga-Amosa snarled.
“I’m confident that we’ll step into this week and we’ll do our job out there.”
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