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Reds name team to crash Chiefs' playoff party in Hamilton

By Ned Lester
Reds celebrate a Suliasi Vunivalu try after the final siren during the round nine Super Rugby Pacific match between Queensland Reds and Highlanders at Suncorp Stadium, on April 19, 2024, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The Reds are up for the challenge of facing the Chiefs in a quarter-final contest in Hamilton, with confidence built from recent notable wins.

Les Kiss has named a balanced team for the knockout clash, with size up front to challenge the Chiefs pack and dynamism aplenty across the backline.

Still, the team weren’t shying away from the difficulty of the task at hand.

“Finals footy…it’s exciting and a different beast. You’ve got to love it,” Kiss said

“Winning in Hamilton will be a difficult task. If we commit to playing our style, we’ve got a chance against a good Chiefs side.

“We have had some positive results against New Zealand teams this season. Of the three wins, one was crucially in Christchurch.

“That experience and what we’ve learnt in close matches will stand us in good stead but it doesn’t guarantee you anything.

“We’ve got to be able to handle the purple patch they’ll have in the game and that’s going to take a massive collective effort.

“I’m more than comfortable we have the players to turn up for those special moments that come in games like this.”

Naming two young star playmakers in Tom Lynagh and Lawson Creighton in the matchday 23, Kiss was looking for impact from his hungry young talents.

“Tom’s finals experience last year pays forward for us. With Lawson from the bench, it’s a combo that’s worked well for us this season,” Kiss said.

“I’m very confident in the job they’ll do.”

Lock Seru Uru starts in his 50th game in Reds colours, partnering Ryan Smith in the second row. A couple of familiar faces return to Hamilton in the form of Alex Hodgman and Jeffery Toomaga-Allan, making up the front row along with hooker Matt Faessler.

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The loose forward trio of Liam Wright, Fraser McReight and John Bryant will look to continue their dominant form.

Tate McDermott joins Lynagh in the starting halves, with Hunter Paisami and Josh Flook in midfield. It’ll be a long night for Mac Grealy, Tim Ryan and Jock Campbell diffusing the threats of the Chiefs’ back three, but the Reds trio pack plenty of X-factor of their own.

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The lads have plenty of big club games to react to this week after finals in Europe and Japan as well as some huge results in Super Rugby Pacific. We start by dissecting the games in Christchurch and Hamilton before casting an eye over the Champions Cup final.

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How would Super Rugby teams fare in the Champions Cup? | Aotearoa Rugby Pod

The lads have plenty of big club games to react to this week after finals in Europe and Japan as well as some huge results in Super Rugby Pacific. We start by dissecting the games in Christchurch and Hamilton before casting an eye over the Champions Cup final.

Related

Reds team to play the Chiefs 

  1. Alex Hodgman
  2. Matt Faessler
  3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
  4. Seru Uru
  5. Ryan Smith
  6. Liam Wright (cc)
  7. Fraser McReight
  8. John Bryant
  9. Tate McDermott (cc)
  10. Tom Lynagh
  11. Mac Grealy
  12. Hunter Paisami
  13. Josh Flook
  14. Tim Ryan
  15. Jock Campbell

Reserves

16. Josh Nasser
17. Sef Fa’agase
18. Zane Nonggorr
19. Connor Vest
20. Joe Brial
21. Kalani Thomas
22. Lawson Creighton
23. Taj Annan

Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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