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Round 5: Reds v Lions



The injury depleted Reds taking on the ‘storming’ Lions. The Reds went down in a pretty one sided show against the Blues and the Lions where lucky enough to beat a Force squad determined on self destruction.
But this is Brisbane and am sure Eddie has put his crew through the ringer throughout the week.
The Lions have shown though that they can win on the road… on this one I’m going with the Lions by about 7.
Not even... don't underestimate what changing a name can do.
Am personally leading a campaign for the Chiefs to change their name.
And don`t forget a pretty handy change of coach too- Loffie Eloff has done wonders for the Lions, leading them back from the dead to 8 consecutive wins in last year`s Currie Cup.

With their 1st ever win in Oz last weekend, the Lions` confidence will be sky-high, while the Reds will probably still have a little bit of the Blues after last week........

Seriously, I`ll be going for a Lions win in this one- they are truly surprising friend and foe this year, and they`re doing it with very few big-name stars. A perfect example of a bunch of lads playing for their coach, and for each other. Stormers management, please take note. And the King of the Last Minute Penalty, Andre Pretorius, is back from injury too.
The Reds are finished. One win per season is their new motto now.

Lions by 8.
reds are putting in an 18yr old at 1st five. Thats a crucial position, and a newbie on the big stage, he could cough up a few mistakes
Quade Cooper is stepping up to 1st 5 supposedly hes better then Kurtley Beale and hes 18 as well.
It could be the best selection decision for Queensland rugby in a decade, possibly even Australia.

Cooper and Barnes are two of the most talented young players in the country, and while I'm not promising anything tonight, these two could potentially find themselves in the same positions for Queensland for the next 10 or so years.

The one problem is that with no Chris Latham around, they have no experience in the backline to guide them. Unlike Michael Lynagh, when he made his debut at 18, these blokes don't have another 14 Wallabies around them. They'll have to do it on their own.


Rookie Reds five-eighth 'better than Beale'
Thursday, March 1, 2007

Teenage playmaker Quade Cooper has been rated a better prospect than Kurtley Beale after gaining a surprise selection at five-eighth for Queensland.

New Zealand-born Cooper will have the playmaking reins for the Reds against the Lions on Saturday night just three months after finishing school in Brisbane.

The 18-year-old has been thrown into the hot seat in a reshuffled backline after Berrick Barnes was shifted from flyhalf to inside centre following an ankle injury to Peter Hynes.

But former dual international Russell Fairfax, a 1970s whiz-kid himself, is one who believes Cooper will thrive in the Super 14.

After watching the Waikato product star alongside NSW Waratahs wonderkid Beale for the Australian Schoolboys last year, Fairfax lauded him with immense praise.

"This kid is sensational, he's the best (schoolboy) I've ever seen," he told FoxSports.

"Right now I think he's a better player than Kurtley Beale.

"He's one to watch, he's certainly one out of the box."

Cooper, who has enjoyed three appearances off the bench, becomes the first Queenslander since Elton Flatley 11 years ago to make the immediate transition from school to provincial starter.

He has been shielded from the spotlight by coach Eddie Jones who has slapped a media ban on the youngster.

But in a QRU statement, Cooper said he was confident of coming to terms with the huge step up through the help of fellow youngster Barnes, 20.

"When you have two five-eighths on the field its easy to understand each other and there's more talk," he said.

"Berrick's a good reader of the game and it'll be good having him alongside me steering me around a bit."

Barnes, a fellow boom schoolboy recruit who first tried his hand at rugby league with the Brisbane Broncos, knows well the difficulty of dealing with expectations and has been a keen advisor to Cooper.

"This is a great opportunity for me and something I've hoped for since I was very young," Cooper said.

"As soon as I could run I was out playing rugby."



In other news I'm 90% sure Andrew Walker will be selected on the bench for Saturday night's game after arriving in Brisbane today.
Not to badly, actually pretty well. He scored a good opening try, but unfortunately the Reds couldn't hold out for a win...
This young Lions side is really the big surprise package this year- what a start to their touring campaign. They seem to have developed this uncanny ability to keep their composure and close out games in the last few minutes.

That`s 2 wins in 2 weeks on Aussie soil for them, after a long 10 years of waiting for even 1!

Remember the name of Heinke V D Merwe- this lad is only 21 years old, and IMO the class loosehead of the whole competition at this stage- he`s already ruined many an opposing tighthead`s reputation, and there is plenty still to come. Watch out, Os Du Randt, there`s a new kid on the block.

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