Reds chasing Kiwi sweep

Thu, 25 Apr 2013 10:12
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The Reds will be chasing another piece of history in Brisbane on Friday as they look to become the first team to sweep their New Zealand opposition.

The Reds will be chasing another piece of history in Brisbane on Friday as they look to become the first Queensland team in the professional era to sweep their New Zealand opposition in a regular Super Rugby season.

With victories against the Hurricanes, Highlander and Chiefs already in the bag, a win in Friday's Round 11 encounter would see the Reds end their 2013 regular season campaign undefeated against the Kiwis.

The opportunity comes after the Reds also ticked off another milestone against the Blues in 2012, with Queensland's 23-11 victory in Round 10 their first-ever at Eden Park in Super Rugby history.

Victory on Friday would also extend the Reds' recent strong record against New Zealand teams with Queensland beating their trans-Tasman rivals in 11 of their past 12 matches.

However, it won't be an easy proposition for the Reds, with the Blues currently sitting second on the ladder and leading the New Zealand Conference following recent impressive wins over the Highlanders (29-18) and the Hurricanes (28-6).

The Blues' impressive season-long form shapes for a highly entertaining match with the Reds also on a roll in attack, where in their past three matches they have recorded consecutive bonus point victories over the Highlanders (34-33) and Chiefs (31-23) before also scoring on three occasions in their draw with the Brumbies.

"We're a side that takes pride in ticking off new milestones and breaking hoodoos, so we look forward to the challenge of becoming the first Reds team to go unbeaten against the Kiwis during a Super Rugby regular season," Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said.

"We really enjoy the tactical battle against the New Zealand teams, but the Blues are on top of their Conference for a reason and we aren't under any misconceptions about the challenge they will bring to the game tomorrow.

"John Kirwan has done an amazing job turning around their on-field fortunes this season and the match should be a great spectacle for the fans."

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 11 6 0 5 27
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9