Reds: Sharks to play it safe

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:42

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Reds are not expecting the Sharks to be adventurous with ball in hand in their Super Rugby Round One clash in Brisbane on Friday.

Reds coach Nick Stiles believes that the Durban-based side will rely heavily on their pack in a match which might see a clash of styles. 

"It's going to be a pretty tough game," Stiles told reporters in Brisbane on Monday. "Round One games are always physical and they can be momentum builders. 

"It is going to be a game where the Sharks will want to maul and play field position and prey on our errors. It is a blueprint that at the start of the year can be very successful."

The Reds have bolstered their squad with a number of signings ahead of this year's tournament and Stiles will have some of selection headaches.  

"We made some big signings with Stephen Moore, George Smith and Quade Cooper coming back. But to gel the squad together was going to be the challenge. 

"I was really happy when I watched us play in the [Brisbane Global] Tens and in the trial against the Rebels you saw a side that was playing as a team because you can't win anything as an individual and I reckon the chemistry in the team is looking really positive at this point in time."

Stiles added: "If you look at the back row we have Scott Higginbotham, Leroy Houston, Hendrik Tui, Adam Korczyk, George Smith and Caleb Timu, who is returning from injury. 

"It is a very deep roster in the back row and just to get the balance right is the big thing for me at the moment.

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10