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Saturday 08 August 11:15

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AUSTRALIAN RUGBY ROUND 6

NEW SOUTH WALES WARATAHS VS QUEENSLAND REDS

SATURDAY AUGUST 8, 7.15 PM, SCG, SYDNEY

Queensland head south of the border, perhaps begrudgingly, due to the Covid-19 pandemonium in Sydney and further south, on a mission to record their 3rd win of the tournament and keep NSW well out of reckoning, as they have just 1 win to date.  Queensland scared the Brumbies last weekend losing by just 2, in a gallant effort at GIO stadium, in cold conditions, whereas the Waratahs were left simmering as they had the bye.  Prior to that, they were dreadful against the Rebels when they lost 29-10 at this venue, leaving them looking up to the league in 4th position, and now in desperate need of a win to have any hope of rising.  Wet even stormy conditions await these teams in Sydney at game-time, leaving a battle of the Forwards the more likely style of Rugby.

The Tahs have made several changes after the hiding dished out by Melbourne a fortnight ago, with Cotton, Talakai and Nawaqanitawase all out of the side as well as either Holloway or Staniforth.  A big inclusion for NSW is Foketi who will play Outside Centre, while Tuala, Bell and Sinclair are all new additions to the bench.  Queensland have lost Fotuaika and Ryan Smith as well as Chris Feauai-Sautia for this clash, a vital clash, but look in good shape as only Feauai-Sautia was a starter, and he is replaced by exciting prospect Petaia.  Also coming onto the bench are debutant Nonggoor a giant Gold Coast product, Tualima a 23-year old Kiwi Flanker and outside Back Flook a sophomore in the Reds system.

Queensland got the job done at Suncorp Stadium to open this competition when the teams last met, winning 32-26 in a scruffy encounter, understandably after the length Covid-19 layoff.  That victory was the first for Queensland against their archenemy in 7 years, which will surely motivate the Reds to turn the tables and record a long painful streak reversing the trend, with their wealth of youngsters leading the way.  Indeed the Reds are $1.50 favourites to do just that, while NSW are $2.70, despite a margin prediction of just a try.  Queensland have everything to play for as they look to keep the pressure on the Brumbies, while NSW ought to be desperate to record any kind of win, as they are in need of such to stay near their rivals.

PREDICTION: Queensland to continue the miserable competition for the Tahs winning by 10.

BETTING TIP: $2.60 is nice odds for the Reds to win by 1-12.