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Thread: Super 14, 2008- Reds

  1. #1
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    Super 14, 2008- Reds

    In no particular order our next entrant for contemplation is the Queensland Reds.

    Form from 2007
    The question I pose to the Queensland Reds in 2008 is can it really get any worse? The Reds were wooden spooners in season 07 and weren't much better the year before. To make matters worse they double bodeyed the ARC with both teams fighting not to be the biggest losers from the biggest losers. Sorry Reds fans. In fairness though John Connolly did select absolutely every Reds player who showed any form of skills for the Wallabies so that was telling. Truth be told its sad to see a place which has such a history of magnificent players falling on its knees in recent years. Fear not though Reds fans I smell a change in the wind.

    Comings and Goings
    The Reds haven't seemed to have lost too many players- the only major departure is Mitchell Chapman who has been an impressive lock/blindside for the Reds in the last 2 years. Ben Tune has also finally retired but he was terminally injured anyway so noone will notice.

    On the ins side the backline has been bolstered by the injection of Morgan Turinui, Digby Ioane and Brett Stapleton while Leroy Houston and Van Humphries are coming in for the forwards. Recruitment wise the Reds have done quite well considering how many of their players that were off contract.

    Players to watch out for
    I'll be looking very carefully at how Berrick Barnes works along side Morgan Turinui. Turinui will be looking at an inside centre berth and a strong leadership role with the aim of sharpening up the Reds backline. While he hasn't exactly been in sparkling form he is the steady and experienced head that will bring the best out of Barnes and keep him settled. Seeing as Lloyd Johanssen will be the likely outside centre he will bridge the gap there and provide a second go to man other than Chris Latham. With the return of Latham and Ioane in the mix the Reds back line looks the part on paper.

    It will be a big year for many of the Reds forwards. Rodney Blake and James Horwill will be pressing for Wallabies honours, yet the exciting new forward in the Reds mix is Leroy Houston. Australia lacks real depth at No 8 and Houston has the potential to be great. Unfortunately, he also has the potential to disappoint big-time so we'll have to see how he gets along. In recent times he has shown good decision making by escaping the sinking ship which I call the Waratahs (sorry Chook).

    Prospects for 2008
    The Reds were pretty damn unlucky in 2007. With the injuries they sustained, the lack of depth was made worse in a very youthful squad. If the Reds can keep a fit first choice 15 together they'll be looking at scoring a fair few wins. They'll have gained a lot of experience last year (of what not to do) and the return of Christ Latham and a fit front row (Holmes, Blake and Coutts were all injured for most of the Super 14) they'll be looking to climb at least a few rungs of the ladder. I'm predicting a 10th place finist, its not the greatest but its better than 14th- you've got to learn to walk before you can run.


    How does anyone else think the Reds will do? They've got a lot of potential in the backline that was severely lacking last year....

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    Veteran zimeric's Avatar
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    I had dismissed them untill i read this article.... they have so many really good players and a lot more depth this year.
    A glut of back line talent - Iaone, Barnes, Latham, Turinui, Cooper, Schifcofske & Walker (debateable) and some new boys in the wings that id love to see be offered a chance, Va'aulu, Siale, Lucas & Fetoai

    if their forward pack stand up and get counted then they will be a force (scuse the pun) this year
    i reckon a top 8 finish.

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    I reckon 7th is attainable, and on paper possibly even higher results are not unreachable. I just think the premise in QLD will be to rebuild this year and look to next year for success...

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    I think they were the were one of the unluckiest sides with injury. Their cupboard was bare in relation to front rowers and I think that was telling. I have a soft spot for the reds as they were my team before the force. I was a bit embarrassed for them when they played over here. I would like to see them improve and wish them all the best.

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    I think the Reds' fortunes for 2008 (Like every other team,and every other year) depend on their pack. As we found out against England, you can have the best backs in the World, but if the forwards don't win the ball, it counts for naught. Unfortunately, I think the Reds injury problems this year were symptoms,more than luck. A well managed squad with adequate depth can handle the few niggles that crop up in a season without putting undue stress on players. I don't think the Red's have a strong, deep roster of forwards, so they suffer more than others when (not if, let's face it, they,ve got Crofty, hardly an example of self preservation for the youngies to follow) injuries occur.

    I'd think they'll be lucky to pull themselves far out of the cellar, even with a fully fit team. Last with injuries, or 11 - 14 with a clean run.

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    They look better on paper and will improve, albeit from the cellar.I think they will be still bruised from 07. 11th for me.

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    Yeah, as a couple above have touched on, I reckon the Reds have a pretty handy 1st XV.
    Their main trouble is they have no depth in the face of injury.
    They have arguably the Wallaby Front Row, some great journeymen Backrowers and an electric Backline in waiting.
    Despite some public doubts they do have a reasonable tall brigade too, especially in Horwill, McMeniman and Humphries.
    I still disagree with the signings of Turinui this year and Walker last.
    I believe the ARU should have supported the Reds to have a full development year coming out of the Jones debacle and allow their young guns to bloom without pressures of over expectation.
    A couple of weeks in when some of the "stars" are injured we will see the like of Cooper, Genia and Fetoai introduced with the pressure still to make the finals rather than to just focus on good rugby as a new unit.
    To me a new Coach for 2008 had the ideal opportunity to strip the Squad right back to a couple of "stayers" (Latham, Roe, Croft and the Front Row) and to put your faith in a two to three year development program.
    The one area that AFL have over S14 is that they realise that you can't be in contention every year and that you do need to strip back to the bones and develop a new nucleus for longer term benefit.
    Maybe they need to get Sheeds in on an advisory contract...

    My expected 1st pick XV:

    1. Greg Holmes
    2. Stephen Moore
    3. Rodney Blake

    4. James Horwill
    5. Van Humphries
    6. Hugh McMeniman
    7. David Croft
    8. John Roe (C)

    9. Sam Cordingley
    10. Berrick Barnes
    11. Digby Ioane
    12. Morgan Turinui
    13. Lloyd Johansson
    14. Andrew Walker
    15. Chris Latham

    16. Sean Hardman
    17. Ben Coutts
    18. Ed O'Donoghue
    19. Leroy Houston
    20. Will Genia
    21. Chris Siale
    22. Clinton Schifcofske

    My choice development XV:

    1. Greg Holmes
    2. Stephen Moore
    3. Rodney Blake

    4. Hugh McMeniman
    5. James Horwill
    6. Leroy Houston
    7. AJ Gilbert
    8. John Roe (C)

    9. Will Genia
    10. Quade Cooper
    11. Digby Ioane
    12. Berrick Barnes
    13. Lloyd Johansson
    14. Brando Va'aulu
    15. Chris Latham

    16. Ole Avei
    17. Ben Daley
    18. Josh Afu
    19. David Croft
    20. Ben Lucas
    21. Charlie Fetoai
    22. Caleb Brown

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    I would have thought that from his U/19s experience if Phil Mooney has a long suit in anything it would be player development. I accidentally forgot to add the bit I had down for coaches in the Coming and Goings bit. He'll be good for the Reds though. He has intimate knowledge of many of the young players having coached many of them and I'd imagine he knows the value of keeping it simple too.

    Super 14 is an surprising competition especially where wooden spooners are concerned. In 2005 the wooden spoon went to the Sharks who went to 5th place (on points difference) the next year. In 2006 the spoon went to the Force who moved up to 7th the next year. There is a tendency (Lions/Cats excluded) for teams who hit rock bottom to bounce back up the next year.

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    That's true, but the Reds have been particularly good at occupying the bottom half of the table in the last five years, and that really has to do with depth. Now die-hard Reds fans will tell you it's because all their players are going west, but te fact of the matter is,they're just not staying in the north.......and the surf's better, the beer's colder and the chicks are sweeter over here!

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