Reds ready to be clawed

The rubble Reds, minus impressive halfback Sam Cordingley, limp into Johannesburg ripe for a thrashing.

If they were facing any other opposition but the Cats, a hiding would be routine. But this is the Catastrophe, and the two remaining supporters of the Johannesburg outfit have painfully learnt that expectation is not a burden this side copes with.

Even so, even Ludeke’s side must be favourites to down a Reds side missing their most influential player.

In his stead, scrumhalf Josh Valentine is expected to step up and ensure that promising flyhalf Berrick Barnes receives adequate service.

“Josh brings really slick service at the scrum base as well as having a high rugby intellect and he’s another player that’s been waiting for his chance and we expect those players to stand up and take (those chances),” Reds assistant coach Damon Emtage told the Aussie media.

Valentine is one of two changes to the side that lost to the Sharks. The experienced Mark Conners replaces Mitchell Chapman in the second row.

REDS SIDE TO PLAY THE CATS

Drew Mitchell, Peter Hynes, Ben Tune, Julian Huxley, Caleb Brown, Berrick Barnes, Josh Valentine, John Roe (c), David Croft, Tom McVerry, James Horwill, Mark Connors, Rodney Blake, Sean Hardman, Greg Holmes. Res: Ole Avei, Anthony Mathison, Cameron Treloar, Mitchell Chapman, Nic Berry, Lloyd Johansson, Tim Atkinson.