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Wallabies to ride on Reds’ success – Coach Robbie Deans says the Wallabies can benefit from the Red’s momentum in the same manner in which the Springboks benefited from the Bulls winning the 2007 Super 14.
The Reds are set to top the log, and recently made a massive statement in beating the tournament favourites, the Crusaders. Deans has taken heart from that performance and hopes the success of the Queensland outfit will translate to the national team.
‘Somewhere along the line, you have to get started and that’s what we’re witnessing here,’ Deans said. ‘We talked about it prior to the season commencing being an important element. We have got to build momentum and we have to build belief and that’s what we’re witnessing in the Reds’ game.’
Good temperament has also been crucial to the Reds in 2011, and Deans reiterated that the Wallabies need to be sharper in this department.
‘The critical thing is that the Reds were able to do was build pressure to warrant that response. The Reds took an awful lot of pressure [in the match], but still had enough in the tank in the end to produce some pressure of their own and was rewarded for that. It had everything and both sides gave it their all and it was a great insight into what’s coming but, most importantly, it was great to see the Reds go toe-to-toe and stand up.’
Mafi in for Cummins – Alfie Mafi will replace Nick Cummins for Friday’s meeting with the Highlanders. It’s the only change to Richard Graham’s starting line-up.
Force – 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Alfie Mafi, 13 Pat Dellit, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 David Smith, 10 James Stannard, 9 Mark Swanepoel, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe (c), 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Tim Fairbrother, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Kieran Longbottom.
Subs: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Matt Dunning, 18 Tom Hockings, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Chris Cottee, 21 Mitch Inman, 22 Nick Cummins.