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Super Rugby: Reds could struggle to stop Highlanders charge

Queensland Reds face a tough test on Friday night as they prepare to face the Highlanders in Dunedin.

The Highlanders have won all of their last five meetings against the Reds and the visitors will have to produce one of their performances of the season to get a result at Forsyth Barr Stadium. 

Highlanders can build on dramatic Rebels win

WhatHighlanders v Reds
WhereForsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
When19:05, Friday 26th May 2023
How to watchStan Sport
OddsHighlanders 1.44, Reds 2.87

Needing a last-gasp penalty to avoid defeat to a struggling Rebels side last time out, the Highlanders might have well been given a much-needed reminder they can’t be off the pace if they are to chase down the playoff places. 

Coach Riki Flutey will have seen these home games against the Rebels and the Reds as must-win matches if the Reds are to stand a chance of making the postseason. 

It’s set to be an emotional occasion at Forsyth Barr Stadium with scrum-half Aaron Smith set to play his last home game for the Highlanders before making the move to Japanese outfit Toyota Verblitz. 

Smith has been a great servant to the Highlanders over the years, since making his senior debut for the club back in 2011. 

Now at the age of 34, Smith is taking on a final chapter of his career in Japan and the New Zealand scrum-half will be looking to go out on a high with the Highlands. 

The hosts will want to get the win for Smith and are 1.44 to get the job done against the Reds on Friday night. 

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Reds looking to stop the run 

A five-game losing streak against the Highlanders is the longest losing run from either side in the history of this fixture. 

Head coach Brad Thorn, who had a brief spell with the Highlanders as a player, will be looking to mastermind a win on the road against his former employers. 

It will be no easy task for a Reds side that were beaten on home soil 45-26 by the Blues last time out. 

Thorn will be looking for inspiration from his side’s last trip to New Zealand as they pulled off one of the shocks of the season by inflicting the first defeat of the campaign on the Chiefs earlier this month. 

With the Highlanders looking to give Smith a happy send off in Dunedin, it’s hard to see the Reds coming away with the victory at 2.87

Looking at the Handicap market, the Highlanders look to be good value at 1.91 to win with -6 points.  

The average margin of victory has been 12 points in the Highlanders’ last five wins against the Reds and the hosts look capable of falling on the right side of the handicap on Friday night.

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