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Super Rugby: Reds eyeing Hamilton upset

The Reds face a daunting task in the Super Rugby quarter-finals as they get set to face the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

It was the Chiefs who only suffered just one defeat in the entire regular season but that was against the Reds, who will be eyeing a real upset at FMG Stadium Waikato this weekend.

WhatChiefs v Reds
WhereFMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
When14:35, Saturday 10th June 2023
How to watchStan Sport
OddsChiefs 1.03, Reds 11.00

Thorn searching for heroic repeat 

What will give the Reds hope is that it was they who inflicted the Chiefs’ only loss of the campaign so far. Few gave the Reds a chance that afternoon on 22nd May but it was head coach Brad Thorn and his players who were left smiling after the full-time whistle following a 25-22 victory in Hamilton. 

Thorn will be looking for the same heroics this weekend as they seek a place in the semi-finals. The Reds have made three changes for Saturday’s game, with Tom Lynagh set to start at flyhalf and James O’Connor playing inside centre. 

A knee injury has ruled Hunter Paisami out of action, while Sef Fa’agase has been given the chance to start from the off. 

Considering they won on their last trip to Hamilton, the Reds with +22.5 in the Line market are worthy of consideration at 1.91.

Chiefs seek redemption 

After having their perfect winning record in the regular season spoiled in Hamilton by the Reds, the Chiefs will be looking for payback on their own patch this weekend. 

Head coach Clayton McMillan has gone with the settled side he has used throughout much of the campaign. 

McMillan says the focus has been getting their own game right on Saturday while also paying respects to the threats the Reds will bring to this quarter-final. 

“They were deserved winners in our last encounter where their tactical kicking game, ability to build high phase counts and greater desperation proved to be the difference,” he told the club’s website. 

McMillan added: “Notwithstanding the challenge the Reds bring, we have focused on ourselves this week and named a largely settled side. Having returned from Perth and navigating a shorter training week, we have removed a lot of clutter, understanding our players are at their best when they are clear on their roles and can play with freedom.”

Reds must prepare for Chiefs backlash 

The Chiefs have only won one of their last six finals games but are firm favourites to progress to the semi-finals this time around. 

That defeat to the Reds in May will have hurt McMillan and his side, so a backlash looks to be on the cards this weekend. 

Keep an eye out for Etene Nanai-Seturo in the Tryscorer market, with the winger available at 1.50 to score Anytime and 8.00 to bag the opening try of the contest. 

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