Watch Reds vs Rebels Live Stream - Friday 26 February 09:45

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Friday 26 February 09:45

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SUPER RUGBY ROUND 2

QUEENSLAND REDS VS MELBOURNE REBELS

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 26, 6.45 PM, SUNCORP STADIUM, BRISBANE

After suffering through still another lockdown the Rebels season finally gets underway, as they make the trip to the hallowed turf of Suncorp Stadium, to take on the white-hot Reds to kickstart round 2.  Queensland were insatiably hot against the old enemies, the NSW Waratahs, last weekend running up a 41-7 score, to start their season in stunning fashion, and at the same time making a statement to the Brumbies, who won their first game, as they look to defend the title.  Melbourne were buoyed by their Finals appearance last season in the 5-team competition, and will be confident of improving or at least matching their efforts of 2020.  Following round 1, Queensland are now $2.80 to win the title, while Melbourne are 3rd favourite at $7.50, with the Brumbies still favourites at $2.20.  Early 20’s temperatures are predicted for this game, in what has been sweaty weather in the area lately; a light wind without much hope of any rain is forecast.

After serving his ban, before donning a Red’s jersey, multiple premiership winning former Storm winger, who has now converted to Union will debut on the bench for Queensland.  Taniela Tupou’s relegation to the bench only lasted the one week, as the towering prop is slated to start for Queensland in this game, while Nasser is named on the pine also, as is Sam Wallis.  Former Brumby, recruited in the off-season by Melbourne, starts in the halves for his new club, while To’omua is the captain this season, and Hodge is given the inside centre position.  Melbourne will look to gun forwards like Faamausili, Hosea and hooker Uelese to lead the way, while Pincus is another key position player at the back, along with Korobeite another former Storm player, on the wing.

In the corresponding fixture last season, albeit at Brookvale in Sydney, these teams played out one of the games of the season, and could not be split, recording an 18-18 draw, thanks to Reds half O’Connor landing a conversion on the fulltime siren.  When they met in Brisbane, for the return fixture, in August, the Reds touched up the Rebels, recording a 19-3 win, keeping them try-less in the process, as they carried on good form and ultimately went to the Grand Final, losing to the Brumbies.  Queensland are handicapped at -13 for this game, following their demolition of NSW, and are strong favourites to win with odds of $1.17, while Melbourne are not close to them in the market at $5.50.  Expect a lively encounter, although some fatigue will surely settle in late, as the oppressive conditions take their toll on players, especially Melbourne in their first game of the season.

PREDICITON: Reds by about 15.

BETTING TIP: $1.80 is a bit chalky for Queensland to win by 13+, but if you think the Rebels can restrain them to less, $2.75 is attractive.