Duncan Paiaiaua of the Queensland Reds in action against Bautista Ezcurra of the Jaguares  at Velez Stadium in Buenos Aires
Duncan Paiaiaua of the Queensland Reds in action against Bautista Ezcurra of the Jaguares at Velez Stadium in Buenos Aires DAVID FERNANDEZ

Reds brace for approaching Hurricanes

REDS lock Izack Rodda is in doubt and centre Leroy Houston is unlikely to be a reinforcement for their clash with the Super Rugby champions Hurricanes at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Rodda is being treated for an ankle injury which was subjected to a trans-Pacific flight after the 22-8 loss to the Jaguares in Argentina last weekend.

Houston was ruled out of that game with an eye injury suffered in a training accident in Argentina.

"I'm disappointed for Leroy. He's trained extremely hard and I was looking forward to giving him an opportunity against the Jaguares,'' Reds coach Nick Stiles said.

"He saw the specialist yesterday and early indications are he might miss this week. If he does, we hope it's one week (out).

"Izack is the main one in doubt (from the team that played). When you are 10 feet tall and come down from lineouts you have a habit of rolling your ankle and I don't know how bad Isaak's ankle is yet.''

Having last year beaten 2015 champions the Highlanders, Queensland's task if they want to to end a four-match losing streak is to see off last year's Super Rugby winners, the Hurricanes.

Reds centre Samu Kerevi made 15 runs in the loss to the Jaguares, but too many came late in the game when his team's cause was increasingly a longshot one and he was not overburdened with quality chances.

Flyhalf Jake McIntyre will have his second start during Quade Cooper's suspension and Stiles said he expected him to be "better for the outing''.

"It was definitely different (to playing alongside Cooper), but Jake brings his own type of game,'' Kerevi said.

"I was disappointed with my game and we need to get better individually.

"I am using my strengths when I need to but we are trying to use all our weapons as a team.''

 

Karmichael Hunt (R) of the Queensland Reds in action at Velez Stadium in Buenos Aires
Karmichael Hunt (R) of the Queensland Reds in action at Velez Stadium in Buenos Aires DAVID FERNANDEZ

Stiles said he was most unhappy with the number of missed tackles in the first half in Buenos Aires last Sunday, but also were practising to improve skill execution in attack when they play the Hurricanes.

"In the last 20 minutes I felt we had that game,'' Stiles said.

"That's where we are at. We didn't finish those moments.

"There are little aspects of our game we need to fix up or we will be talking about the same things in a few weeks' time.

"It's four straight losses, but the Crusaders game, we should have won, simple as that.

"You fly around the world for two games of rugby (in Johannesburg and Buenos Aires), it's an interesting competition.''

Asked if the vast scale of Super Rugby with Japan and Argentina teams was good for Australian rugby, Stiles said; "Super Rugby has been fantastic for Australian rugby.

"It's definitely at a point in time now when we need to assess things and the structure of the competition. People a lot brighter than me have sat down and worked out what they want to do. Like everyone else, I'm keen to hear of that direction.''

News Corp Australia


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