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Reds look for perfect storm to finish in Super finals contention

Finals dreaming ... a perfect win over the Waratahs may still not be enough to get the Reds to the finals.

Finals dreaming ... a perfect win over the Waratahs may still not be enough to get the Reds to the finals. Photo: Getty Images

TEAMS spend season upon season chasing the ''perfect game''; a night where everything touched turns to solid gold and moments of blind luck masquerade as pure genius.

Unfortunately for the Queensland Reds, even if they do attain a state of rugby bliss against a state they love to beat more than any other - NSW - it might not be enough to earn them a place in the Super Rugby finals.

Beating the Waratahs is generally reward in itself for the Reds and there's rarely a game that doesn't provide a talking point for the next. But this time, there won't be a next game for Queensland if they don't win going away and other results don't conspire to come to their aid.

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has watched his side lift itself from a form slump compounded by long-term injuries to key players and enter the final round on a five-game winning streak and a chance of playing in the post-season. To do that, they need a bonus point win over the Waratahs and hope one of the four teams above them (Brumbies, Crusaders, Sharks and Bulls) drop a home game to lesser opponents (Blues, Force, Cheetahs and Lions).

As they did before beating the Highlanders, a win will be the priority; the bonus point an added extra.

''You go out there to play well. You go out there to try and play your best football,'' McKenzie said. ''As a byproduct of that, you might score four tries. You might score eight tries if you play really well. But to start with the four tries and work backwards usually ends in tears.''

McKenzie is under no illusion as to what level the Reds need to reach if they are to tear up the Tahs, who are travelling terribly but always lift for the interstate derby.

''What we need is the perfect game this weekend to ensure we get the best ladder position possible,'' he said. ''One thing I can guarantee is we haven't played the perfect game yet. It's still ahead of us. This weekend would be very timely.''

Rob Simmons (cork) remains in doubt for the Reds but Digby Ioane (pneumonia) and Liam Gill (hamstring) are in contention to play.

With the stoic Beau Robinson continuing to play through the pain of a foot injury, the return of Gill would be a huge boost to a Reds side who had to endure a battering at the breakdown from the Highlanders before escaping with a tense 19-13 win.

Post-injury Quade Cooper looked a better player than the pre-injury version on Friday night, with his game management and deft kicks adding to his great feet and supersonic passing. He believes the big-game experience of last year will ensure the Reds have an edge over the Tahs in what will be the biggest game of Super Rugby in Brisbane since last year's grand final.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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