A simple look at the form guide shows a story of polar opposites. The Reds have gone back to back, with a gritty comeback against the Sunwolves followed by a rousing performance last Sunday against the Brumbies. On the other hand the Rebels have dropped their last two, the first being a capitulation to the Lions (controversial penalty count noted) and a less controversial loss to the Sharks last week. On that basis, and given the travel, you would certainly be looking at the Reds as the favourites here.
Of course you then need to factor in the return to Queensland of that spurned figure, Cooper. Despite any public words to the contrary, only a fool would believe that Cooper will not have a massive chip on his shoulder and be keen to not only stick it to Thorn but stake his claims to a Wallaby redemption. Crowd reaction will be interesting, given two seasons ago, he along with the bulk of the team were being booed off the park, only for there to be an armchair revolution once it dawned on Queensland that the exile to Melbourne was to be a permanent one.
Looking back at past match-ups, it is split pretty evenly, with no one team having too much of an edge over the other. 2018 produced one win apiece- with the Reds winning the last encounter 37-23 in July.
The Reds have played the Rebels 15 times in Super rugby since 2011 and the Reds have won 10 matches and lost 5 matches.
Those 10 Super rugby victories give the Reds a record of winning 67% of their matches against the Rebels regardless of the venue.
This weekend the match will be played in Brisbane where the teams have met 7 times. In those 7 matches the Reds have won 5, and lost 2.
Those 5 wins give the Reds a record of winning 71% of their home matches against the Rebels. The average score when the Reds play the Rebels in Brisbane is : Reds 34 Rebels 20.
In the last five matches between these teams played in Brisbane they have alternated wins. The Reds won last so if history repeats itself the Rebels will win this weekend.
Average score: Reds 30 Rebels 22
Last five results
Fri, 06 Jul 2018 Reds v Rebels 37-23 Brisbane
Fri, 23 Feb 2018 Reds v Rebels 19-45 Melbourne
Sat, 13 May 2017 Reds v Rebels 29-24 Melbourne
Fri, 15 Jul 2016 Reds v Rebels 28-31 Brisbane
Sat, 12 Mar 2016 Reds v Rebels 23-25 Melbourne
Reds overall record against the Rebels
Played 15 , Wins 10 , Losses 5 , Draws 0
1. JP Smith ,2. Alex Mafi ,3. Ruan Smith ,4. Izack Rodda,5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto ,6. Angus Scott-Young ,7. Liam Wright ,8. Scott Higginbotham ,9. Tate McDermott ,10. Bryce Hegarty,11. Sefa Naivalu ,12. Samu Kerevi (c),13. Chris Feauai-Sautia ,14. Filipo Daugunu ,15. Hamish Stewart ,
Replacements : 16. Brandon Paenga-Amosa,17. Harry Hoopert ,18. Taniela Tupou,19. Harry Hockings ,20. Fraser McReight ,21. Moses Sorovi,22. Duncan Paia’aua ,23. Isaac Lucas
1. Tetera Faulkner,2. Anaru Rangi,3. Sam Talakai (Vice Captain),4. Matt Philip,5. Adam Coleman,6. Luke Jones,7. Angus Cottrell (Captain),8. Isi Naisarani,9. Will Genia,10. Quade Cooper,11. Marika Koroibete,12. Billy Meakes,13. Tom English,14. Jack Maddocks,15. Reece Hodge
Replacements : 16. Robbie Abel,17. Matt Gibbon,18. Jermaine Ainsley,19. Esei Ha’angana,20. Rob Leota,21. Michael Ruru,22. Campbell Magnay,23. Sione Tuipulotu
Match Officials and details
Date : Saturday 30 March
Venue : Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick Off local: 18:45 l
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Ref 1:Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 2:Marius van der Westhuizen
TMO :James Leckie