Queensland Reds on Hunt to tame Lions

Reds player Karmichael Hunt takes on the Crusaders at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane
Reds player Karmichael Hunt takes on the Crusaders at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane DAVE HUNT

KARMICHAEL Hunt says the Reds backline defence is set for their assignment of shutting down a Lions team boosted by the return of Springbok Rohan Janse van Rensburg.

Fullback Hunt has defended often in the line this season, with Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper standing in the No.15 position when the opposition has possession.

Hunt has throughout his football career set a high standard in his defence and the big Lions backline, including 109kg centre Janse van Rensburg, will take some controlling at Ellis Park, Johannesburg on Sunday morning (Australian time).

Janse van Rensburg did not travel to Argentina last weekend for his team's Super Rugby loss to the Jaguares due to his mother's death.


He had scored two of the Lions' eight tries the previous week in an eight-try pasting of the Waratahs in Round 2.

"Being from rugby league, it's natural to get off the line and look for shots,'' Hunt said.

"I'm trying to do my job, set the pace on defence so the boys outside me can be more aggressive. The Crusaders game was one of the better games for set piece defence and we have to be on our game as well against the Lions.

"In the defensive line I'm getting more traffic than at 15.''

The Reds, beaten after the siren by a Crusaders penalty goal last Saturday, arrived on a flight from Brisbane on Monday as they seek their second Super Rugby win of the season.

"If we hone our skills and learn from our mistakes, the results will be more favourable,'' Hunt said.

"The next two weeks, being on tour is a great opportunity for us to grow. We want to win both games (including the second against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday week). We can take confidence from the Crusaders game.''

Hunt said his association with Cooper was thriving as the flyhalf headed to the fourth game of his second Reds stint.

"From the moment he stepped back, he's been a leader and really helped my game on the field,'' he said.

"It's good to have him with the team again. We're two ex-Churchie boys and from New Zealand, so we have some similarities.''

Like Hunt, Reds flanker Adam Korczyk has experience now of playing rugby at altitude, as they will in Johannesburg.

"It was quite hard, playing last here. It was my second Super Rugby game and I played 78 minutes,'' Korczyk said. "I remember how heavily I was breathing at halftime.

"We have to get our preparation here right.

"The Lions were in the final last year and they are playing in front of a home crowd.''

Topics:  karmichael hunt queensland reds super rugby

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