Reds expect Latham to take on Chiefs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds expect Latham to take on Chiefs

By Michael Crutcher 06/03/2003 07:33:26 PM Comments (0)

The Queensland Reds, fired up by taunts from New Zealand media, expect to retain attacking spark Chris Latham for Saturday's crucial Super 12 clash with the Chiefs in Hamilton.

Latham was almost sent home after suffering knee and eye injuries in last Saturday's loss to the Crusaders but the try-scoring specialist has made a rapid recovery and trained on Thursday.

The Reds have been surprised at the barbs directed at them after losing to last year's finalists ACT Brumbies and the Crusaders.

They were highlighted last night by a local commentator who said the Wallabies wouldn't reach the World Cup quarter-finals later this year according to the form of the Australian Super 12 teams.

"It's disappointing that some people have dropped off us so quickly because we only just lost to the Brumbies and then we lost in Christchurch where visiting teams haven't won for about three years," Reds flanker Matt Cockbain said.

"But I remember when the Wallabies were described as `soft' so it's something you get every now and then.

"Things haven't come together for us and we know we have plenty of work ahead but we're going out to give it a real shake this weekend."

Sports bookmakers have no faith in the Reds, posting them at the surprising odds of $2.65 to beat a Chiefs team ($1.45) that failed against a 14-man Blues outfit last weekend.

Queensland's quote is generous considering it has 12 Wallabies in the squad, including the quick-healing Latham.

The 27-year-old has received extensive physiotherapy this week and is likely to chime into a backline needing to regain direction and venom after a sloppy performance against the Crusaders.

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