Reds to face Blues minus Roe, Cordingley - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds to face Blues minus Roe, Cordingley

29/04/2008 04:30:52 PM Comments (0)

No John Roe, no Sam Cordingley and no Chris Latham.

The Queensland Reds had every reason to be glum after their key trio were ruled out of Friday night's Super 14 clash against the Blues at Suncorp Stadium.

But the Reds not only had a spring in their step at training, they were rewarded with chocolate cake at the end of the session.

While the sweets were for birthday boy, former Wallabies prop Rodney Blake, Reds coach Phil Mooney said there was plenty more to celebrate in the lead-up to the Blues clash.

Mooney should have been kicking stones after Roe succumbed to a shoulder injury sustained in last round's gutsy loss to the Chiefs.

It opened the door for backrower Scott Higginbotham, 21, to make his starting debut against the Blues.

If that wasn't enough, skipper Cordingley (calf) was told he needed another week's rest.

And Wallabies fullback Latham's return from a knee injury was postponed until next weekend's home clash against the Crusaders.

However, Mooney could only talk up the Reds' prospects.

Buoyed by their performance against heavyweights the Chiefs, Mooney was confident Reds rugby was entering a "new generation".

"On the weekend we arguably played our best football in a few years," he said.

"We draw a lot of confidence from that performance. We are certainly heading in the right direction.

"We just need to be more clinical with our finishing. Generally speaking the style of play is starting to fall into place.

"Our style of game has slowly evolved this year. We are certainly getting closer to where we want to be."

Mooney said he would love nothing more than upsetting his good mate - Blues coach David Nucifora - and spoiling the Auckland team's finals chances.

"That's certainly one of the goals," he said.

"We were happy against the (Western) Force, almost got there against the Chiefs so it would be nice to sink one into the Blues."

Digby Ioane has earned a starting spot against the Blues ahead of Brando Va'aulu while fellow winger Peter Hynes (ankle), scrumhalf Ben Lucas (knee) and reserve scrumhalf Will Genia (ankle) were all cleared to play.

The Reds are still sweating on the future of Blake and Clinton Schifcofske who have been linked to European clubs, and hope to re-sign Quade Cooper by next weekend.

Queensland (10th; 3-6-1 record) will begin a run of three straight home games against the Blues (8th; 5-5).

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