Braid given extra time by Reds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Braid given extra time by Reds

By Jim Morton 27/03/2009 06:19:43 PM Comments (0)

Queensland have granted Daniel Braid a two-week deadline extension as they aim to convince the former All Black to remain a Red with their first back-to-back wins in three years.

The Reds face the Waikato-based Chiefs in what shapes as the Super 14 match of the round at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night when Braid goes head-to-head with friend and NZ Maori teammate Tanerau Latimer.

Braid, like fellow open-side flanker Latimer for the Chiefs, has been a relatively unsung hero for the young and improving entertainers after signing as their marquee import on a two-year deal with an option in his favour after one.

The Queensland Rugby Union were always of the understanding Braid would look to take up a bigger offer in the northern hemisphere in late 2009.

But the Auckland product has indicated he's seriously considering staying at Ballymore in 2010 despite strong interest from clubs in Europe.

To help Braid make the right decision, the QRU has extended the deadline to activate his get-out option from the end of March by another fortnight.

"We'd be mad if we didn't give him a little bit more time," said QRU high-performance manager Ben Whitaker.

"We went into (the deal) knowing he'd be sought after and it's good to know that he wants a little bit more time because it shows he's definitely looking at staying.

"He's enjoying the challenge and the change and I think the fact we're playing reasonably good footy is a bit of a bonus really."

Perennial battlers Queensland haven't won successive Super 14 matches since they overcame South African teams the Lions and Bulls in 2006.

The momentum gained from the last-start 25-13 upset of the Sharks hasn't been hampered by last week's bye but the Chiefs 63-34 thumping of the Blues means they will again be underdogs.

The match has been dubbed the battle of the entertainers but it's defence which is more likely to decide the result.

Braid and tough-tackling centre Berrick Barnes are the Reds flagbearers in defence and Latimer is driven to bring his mentor down.

"I guess he has been part of my development," the 22-year-old said.

"It's like the teacher versus the `young un' - I'll be looking to get one up on him."

Reds coach Phil Mooney wants 60 minutes of tough toil from skipper and influential lock James Horwill in his comeback from foot surgery but hasn't ruled out an unlikely full game.

"He had a shoulder recon a few years ago and the first game back went 80 (minutes)," Mooney said.

"So we know he's a great athlete. Hopefully with a bit of adrenalin and us on a bit of a roll he can go the 80."

Like the Reds, the Chiefs are also searching for consistency with skipper Mils Muliaina demanding his team learn from 2008 when they wilted to seventh after being the form team of the competition with three rounds to play.

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