Caleb Timu is out after being sent off in a club game.
Caleb Timu is out after being sent off in a club game.

Reds’ plan floored by Timu punch

CALEB Timu has ruined the Reds' shrewd plan to unleash him as a fresh backrow weapon against the Melbourne Rebels by being sent off for punching in a club game.

The strong-running No. 8 had done everything right with two tries and several powerful runs for Souths on Saturday before trading punches with Sunnybank centre Nick Kepu.

Both players were red carded but Timu has also been left red-faced after the 46-14 win.

Playing the extra minutes in club footy, and giving him an extra rest day, was all aimed at sharpening him for a big effort against the Rebels at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The two-Test Wallaby will miss that game because, under Premier Rugby guidelines, he cannot play until his judiciary hearing next Monday night.

Too few players get an extra week added to a suspension under Law S, for stupidity, but there's a pretty strong case here.

As ever in footy, issues always seem to cluster in one position because Reds backrower Angus Scott-Young was in hot water for punching the head of Brumbies prop James Slipper on the bottom of a ruck 24 hours later.

Scott-Young was on Monday night fronting a SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee convened via video-conference at Ballymore to debate his post-match citing.


James Slipper with former Reds teammate Taniela Tupou (right) after their match.
James Slipper with former Reds teammate Taniela Tupou (right) after their match.

The committee watched footage of Scott-Young striking the back of Slipper's head with a clenched right fist late in the first half.

It's an unfortunate postscript to the confidence-boosting 36-14 win over the Brumbies because a third win in a row is so important for Saturday.

The sudden depletion of the Reds' backrow depth seems certain to force a standard tweak to the team to face flyhalf Quade Cooper and the Rebels.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto is likely to switch from lock to blindside flanker while young Harry Hockings, after two impressive games off the bench, would start at lock.

It's on the bench that the Reds will lose firepower to finish the game strongly in the final 25 minutes with no Timu.

Highly-rated Fraser McReight, who made a four-minute debut for the Reds on Sunday, or Adam Korczyk would likely come on to the bench as backrow cover against the Rebels.

The Queensland women's team will face the Brumbies at Ballymore in Sunday's Super W playoff for the right to face NSW in the final in Sydney on Sunday week.