Reds looking for consistency and another win

DESPITE their season being long over, Queensland Reds captain James Slipper said his team would strive for consistency when it takes on the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium tonight.

The second-last placed outfit will have an opportunity to record back-to-back wins for the first time in what has been a disappointing campaign, following last Friday night's 46-29 win over the Rebels.

"We put in a good effort on the weekend and it's about replicating that," Slipper said.

"We're an organisation that strives for consistency and this is a good opportunity to prove that."

Slipper said coaching consultant John Connolly had already made his mark on the franchise, with his influence helping the team to its big win over the Rebels, following its 58-17 thrashing by the Crusaders.

"With the mentality we went into that last game with, it was basically a lot on defence and that helped our attack," he said.

Slipper said he was relieved the team had the rare luxury of fielding an unchanged line-up for the clash against a big South African team, which has also struggled this year.

"They (the Sharks) have had a similar season to us - a lot of injuries and suspension - but they've got a lot of great players," he said.

"Their scrum's pretty powerful and they've got an experienced Springbok front row."

Slipper said star five-eighth Quade Cooper had been close to returning from a fractured scapula, and would hopefully be back against the Western Force in Perth next Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs will host the Bulls in tonight's other game in Rotorua.

The Chiefs picked up some injuries from last week's 22-18 loss to pacesetters the Hurricanes.

Mitchell Graham will start at loose-head prop, and Michael Fitzgerald has been bracketed with former All Blacks player Ross Filipo at lock.

Bulls halfback Rudy Paige (knee ligament sprain) and winger Francois Hougaard (left quad) are expected to return from injury.


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