Former Reds and Wallabies coach John Connolly believes that the "stars have aligned" and the Queensland franchise can end their 16-year wait for a Super Rugby title this season.
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Connolly guided the Reds to their last triumph in 1995 when the team won the Super 10, and was the first Reds coach in the professional era in 1996 going on to coach Australia at the 2007 World Cup in France.
The massive encounter between the Stormers and the Crusaders this weekend could play into the advantage of the Reds according to Connolly, as the winner will come out of a tough physical battle and may struggle in the final as a result.
"Those two teams may be playing their grand final this weekend, so the stars might be aligning for Queensland,'' Connolly told AAP.
"It is still hard work [to win a title from No.1] and you need a bit of luck but, having said that, we have a very real chance. I'd be preferring to be in our position than anyone else's."
Connolly was also quick to praise the Crusaders season, after the side had an incredible run of form amidst a string of injury concerns and while playing without a home ground.
"There's no doubt you need a bit running for you and playing one of those teams coming out of Africa is difficult," Connolly explained when asked about the Crusaders chances on Saturday.
"The Crusaders' performance to date has been miraculous. Having never played at home, to have been to England and played, and now off to South Africa - I don't know if they can get over that hurdle to be perfectly honest.
"After their first couple of games, they played a month where they played the best rugby from a Super Rugby team ever before being hit down by injuries... It's a phenomenal effort."
Before the Reds can consider their opponents in the final they still have to content with the Blues this weekend, and Connolly should be wary of counting his chickens.
However, the wily old mentor is adamant that the halfback pairing of Will Genia and Quade Cooper will give the Reds a distinct advantage over the Blues, who have Alby Mathewson and Stephen Brett in the crucial No.9 and No.10 jerseys.
"I think Queensland have such a decisive advantage at nine and ten, as it was a month ago, and it will probably be too much for Auckland to overcome," he said.
"They made the difference that night and were clearly superior in game management and everything else, and I suspect it won't change."
He also cited the injury to Blues lock Anthony Boric as a factor that will count against the men from Auckland this weekend.
"I don't know how well, with Boric out, how the Blues can launch their attack from the line-outs," he said.
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