Brumbies run away with win over the Waratahs - Green and Gold Rugby
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Brumbies run away with win over the Waratahs

Brumbies run away with win over the Waratahs

The Brumbies have jumped back to the top of the Super Rugby AU ladder after a 38-11 bonus point win over the Waratahs in Canberra to make it 6 wins in a row against their fierce rivals.

After a week of banter from Brumbies coach Dan McKellar, it was his players who did the talking tonight to end the ‘World Beating’ Waratahs streak at 2 games.

The match was evenly poised at 12-11 to the Brumbies at half time before the Brumbies took control in the second half and scored 26 points to nil in the 6 tries to 1 win with doubles to Tom Wright and Pete Samu led the Brumbies and the return of Nic White instrumental in the second half dominance.

The Match

With the conditions not favouring free flowing play early on as the sleet rolled in, both sets of forwards were in for a mountain of work and it was the Waratahs pack with the early points as they had all the territory and possession.

The Waratahs had an early statement of intent as they declined an early shot at penalty goal from a handy position and almost scored the opening try from the resulting lineout after 8 minutes, but Jack Dempsey knocked the ball on just before the try line.

The Brumbies were the first team on the board through a (let’s call it contentious) try to Ryan Lonergan with replays showing he was well in front of the kicker and even after a look from the TMO, was awarded the try with it deemed not clear and obvious.

Will Harrison got the Waratahs on the board with a penalty goal 5 minutes later, but it would be the Brumbies who would score next. The Waratahs did well to defend the maul 5 metres out but were then caught out wide with a brilliant cross field kick from Bayley Kuenzle with a perfect bounce for Andy Muirhead to dive over in the corner and a 12-3 lead after 25 minutes.

Another penalty from Harrison got the Waratahs back in the game as they enjoyed some better field position towards the back end of the half and they were rewarded with a well worked try down the left wing as Tom Horton found Jack Dempsey and he wouldn’t be denied a try this time to make it a 1 point game to the Brumbies at half-time.

Embed from Getty Images

The Brumbies started off the second half with a scrum penalty and from that launched a kick into the Waratahs 22 but instead of the usual rolling maul they worked it patiently until Irae Simone floated a pass out to Pete Samu on the left wing who got through one tackle to score the Brumbies third try of the night. Lonergan’s conversion made it an 8-point game.

Nic White came on at the 50-minute mark and made an immediate impact as his wide pass found the newly re-signed Tom Wright on the left wing and he reached out to score and Kuenzle’s conversion from the sideline made it 26-11.

Wright had his second 5 minutes later as man-of-the-match Simone found him again with a brilliant pass down the left wing again as the Waratahs set piece defence let them down with the game starting to get away from them.

Samu was lurking on the right wing and he scored a second as he evaded a number of would be tacklers to score his second try of the night with the TMO unable to find clear and obvious evidence of him touching the sideline. Keunzle’s sideline conversion added icing to the cake as the Brumbies ran out 38-11 winners and send a reminder that they are still in with a shot of claiming the Super Rugby AU title.

The Game Changer

Lucky it wasn’t the Lonergan try but the second half display from the Brumbies with 3 tries in 12 minutes and 4 in total too much for the Waratahs to overcome.


Irae Simone – With the absence of Noah Lolesio, he’s had to step up and take the pressure of Bayley Kuenzle and his second play making option has been a real bonus, along with his passing game tonight.

Wallaby Watch

Dave Rennie must have a tough task updating his PONI list on a weekly basis, but he would have liked what he saw tonight with both number 8’s Jack Dempsey and Pete Samu getting on the try scorer list and some nice Keiran Read-esque wide play. Irae Simone might not be on Rennie’s radar but he gave him some food for thought tonight. Michael Hooper played his heart out, as usual, for the Waratahs but couldn’t do it all himself tonight.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Tries: Wright 2, Samu 2, Lonergan, Muirhead
Conversions: Lonergan 2, Kuenzle 2
Tries: Dempsey

Penalties: Harrison 2



  • UTG

    Geez, Brumbies were very good. Tahs frantic and all over the place, at least they kept trying till the end.

    Well done to McKellar making those changes and backing his side to get it done.

  • Steve

    Thanks for the quick write up Steve and great to see the second half dominance. Great to see Whitey back on the park.

    Some of the reffing was pretty horrendous tonight, thankfully it didn’t decide the game but tough to know what they’re thinking about sometimes.

    How is Irae Simone not in the (theoretical) test conversation? I’d definitely be looking at JOC/Toomua as my starters but buggered if I wouldn’t have him pretty close for 12.

    Also happy that we are seeing some genuinely good 6/8s across the teams… now we just need some 4/5s…

    • Brisneyland Local

      Simone did look good didnt he. The poor old no 9 had a bad start to the evening and was being heavily targetted by the Tahs. Distribution looked faster and crisper when Nic White came on.
      Rennie has some genuine selection quandries moving forward. It is a good position to be in. But 4/5 will be the challenge.

    • idiot savant

      The TMO should’ve gone to Spec Savers. And Angus’s scrum adjudications continue to mystify me as they appeared to mystify all the front rowers.

  • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

    Disappointing second half by the Tahs, but the brumbies just kicked away. The Tahs are probably where the Reds were two years ago, with a young side each week can be a lottery.

    I think it is time, from a sports psychology stand point to drop the Waratahs name. You can’t be surprised if a team named after a pretty flower, play like a pretty flower and wilt like a pretty flower. Sure, when in bloom it’s great but the bloom ends and stops being a flower and goes back to being an ordinary green shrub.

  • Hoss

    Hope the Tah’s got to Fishwyck before the game so the trip wasn’t a total loss – cheap fireworks and quality pornography at discount prices to make the trip worthwhile.

    McKellar showed his coaching smarts and out-though the Tah’s setup and the Ponies just rolled on. And somebody needs to do a DNA test on the guy claiming to be Gus Gardner – reckon its a ringer, either that or a Nigel Owens is giving him tips, man is he out of form.

    For the record – go the reds, watching the brumbies play is like watching a serial killer smother a puppy. You know what’s coming and it’s slow, inevitable and horrible to witness.

    • Reports they had trouble scoring there too…

      • Hoss

        Reports suggest they were about too, but the opposing 9 was up the stairs, in the room, with his shirt off and half ready while the Tah’s were in the foyer, TMO ruled it wasn’t ‘clear and obvious’ that the 9 was offside…….

    • Brumby Runner

      Hoss, judging from your regular comments about the Brumbies, I’m starting to think your homestead is called the ponderous-osa.

      • Hoss

        Edited my original piece to finish with a positive…….

        • Yowie

          I’m surprised that Disney movies use “puppy murdering” as the plot-driving threat from the villain rather than as the uplifting ending.

    • Steve

      Haha that one got a genuine laugh Hoss!

      Tahs have potential but still a long way to go. I know it’s a cliché to say it but without a bit more grunt up front it’s going to be tough.

      I know his name is taboo now, but 2013 Tahs weren’t a consistently winning side but you could tell something was brewing. I don’t get that feeling just yet.

      • Too Little Too Late

        Maybe I’m too much of an optimist but even though the Tahs were blown off the park tonight, there is so much to enjoy about Aussie Rugby.
        Both games this weekend showcased great footy by 15 man teams.
        Aggressive and abrasive 9’s, strong set piece (ignoring the line out) , slick handling (even in the wet). Props running wild , loosies tip toeing the line. Solid goal kicking, committed defence. A pleasure to watch
        Maybe it’s the Aussie only games and therefore no external scale, but I would have bought this a year ago when optimism was at a low.
        DR must be licking his lips to get his hands on 30 guys busting to play for the Wallabies.

        • Steve

          Don’t disagree with that at all TLTL. Only negative for me was the quality of the reffing.

          I see a lot of commentators on the *other site* claiming this shows the death of Aus rugby, but for me Super AU has been thoroughly enjoyable and has the promise of a good competition.

          For mine it would also make the NRC teams more relevant if the Super rugby market is genuinely local.

        • Too Little Too Late

          I agree about the reffing, it’s a bit odd to see Angus Gardener all at sea.

          There is one TMO who seems to pre empt the contentious calls and reviews before he’s asked to . Speeds the game up and should be the standard

          I’m trying to be nothing but positive about Aussie Rugby, after the last few years. I’m with famous philosophers Yazz “the only was is up”

        • UTG

          Gardner as the senior ref in the competition seems to want to stamp his authority on everything. The younger refs have much more sense for the flow of the game.

        • Nutta

          To that end, I thought the guy on Friday night did well.

        • Funny isnt it, Refs always seem ok when the onlookers have no skin in the game.
          Maybe we’re all just biased after all.

        • Nutta

          Likely. And I didn’t have that much against AG either in that whilst I disagreed with a few of his rulings, the reffing mistakes went both ways I thought (and yes that 1st Donkeys try was an offside) and more importantly they did not influence the overall outcome of the game. I think it was Wayne Bennett I once heard mutter after a game in-which the outcome was decided by a late controversial penalty that cost the Boncos the game “Our job is to win footy matches. That means beat the opponent. If we had really been winning the game then they were beat and that one penalty means nothing. We didn’t do our job. That’s that.”

        • Ya, very rare a ref wins or loses a game.
          I must take you to task with your offside call though.
          I’m sure it was clearly onside , just you know, “those Tahs supporters”.

        • Nutta

          Wife and I call those ‘Slater on-sides’ referencing that state of origin offside try from Billy Slater in 2004 I think it was. If I recall it was ruled on-side because Slaters back heel was in-line with the tip of the ball as it extended from the tip of Darren Lockyer’s boot as he grubber’d. Therefore he was not ‘in-front’ of the kicker. Therefore he was not off-side. They changed the rules of off-side in Mungo after that one. For the situation here, unless I’m mistaken, once the Ref rules on-field try (based on the grounding more than anything else) then the TMO must have clear and incontrovertible evidence that the decision is wrong to intervene as otherwise the Ref’s on-field call stands. Clearly they felt the evidence was not clear and incontrovertible otherwise.

          Whatever. It did not change the overall game which is good.

        • All one can ask for really.
          Interesting times if they ever find the exact balance on TMO rulings.
          Just happy it wasn’t at the final whistle with the scoreline 20 apiece.

        • In fairness to Gardner he asked for the TMO to check offside and was told there was no clear and obvious offside without being shown a replay to judge for himself.

          Makes it faster, yes. Made for a terrible decision by the TMO though.

          In NZ and the NH you see the whole of the refereeing team watch the replays and the referee on the pitch makes the ultimate decision, with advice from the rest of the group. If there’s not a consensus first time, they’ll go back and watch it again. It definitely makes it slower, but I think you get better decisions, which is surely the point of the TMO?

          The NH tends to go for every possible view still, where Australia takes one view, says that’s clear and gives a decision, which I like. So you need a balance between more eyes on, but less different camera views I think.

          I had no skin in that game, and I really couldn’t believe it when the TMO said no clear and obvious offside.

    • Timbo

      Sadly there are no more fireworks. Plenty of smut tho. Most of it scat considering the dog shit the Tahs were peddling.

    • Nutta

      I heard someone say the other day that the Donkeys were the ultimate cliche of a politician; you know what they are going to do, you hope they don’t, but they do, and they keeping winning. But seriously though, to score a half dozen tries (and not 1 from a rolling maul) in those conditions, with that many personnel changes, speaks of a team with much more than 1 arrow in their quiver.

    • idiot savant

      Ha ha. A bit like watching any kiwi side. If it wasn’t for the PI invention of counter attack, you’d fair dinkum turn off most kiwi matches. Youre right, the coaching, game plan, and execution was effective. Simone was critical and once again the dual playmaker system allows a full game plan to be executed. Simone was a key and on the other side the Tahs really missed Khunt. The Brums had the distribution skills to go wide fast which accounted for 4 tries. Maddocks and Newsome are flaky in defence and got found out and Ramm is inexperienced and had too much to do. I think the last couple of games has hurt Maddocks gold chances. Work to do on some solidity there. 15 could be a problem for the Wallabies. No one is killing it.

      But how good is Tom Horton? That run, body fend, sidestep and offload was ridiculous. Where has this guy been hiding? I know he made some mistakes as the game wore on which youd expect from a young fella but geez there’s some talent there. I look at Ramm and Horton who’ve essentially been developing in Shute Shield and can see the argument why the NRC isn’t necessary to bring on talent. These guys have got green and gold stamped on them. I would be too worried about that result, it will only spur the young blokes to be better. This Tahs side, if they can play with full confidence, can beat anybody and in two years will be Australian champions.

      • Brumby Runner

        I wouldn’t put any hard earned on that proposition IS. As good as they may be, I reckon the Reds will be ascendant in two years time but both their fates will depend largely on keeping their rosters in one piece. The rumours are that they might be in pieces after the end of this year.

        • idiot savant

          Yeah youre right we will have to wait and see how many leave for bigger dollars overseas. Im thinking almost none of the next generation will leave and there is more talent to come through. If Hoops left, Tizzano is probably ripe to step up. But they will probably also lose Hanigan, Simmons, Dempsey, and possibly their 2 starting props. If this happens it might take another season to get to the top! Need to recruit locks and centres.

    • Alister Smith

      my upvote is for the “serial killer smother a puppy” line

  • Timbo

    Hooray! We suck again!

    Not as bad as Gardner and Co. but fairly badly. Tom Wright, while a talented footballer, needs to curb the Mungo prat attitude. Best thing AG did all night was give him a dressing down. How there wasn’t an offside call during that 14phase pick and drive play by the Tahs, I don’t know. The Brums were on a fine line all night and realistically after the ‘try’ from Lonergan, Gardner should have been checking their ‘take a step’ at every opportunity. But not to be

  • laurence king

    Yes the Brumbies looked very good but who made them look good. The Tahs were a bit like Ginger Rodgers with Fred Astair. Ginger was with Fred all the way but backwards and in high heels.

  • Jason

    Michael Hooper played his heart out, as usual, for the Waratahs but couldn’t do it all himself tonight.

    Hooper was completely anonymous?! His stats show this: 7 run meters on 3 runs and 10 tackles… that is all. But for him giving the ref the stink eye, I didn’t even noticed Hooper being on the field until the second half. And if I remember correctly he had only made 3 tackles in the first half.

    • UTG


      7 runs for 18m. Game high 11 tackles. 1 turnover.

      At least get the stats right in your weekly anti-Hooper tirades.

      • Jason

        Applogies it was 2 passes, 7 runs and 18 meters along with 11 tackles. No turnovers listed. But I’d point out those stats are often updated after a match review etc.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Presently he is not our best 7 let alone our best Captain.

      • Nutta

        Now you know I’m no Hooper fan-boy, but that steal was gold and likely a try-saver and the intercept he took among short-passing Donkey forwards was all class. But I think the Qld’ers have the backrow under a bit of a mortgage at the moment as a unit. Individually though, Valentine & Nisi will feature in there somewhere come Wobbs selection.

        • Brisneyland Local

          After watching Pete Samu last night there, it is apparent with have rich vein of form there in the back row. It is the second row that worries me a little. Front row we have an ambarrasment of riches. We have at least 3 good 9’s, and 2 good 10’s. And our fairies we have plenty to choose from in very good form.

        • Nutta

          Pete Samu is a bloody unlucky guy. He’s not a 7 and we have 2 very good 7’s in Wright & Hooper. He’s not the basher of a dominant 6 and he will be battling both Valentini & Swindon (I believe) there. And at 8 he’s fighting Nisi & Harry Wilson (I believe). So if not a specialist that means generalist and that still leaves both Dempsey and McCafe as generalists. Pete Samu is suffering from ‘Hodge Syndrome’ of too much Jack-of-all journeyman and not enough Master-of Specialist. Poor bugger.

        • Brisneyland Local

          true, but finally we have depth.

        • Huw Tindall

          Like Hodge he’s likely to be warming the Wallaby bench

        • Jason

          we have 2 very good 7’s in Wright & Hooper.

          I’d say if not already, very shortly 3 with McReight beating down the door — he’s got 14 turnovers.

        • I think I’m picking Samu in my G&G 8 jersey. Not denying your other shouts but, for me, Samu delivers more regularly and despite what those in front of him are doing. I also think he delivers a bit better in all aspects of an 8’s play, and that’s important. The 8 has to be a lineout jumper, a carrier, a tackler, a breakdown threat, a link player, a runner, control the ball at the base of the scrum and so on on. A kicker is an optional extra! No one actually does all of these equally well, but I think Samu’s overall play in all of those things is a bit better than the others, whereas they are a bit better than him in a few areas, but worse than others. But if you’re picking a properly balanced back row, Samu works well in it.

          That said, a whole Reds back row would not surprise me, and I wouldn’t object to seeing Wilson in there, or Nisi if it goes a different way.

        • Nutta

          So you’re pitching Samu as the modern St George (Smith)? I am not against the idea of a generalist backrower at all. But to complement him we need a dead-set power-runner and a dead-set on-baller and we don’t quite have those as-yet. I really rate the guy both individually but also for the team-skills he brings framed by the fact that you don’t win x2 Super cups with arguably the most successful footy franchise of all time by being a Mis-fit Mafi Nufty.

        • I wouldn’t say he’s quite the next George Smith.

          No number 8 is great at everything they’re meant to do, it’s always a balancing act. For me, he just ticks a few more boxes in a few more areas, and that makes him my first choice.

          But if you have a game plan that suits one of the others better, I’m not going to wail and gnash my teeth, I think they’re both test quality players. Ah, the headache of being in charge.

        • Mica

          Hooker’s a bit of a concern though. We’re also missing our best locks.

        • Brisneyland Local

          We have good Hookers, just apprarently they are all (or mostly) having the throwing yips! That is fixable. Second row however is a fundamental weakness.

        • Geoffro

          As usual Lachie McCaffrey hardly merits a mention among the loosies.He had a very good game

        • Nutta

          See my comment below…

        • UTG

          Did he?

          5 runs for 10m. 4 tackles and 1 miss. 1 turnover.

          Nothing to write home about.

          He’s a decent Super player but nothing more. I can see why when we had a real lack of 6s/8s people were on the bandwagon but he’s not in contention anymore.

        • IIPA

          Sigh you’re one of those stats people….

          First half alone he had at least one forced ruck penalty and one held up maul. Two critical turnovers. He was hard at the breakdown constantly.

          Second half his run into heavy contact 5m out and quick presentation of ball set up Brumbies try to nip the Tahs comeback.

          Run metres are such a bullshit stat in rugby.

        • UTG

          Please point me to where McCafferey is involved in any of the Brumbies’ second half tries. I can’t find him remotely involved.

          You can easily glean work rate from the stats, his was low last night. In no world did he have a very good game as he was originally purported to have.

          I said it before, he’s a solid player and that is it. I don’t think he’s a regular starter in any Super Au side.

        • Mica

          Agreed – the real measure is post contact meters!

        • Rugby Truth

          Your comments based on stats is ridiculous.
          Hooper’s 11 tackles – 10 of them are passive, but still get credited as a tackle, but in the context of the game he adds nothing.
          He is like a dog chasing seagulls on the beach, runs around all day looking busy (puffing his cheeks out) but does sweet F A.
          Where are your stats on breakdown inaccuracies?
          Where are your stats showing how often he loses at the breakdown, losing his shoulder battles.

        • UTG


          RugbyPass has an algorithm computing player effectiveness, Hooper is top of SuperAu:



        • Rugby Truth

          As you like stats so much.
          The waratahs demise coincides with hooper at 7 and captain. FACT.
          The wallabies demise coincides with hooper at 7 and captain. FACT.

          As any leading law enforcement officer will tell you, they don’t believe in coincidences.

        • UTG

          Come on, surely even you realise you’re clutching at straws posting that.

          I’m happy to engage in sensible evidence based discussions about the gold 7 jersey. Banal similes don’t make for substantive discussion. Hooper is rated world over, there’s a reason for this. We should be happy that we have, once again, another world class 7 coming along in McReight and discussing how long it is until he overtakes Hooper (personally, I think before 2024) rather than cutting down one of the best players we have.

        • Rugby Truth

          If hooper is sssooooo good, why did cheika pick Pocock to cover for him?
          In doing so, we we sacrifice a 3rd lineout option, and the All Blacks – and others – double team each of our jumpers and we can’t win our ball, but we blame our hookers for not hitting the targets – they had nothing to throw at!

          The wallabies back row has lacked balance since hooper has worn the 7.

        • Yowie

          Your question/point presupposes Cheika taking a logical approach to a given problem.

        • UTG

          It wasn’t about ‘covering Hooper’. Cheika’s logic for picking both was that there wasn’t an 8 in Australia that made for a more effective backrow than both Hooper and Pocock starting together. When one did come about in Naisarani, Pocock was moved to the bench so I can’t see how Cheika believed Hooper needed to be covered for.

          Now, I’m sure your next contention will be that there were better 8s available and that is a fair argument to make but your question was ‘why did Cheika pick Pocock to cover for him?’ My answer is that this wasn’t his thinking at all.

        • Huw Tindall

          What you going to do when Rennie picks Hooper at 7?

        • Steve

          I have no particular skin in this argument, but as someone who builds algorithms for a living, this is setting off a lot of my bullshit detectors. Interesting 3rd after filtering on Super Rugby AU is Greg Holmes, and 6th is – Alan Wyn Jones?

          “ We are constructing an expert system. That is using a combination of machine learning, shaped by winning outcomes and guided by human observers”

        • UTG

          Good spot.

          I don’t think a filtering error necessarily means the underlying ranking system is flawed though.

        • Steve

          Nor do I and I’m sure they’ve put much more effort into it than any of us have – It’s just one of my pet peeves when people start throwing around buzzwords when just clearly explaining their methodology would be easiest.

          Re: Hooper generally I don’t see him as greatly better or worse than Wright or McReight, although much more proven in the test arena obviously. Undoubtedly he is the Waratahs best forward by a mile, but that’s not somewhere I’d want to be in any organisation.

          I do wonder if he wishes he’d stayed at the Brumbies and done more time under Lord Laurie. He was already getting a lot of game time with Pocock’s longterm injuries. Obviously it has served him well contractually so who knows.

        • Mica

          I thought Dempsey had a pretty good game and shows a fair bit of promise. He’s still quite young too isn’t he?

        • Mica

          Gold Steve. 10 bucks says it comes out of the marketing department.

        • Mica

          Just had a better look at it. Harry Wilson is down at 180.
          He’s played 0 minutes this season and conceded 12 penalties – Good effort that. Also Alun Wyn-Jones plays for the Reds and Andrew Trimble plays for the Tahs. :D Hmmmmmm

        • Brumby Runner

          Without doubt, outplayed Swinton on the night.

        • Jason

          I REALLY don’t rate Isi, everyone falls in love with his strong hard ball carrying but he always has one or two ‘Rob Simmons moments’ a game. Plus his body position is often awful going into contact leading to turnovers, or knock ons.
          Also he has yet to really have a test quality game in SRAU at least.
          But Pete Samu has gotta be in the mix for sure.
          I’d be looking at something like Samu, Wright and Wilson, or if McReight keeps improving like he has over the last few games maybe Wright, Samu, McReight.

          McReight has 14 turn-overs nearly double that of Hooper’s, Wright has more turn-overs than Hooper too.

  • Hmm, where to start…

  • Crescent

    Ah the roller coaster that is being a Tahs fan. Credit to the Brumbies who had clearly done their homework and ruthlessly executed their game plan to good effect.

    As for the Tahs, they were well in the game for the first 40 mins, and were just ruthlessly squeezed out of the game in the second. They have still performed better than I had the right to expect this season to date, and have the right attitude in terms of continuing to develop. If they can hold onto a core of the developing players, this team has the potential to achieve some great results in the next few seasons.

    • idiot savant

      Yeah this Tahs side has the makings of a champion side. These kind of up and down results are what you’d expect from the the young players. Some of the penalties given away by Dempsey and Simmons were disappointing though.

  • Tim

    Surprised Rennie has so many tahs on his list. I can understand 3 or 4 of them. But as they have only beaten the force (twice) and reds (once) there is no way many of them should get into the wallabies squad. It was a good game, it was pleasing to see the brumbies coached to take apart the tahs. I still have no idea with the scrums who has the best scrums in the comp?

    • David Creagh

      It is VERY hard to determine who has the best scrum in the comp. The best ref in the comp (Angus Gardiner) guesses at who is responsible for the scrum collapse or the outcome most of the time.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Scrums are always guess work. But after last night I think Gardiner doesnt quite wear the best ref in the comp hat anymore.

        • David Creagh

          Possibly not. I maintain that the worst thing to happen to scrummaging was to put it into the hands of the referee, most of whom have never packed into a scrum in their lives and have little understanding of dark arts.

        • Brisneyland Local

          That is because they are all “Fairies” as Nutters calls our beloved backs.
          I guess the Old Props out there wouldnt be “mobile” enough to keep up.

      • Hoss

        Good point DC. For mine the difference in officiating this year (and some of the new blood have been very very good) seems to be mindset. They, the refs, seem to be either looking at how to let the game flow or looking to impose every archaic rule, many of which involve a degree of guessing.

    • Rugby Truth

      It’s the same bollocks all the time with the waratahs.
      Start of the season, all we hear is how Mark Nawaqantisa was going to be the next wallaby winger, and we now hardly see him. Now, the latest is that James Ramm is the next wallaby.
      Lachie Swinton is supposedly the enforcer we need, practicing hard against those pillows – so very, very scary.
      Then there’s Dempsey giving people wedgies.
      And have a look at the 10:35 minute mark, hooper is standing at the breakdown, doing nothing again, flipping the bird to the Brumbies.

  • Alister Smith

    Only watched the second half but Brumbies very good.

    I don’t think he is worth 30 points but the Tahs missed Karmichael Hunt – looked a bit rudderless at times but they were well behind when I started watching.

    Hooper – well reading the comments below he played two games – in one he was heroic/herculean in losing side, in another he played to his usual poor standard and made it even worse by inciting the ref. I think, with him at least, it depends a lot on what you think of him before you watch the game rather than what actually happens and quoting the stats doesn’t necessarily always give a clear picture. He has become the new QC. I didn’t think he went that bad, in my view, his effort can never be questioned, his effectiveness….well maybe that’s a different story.

    • laurence king

      I think that the Brumbies stifled the life out of the Tahs last night. They just went about everything efficiently and gave the Tahs nothing. A misfiring lineout and under-powered scrum didn’t help. The only Tahs forward who seemed to keep his reputation intact was Dempsey.

      • Mica

        I think Hannigan is also improving. He’s not setting the world on fire, but he’s a worker and is getting smarter in carrying the ball that’s allowing him to get over the gain line more often. I don’t think he’s what we really want at test level, but locks are wide open at the moment considering we’ve pretty much lost all the incumbants except for Rob Simmons.

        • Must agree on Hannigan. Total difference in the last few games.
          Also his lovechild Joe has really upped his level at 9.

        • I think he’s a decent SR player. I thought he was probably decent enough to deserve a run at the G&G jersey when it was offered but he didn’t deserve the number of Wallaby caps he got, and I think that probably dented his confidence to be honest. I think he’s come back into form and confidence again and looking like a decent SR player.

          Not sure I’d been giving him a try at in G&G though. There’s a lot of competition for those shirts and I’m not quite sure he’s got what it takes at the next level up. But… on this form, I wouldn’t scream if he called up.

    • I’m pretty sure you know I’m not a Hooper fan. I’ve never questioned he runs hard all day, but I’ve always questioned his impact in the game.

      He undoubtedly had a couple of flash moments in this game, but really a 7’s name should be called for making a lot of tackles, winning penalties at the breakdown and winning turnovers. To those who say he plays a hybrid 6-7 role, under the new breakdown laws, a lot of 6’s are adding those features to their game too, as well as the ball carrying. And really, outside of those moments, Hooper was pretty anonymous. He made 7 tackles, won 0 turnovers, and seemed to have penalties awarded against him, not to him in the breakdown. Lots of running, little impact…

      • UTG

        Your stats on Hooper are incorrect: 11 tackles, 1 turnover (potentially a trysaver as pointed out by Nutta).

        Also seems to be an inconsistency with your first observation he had a ‘few flash moments’ and another a couple sentences later ‘pretty anonymous’.

        Hard to evaluate the effectiveness of a player with incorrect stats and seemingly contradictory positions.

        • Stats for these things depend on where you get them from. Having spent five minutes looking, I can find reputable sources that say 7, 11 and 19 tackles made and that say 0 and 1 turnover won.

          If you read the whole of what I wrote, something from memory you’re not actually prone to do, you might see my argument is that someone in a 7 jersey should not have “a few flash moments” rather they should be in a high proportion of breakdowns, winning penalties, winning turnovers, making the tackles and so on. On defence, the person in the 7 shirt should have their name called more than anyone else, possibly more than everyone else put together. Hooper’s wasn’t. Two or three flashy plays doesn’t cut it for the defensive leader of the forwards. So yes, pretty anonymous. Not totally, but still not putting in the effective work over 80 minutes.

        • UTG

          It should have been obvious the stats you first quoted were wrong given the turnover made by Hooper was a standout and mentioned here by a number of commenters here. It’s hard to take seriously the rest of the “he doesn’t lead the defensive line” subjective arguments when at least somewhat objective indicators are misrepresented.

          I won’t bite on the trolling/personal attack.

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