Brutal Bulls Run Over Waratahs - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

Brutal Bulls Run Over Waratahs

Brutal Bulls Run Over Waratahs

The Waratahs went down to the Bulls at Loftus 30-19, blowing a golden opportunity to break their drought in the Republic.

The Match

I thought the game was of high quality, mixing typical Saffa physicality with Waratah panache. The first half was largely dominated by the Bulls, who had clear physical ascendancy and used it in both attack and defence. The Waratah line was unbroken through the half, but ill-discipline proved costly, with a number of silly penalties being converted by superboot Morne Steyn. The Tahs were looking scratchy and made a number of uncharacteristic errors- kicks out on the full, passes behind men, knock-ons. Bernard Foley had an off night, and as a result the Tahs struggled for momentum.

Down 0-9 after 30 they were in danger of the game getting away from them. A piece of Israel Folau magic changed that, as he single-handedly created a try from just outside the Bulls 22. Brendan McKibbin had a shocker with the boot (a cardinal sin at Loftus) and couldn’t land the conversion. Another Morne Steyn penalty after the siren had the teams heading to the sheds with the scoreline at 12-5 to the Bulls.

The second half started in the best possible fashion for the visitors, with a lovely soft Foley pass putting Michael Hooper in a hole just inside the Bulls half. He then popped a lovely ball in contact to Paddy Ryan who strolled over, with McKibbin adding the extras to level the scores at 12-12. Yet another Steyn penalty put the Bulls back in front, as the game began to open up. Both sides had good chances to get on the scoresheet, but it was that man Folau who set up the Tahs’ third try after pouncing on a Bulls error and running 50 metres before offloading to Wycliff Palu. Palu then took in two defenders before offloading a pearler of a pass to McKibbin, who held the ball up beautifully before finding Foley running wide. McKibbin converted and the Waratahs were up 19-16 and were in front for the first time in the match.

But this scoreboard dominance would not last long. Yet another Foley knock-on proved costly, with the Bulls rumbling into the Waratahs 22 and scoring from close range through Francois Hougaard. At 19-25 down the Tahs still had plenty of chances to find the clincher, but just couldn’t break the Bulls defence. To make matters worse Morne Steyn scored after the hooter to deprive them of a losing bonus point, and end the match at 30-19 to the Bulls.

Despite leading in the last quarter of the game, the Tahs never looked like they were on top of the Bulls. They had plenty of possession, but struggled to get go-forward ball. The lineout was a shambles, losing seven of their own throw and failing to pinch one off the Bulls. The scrum was the exact opposite, with the Tahs being totally dominant.

All in all it was a bittersweet result for the Tahs. Yet another loss in which they scored three tries. Plenty of positives, but you feel like that physical element will need to improve if they want to compete with the bigger sides in the competition.


The Game Changer

The Tahs had just scored their third try, and were in front for the first time. They had the ball just outside their 22, and it was passed back to Bernard Foley. Under no pressure Foley spilled the ball, and this gave the Bulls a scrum deep in the Tah 22. They scored from the scrum, and the Tahs nver got back in it.


The G&GR MOTM

For the Bulls I was impressed with the work of Juandre Kruger and Arno Botha. For the Waratahs it would have to be Israel Folau, who scored one try and set up another. He also pulled off a try-saving steal late in the game.


Wallaby watch

Folau answered Mogg’s challenge and is further staking his claim for Lions selection. Benn Robinson was dominant in the scrum, and I also thought Rob Horne had a good game in midfield.


The Details

Crowd: 21,341

Score & Scorers

Bulls: 30
Tries: Hougaard, Steyn
Conversions: Steyn
Penalties: Steyn 6

Waratahs: 19
Tries: Folau, Ryan, Foley
Conversions: McKibbin 2

Cards & citings

None

  • The Bulls pair Flip van der Merwe and Juandre Kruger dominated the
    lineouts winning all their throws and stealing almost half from the
    Waratahs. Do we still want TPN & Douglas in the Wallabies :)

    • Gaf

      Did we ever want TPN in the Wallabies? :)

      • MM

        The problem doesn’t lie entirely with Douglas or TPN, It lies in the fact that Timani can’t jump so its very easy to tag the tah’s jumpers, its going to be either Douglas or Dennis, and to put a huge amount of pressure on them. Apart from Moore there isn’t a better hooker in the country, don’t even try to name one because your bias will show. The bulls jumpers were also outstanding, lets give them some credit because it forced both TPN and Uiglia to not throw straight.
        Foley’s dropped ball was a ‘hinge of battle moment’ – there it went…….

        • Barbarian

          Timani was jumping a lot more this game than I have seen before. As to who to blame for the lineout, blame Juandre Kruger. Read our lineout brilliantly. Not too many dodgy throws or jumps, just beaten on the ground.

        • MM

          The tahs gave away a lot of possession and momentum at critical times through not throwing in straight. Put up the stats. That was pressure.

        • Barbarian

          According to Fox Sports the Tahs only had one ‘not straight’ call against them.

        • MM

          Pretty certain I saw at least 3, perhaps 4 and I only saw the second half, several to TPN after he was injured and I can recall one to Ugly. Self inflicted wounds of the worst kind – so many unforced errors…….. I recall them because they pissed me off so much. I recall one where the Bulls opted for a lineout instead of a scrum because their lineout was going so well and their scrum had been under pressure.

        • Barbarian

          I think you are mistaken. I’m pretty sure all of the Bulls lineout steals were just that- straight steals. The one you recall was the only one according to the stats, and I believe it.

        • At 203cm, why cant Timani jump?? As for TPN, well, Moore is a cert at starting hooker for the WALLAS.. then take your pick as his back up, just not TPN Robbie ..

        • Dally M

          They need to get Big Willie Skelton in there. Same height as Timani, heavier but way more mobile and can bloody well jump!

        • Roscoe Tims

          In terms of ‘not straight’ there may have been some confusion with two or three instances where the Tahs lost control of the ball at the lineout (not steals) – they didn’t secure the pill properly and the Bulls ended up with it?

  • Bay35Pablo

    Why is mckibbin kicking? Why not foley?

  • The Big Lebowski

    I thought Hooper had a top game – that break he made to put Ryan away should tell Reds supporters that all this heavy panting over Liam Gill will only leave you breathless.

    • handles

      Hooper was good alright. In terms of playing better than Gill, this weekend is a major stepping stone. One in a row!

    • John Eales

      I’m so sick of rugby ‘fans’ discrediting praise for reds players because they see it as one-eyed bandwagon talk. As someone who understands the game, it’s so obvious that Gilly (along with George Smith) have been in a different league to Hooper this season, but then he gives a good pill and he’s the messiah again.

      • The Big Lebowski

        Please Ealesy. Gill has the support of a good backrow in Quirke and Schatz. The Waratah backrow is lack lustre, and Hooper is covering more than his fair share of work in a team that’s rebuilding, as well as adding the attacking spark. That’s what Deans liked last year.

        But as someone who understands the game, you’d already realise this.

        • Who?

          The Tahs backrow is lacklustre?! Then why are they all Wallabies? How can the backrow be lacklustre, when Hooper’s apparently the form Aussie 7, and Palu’s the best 8 in the country?

          Compare that to the Reds, where Gill’s the most experienced, by being the only capped Wallaby.

          You can’t even say it’s a lacklustre pack. All Wallaby front row (well, starting front row, with one of the form props of the comp on the bench), all Wallaby locks… Compare that to the Reds, with a prop who’s not been capped in half a decade (Holmes), a hooker who’s hated by many (Saia), another prop who’s got plenty of caps but is never rated as a scrummager… If you go by reputation, Tahs pack > Reds pack.
          Put it this way – the non-Qld guys on Rugby HQ have been talking up Gill more than the non-NSW guys have been talking up Hooper. That’s probably as unbiased as you’ll get on here…

        • The Big Lebowski

          Let me clarify – lack lustre in relative terms compared to previous Wallaby backrows (and what we should expect). Cliffy is no Kefu, Dennis is no Finegan (notice these guys are Reds and Brumbies respectively – no Tah bias here).

          Hooper was definitely the form No. 7 in 2012, especially in the international arena when he was thrown a tough pass to fill in for Pocock. He’s had to adjust this year, for sure. But I reckon he’s got it on top of Gill long-term.

          In my head, Mowen is the form No.8 in the Australian conference and I can’t wait for G. Smith to be picked. Palu seems to have lost weight or something and he’s actually playing the best footy he has for a while, but I reckon he still goes missing on occasion. Quirke is worth blooding at No.6 as well.

          As for the rest of the Tahs pack, Timani can be a passenger sometimes (especially when viewed next to Douglas whose workrate is astounding). I’ll never comment on front row because that area is a mystery. All I know is TPN is a liability.

        • Who?

          I like Hooper, but I can’t help wondering if he’s got the size required to play the Lions. Plus, let’s be honest, the one area he has it over Gill is his ball running. If we’re looking at guys like Palu, Mowen, Quirk, Higginbotham, McMeniman, Horwill, etc in the pack, then we don’t need another forward ball runner. In every other aspect, Gill’s currently got it over him.

          Last year, Hooper shone playing for the Brumbies, where he was the one small bloke in a big pack. And he shone for the Wallabies, where he got a lot of ball to carry. He did well in the breakdown, but I’m not convinced he’s what we need. We don’t have other forwards who’ll get over the ball that some teams do, so we need someone who’s strong over the ball. Hooper, in that respect, is no Pocock. Gill’s closer to that.

        • John Eales

          “As someone who understands the game” – eeehh… just realised how wanky I sounded, was just trying to distinguish myself from the bandwagon folk. I disagree with your sentiment that Hooper is covering for a lacklustre back-row, Cliffy and Dennis are far more experienced campaigners.

    • Guest

      Most Missed Tackles
      21

      1. Michael Hooper (Waratahs)
      1 Chris Noakes (Blues)
      21
      3. Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes)20
      3. Robert Ebersohn (Cheetahs)20
      5. Sergeal Petersen (Kings)18
      6. Phillip van der Walt (Cheetahs)17
      6. Pierre Spies (Bulls)17
      8. Raymond Rhule (Cheetahs)16
      9. Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes)15
      9. Brad Shields (Hurricanes)15
      9. Johann Sadie (Cheetahs)15
      9. Julian Savea (Hurricanes)15
      9. Mitch Inman (Rebels)15
      14. De Kock Steenkamp (Stormers)14
      14. Jarrad Hoeata (Highlanders)14
      14. Liam Messam (Chiefs)14
      14. Nic White (Brumbies)14
      14. Quade Cooper (Reds)14
      14. Rory Sidey (Rebels)14
      14. Willie le Roux (Cheetahs)14

    • Guest

      Most Missed Tackles1. Chris Noakes (Blues)21
      1. Michael Hooper (Waratahs)21
      3. Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes)20
      3. Robert Ebersohn (Cheetahs)20
      5. Sergeal Petersen (Kings)18
      6. Phillip van der Walt (Cheetahs)17
      6. Pierre Spies (Bulls)17
      8. Raymond Rhule (Cheetahs)16
      9. Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes)15
      9. Brad Shields (Hurricanes)15
      9. Johann Sadie (Cheetahs)15
      9. Julian Savea (Hurricanes)15
      9. Mitch Inman (Rebels)15
      14. De Kock Steenkamp (Stormers)14
      14. Jarrad Hoeata (Highlanders)14
      14. Liam Messam (Chiefs)14
      14. Nic White (Brumbies)14
      14. Quade Cooper (Reds)14
      14. Rory Sidey (Rebels)14
      14. Willie le Roux (Cheetahs)

  • PiratesRugby

    Panache, really?

    • Barbarian

      Compared to the Bulls, the Tahs played with plenty of panache. Spread the ball wide, chanced their arm from their own half, etc.

      • PiratesRugby

        Yes, “relative panache” maybe but not “typical panache”.
        “Typical” when used as an adjective for “Waratahs” usually conjures up words like boring, underachieving, wasteful, ill disciplined, unfit, lazy, selfish and over rated.
        The fact that a player like Israel Folau gets the crowd out of their seats is certainly atypical for the Tahs. Foley’s shocker is certainly more typical.
        I’m not a hater, just someone who deplores the waste of talent that comes out of the sheds at the Tahs.

        • Dally M

          You are talking about the Waratahs of old. We are talking about the 2013 version.

  • Mike

    TPN and Douglas showed why they will be liabilities in the Wallabies pack.

    • Barbarian

      What did Douglas do? Seemed to have a fairly solid game from my end.

      • Mike

        Of course he did. Maybe it’s just me, but I consider taking lineout ball a second Roger’s core duty…

        • Barbarian

          Yes but anyone who has ever jumped in a lineout knows that you can’t put poor performance down to just one man, especially a jumper. There are so many factors at play- set-up, call, quality of lift, quality of throw- the jump and catch are the last thing. Important, sure, but that wasn’t where the Tahs were being beaten. Kruger was getting up in front of them, which comes back to two things- quality of the call and speed on the ground.

          But more to the point I hardly think that one bad performance in a lineout that has been solid all year makes either player (especially Douglas) a ‘liability’.

        • Mike

          Actually I have jumped at 1st and 2nd grade level in Sydney so I do know what I’m talking about.

          Your clearly trying to be funny if you think Douglas has been solid all year.

        • Barbarian

          Oh wow, we have a 1st grader on our hands boys! Well I will stand down then, you clearly are a genius when it comes to rugby.

          And yes, Douglas has been solid all year. He was outstanding last week, and is most people’s choice as starting Wallaby lock (if the reaction to my Wallaby 15 last week is anything to go by).

          But seeings as you have played 1st grade, I’m obviously happy to stand corrected.

        • Mike

          No no you’re right lets go for the player who can’t actually perform the core duties of the position he is picked to play in….

          Your comedy pieces are great.

        • Phil

          Barbarian,I would suggest more 2nd than 1st grade!

  • Who?

    ‘Folau answered Mogg’s challenge’? Mogg might’ve played first this week, but surely he’s not challenging Folau. Folau’s the new boy. He’s the first season player. He’s the one still putting runs on the board. Mogg’s been excellent for a year and a half now, he’s got a bigger boot, if he’s not got the inside running for the Wallaby 15 then something’s wrong. And I’m not a rabid Brumbies fan. Better wording would’ve been, “Folau continued to show his potential…”

    • Barbarian

      Semantics. Both are good players, who will hopefully feature in the Wallabies. It doesn’t need to be either/or.

      • Who?

        Important semantics when you’re talking about one bloke who’s not got a central contract compared to someone with a big ARU top up while he learns the game.

        I’m not anti-Folau, I just don’t like seeing blokes rushed into the team, a la Tahu. And, in all honesty, I’d probably stick him on a wing… Maybe even over Digby, who I think isn’t at his peak at the moment. He’s become too predictable.

        • Barbarian

          I don’t follow you. You’ve picked me up on some minor grammatical fault, and then tie it in to the contract situation of both players?

          The fact is this season (especially in the last five weeks) Mogg and Folau have been playing the house down, and when either has a belter the other tends to step up and ‘answer the challenge’ thrown down by the other player the previous week. It’s got nothing to do with how long either have been in the game, or what contract they are on.

          It just seems like you are being difficult for the sake of it, as you agree with just about everything I said.

        • Who?

          Let me put it this way. If Folau wasn’t getting ARU money, would there be the same hype? Yes, he’s playing well, but he’s still finding his feet in some aspects. Getting better each week, no doubt, but how many first year Super Rugby players do we see selected for the Wallabies? Traditionally… Only former
          Leaguies.

          Remember, before the Brumbies/Tahs game, Robbie basically said he’d be going with capped players, plus Folau. Which meant no Mogg, no Lealiifano, no Toomua (almost no White, but his benchwarming last year might be considered enough
          experience – just please not Phipps! Why on earth did the Tahs buy him?). This was early in the season, when Folau was doing well, but clearly ‘well for a first year player’. The entire situation – the money, the form lines of other players, and the ARU’s history (including under Deans) of giving saloon rides into the Wallabies – is one that requires extra attention to such details. From what I’ve seen, heard and read, there’s already enough anger about Folau (and the Tahs) being perceived as
          receiving unduly favourable treatment, anything that allows those feelings to fester and grow hinder all of us when he does actually become a Wallaby.

          Thus, the semantics of the matter are important. We’ve got a bloke whose best position isn’t yet determined (is he a fullback? Winger? Centre?), he’s a first year player, on big money, being talked up by the coach and ARU. And people are talking about him having a position that many/most currently think should go to a bloke who’s played the house down for the past 18 months. A bloke who was kept out of the position last year by a coach who played a much maligned flyhalf at fullback instead. That’s a powderkeg, and one worth hiding from sparks.

        • Barbarian

          No it isn’t. You are creating issues where there just are none.

          Most, if not all, people now think Folau deserves a Wallaby jersey. It has nothing to do with the fact that he is on an ARU top-up, no-one gives a shit about the contract situation of players.

          Mogg is a good player, but has hardly been the dominant force at fullback for the last 18 months as you state. He started 2012 nicely, but was never a serious option for higher honours (except in the minds of the most deluded Brumbies fans). This year the situation has changed, and he looks to be a frontrunner for the 15 jersey, and has been rewarded with squad selection. Like Folau, most people think he deserves to be selected.

          Forget the background, forget the contracts. Both are very good players, and will feature in the Wallabies this year. There is nothing more to it, and the more that you try and insist there is the more I think you are a tin-pot crazy.

        • Who?

          Wow, so thinking that an untried former League player who gets a big contract and is given the inside running for a Wallabies jersey after over a decade of similar things happening could still be a sensitive issue for people who don’t wear Tah-blue glasses (or aren’t part of the Murdoch corporation) less than halfway into his first season makes me a tin pot crazy? Maybe I should go to the kitchen and pull out a saucepan…

          I’m not some rabid Brumbies fan. But I would’ve considered Mogg for a shot at 15 last year. He was the form 15. Who else did we have? JOC was injured. Beale was moved to 10. I wouldn’t have put Lance, Morahan, Harris or any other Red there. Foley moved to 10 before the end of the season. Instead we had Berrick Barnes, who was castigated in a halftime interview by Robbie for kicking too much (which apparently wasn’t following the game plan – if so, why continue to pick someone who doesn’t follow the game plan?!) and hadn’t played 15 at top level (or even S15). Who was the better Aussie 15 that should’ve been slotted in there? Or do you agree with the old Robbie policy of picking the (supposed) best six backs in the country and then figuring out who fits into each jersey?

          Folau will feature for the Wallabies this year. Most non-Tah fans seem to think TRC or EOYT would be right, but that we’ll see him against the Lions. Mogg should feature, but we never know…

        • Phil

          I have to side with Barbarian here.I think you are judging Folau as an anti-Tahs person rather than on his football.His football has got progressively better with every game and he was outstanding against the Bulls.
          How about judging him on his ability rather than some preconceived conspiracy theory?

  • Luke_Baird

    Haha, totally unrelated to your succinct write-up, but love the rating system! The Wire GOAT

  • Mark

    Falou is a beast and should have a wallaby wing spot, he doesn’t quite understand the game well enough to play 15 against the lions yet, but Mogg’s got that in lock down anyway, he will absolutely kill it on the wing though. Speight, Tomane and Digby can fight for the other wing.

    The line out was a disaster and really hurt the tahs. If TPN starts at 2 ahead of Moore for the wallabies it’s a disgrace. I know line out failure isn’t the result of 1 man, but TPN has always been average at line out time and set piece will be crucial against the lions.

    • Gaf

      Speight won’t be in that fight. He’s not eligible to be a Wallaby yet.

    • Stewart

      Somehow think that there might be just a bit more kicking from the Kings next week. Waratahs had no line out!

  • Of the starting WALLABIES XV for the LIONS , can we all agree that GENIA, MOORE & HORWILL are the only deadset certainties that us & ROBERT DEANS agree on ??

  • Guest

    Hey Barbarian, thanks for the write-up.
    Even though it may seem so; not an entirely thankless job.

    On the topic of Hooper:
    In my quite-possibly-flawed memory, Hooper won more turnovers in his pre-Tahs colours: SuperRugby and Internationals. Personally, I wonder if the Cheika game plan is undermining his breakdown turnover stats. Especially in the first month of the 2013 comp.
    On a similar note, I “feel” that the Waratahs are losing more ball at the breakdown. Though, perhaps, this is deemed an acceptable cost for the perceived advantages of the style they are targeting?

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