Monday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News recaps the round that was in the Super Rugby, wraps up the various competitions around the country, examines the performances of the men’s Sevens team along with the exhilarating finish to the English Premiership featuring a couple of Aussies.


Round 16 Super Rugby recap

Felipe Ezcurra scores for the Jaguares

Felipe Ezcurra scores for the Jaguares

Auckland hosted the Bulls to start off round 16 in what could only be described as atrocious conditions. Neither team were able to control the ball and find a way to win this match, with the match ending in a 22 all draw after Blues flyhalf Harry Plummer missed the 82nd-minute penalty goal that would have secured the victory for the Blues.

In the other Friday match, the Waratahs would hold on for a 20-15 against the Rebels in Melbourne. The result maintains the ‘Tahs slim finals hopes, whilst the Rebels need to pull off a huge victory over either the Crusaders or Chiefs and hope for favourable results if they wish to feature. For a more in-depth recap, check out 22Metri’s excellent review of the game.

To start off Saturday, the Brumbies recorded a 42-19 win over a spirited Sunwolves to secure top spot in the Australian Conference. The scoreline did not reflect the close nature of this match, with a better representation of the encounter coming via Steve’s report on the match.

In the surprise of the round, the Chiefs upset the Crusaders 40-27 in front of a spirited crowd in Suva, Fiji. After trailing by 20 points, the Chiefs, led by Aussie Jack Debreczeni, would score 27 unanswered points to keep their finals hopes alive and hand the Crusaders just their 2nd loss of the season.

At Suncorp Stadium, the Reds’ finals aspirations were effectively crushed, defeated by a clinical Los Pumas, I mean Jaguares, side 34-23. The win maintains their spot on the top of the South African Conference, and their class throughout the victory is best expressed by Reg during his review of the match.

In Durban, the Hurricanes would show their class, defeating the Sharks 30-17 in a feisty contest that saw the visitors finish with 14 men. The ‘Canes continue to fly under the radar of many experts, who would be sitting 2nd in the old format, securing the victory on the back of a superhuman performance from Ardie Savea.

In the final match of the round, the Lions would bounce back from their loss to the Sharks with a 41-22 win over the Stormers. The Lions were impressive despite missing stalwart Elton Jantjies, who was suspended for breaching team protocol, blowing the Stormers away in the second half to maintain their place in the top 8.

Premier/Rapid rugby results

Henry Taefu passes

Henry Taefu passes

We start off in Perth, where the Western Force dominated a gallant Kagifa Samoa 63-5. The Force put on a show in front of a sizeable crowd, which was 12,467, running in 9 straight tries to assert their dominance in the Global Rapid Rugby Showcase Series. With all the unique rules that the competition have thrown up, the Samoans seemed to include one of own in the form of the old backyard classic,  last try wins, saving their best efforts until last to score one of the best tries that you will see this year (seriously, check it out).

Whilst where in WA, round 9 of the Fortescue Premier had Bayswater beat Curtin 37-8, Cottesloe defeat Associates 37-0, Palmyra holding off UWA 34-19, Wanneroo being too strong for Coastal 24-15, Wests scraping home over Joondalup 42-40, ARKs outclassing Southern Lions 38-26 and Nedlands showing their class to defeat Kalamunda 43-20.

In Queensland, round 10 of the Hospital Cup saw Wests dominate struggling Norths 54-13, Brothers outgun Bond 35-26, Easts defeated Uni 27-17 to continue Uni’s poor start to the season and Souths overcame Wests 47-28.

In NSW, the Shute Shield continued to throw up thrilling encounters during round 9. Warringah would beat Eastwood 21-19 after a late Hamish Angus sideline conversion after the bell, Randwick molly whopped Western Sydney 50-12, Gordon upset Easts 42-22 in Orange, Manly held off West Harbour 24-19 and finally Norths overcome Souths 35-28 after trailing 28-7 during the second half (largely thanks to the likes of Will Miller and Andrew Tuala backing up from the Waratahs match the night before, great to see).

Round 9 (and Indigenous Round) of the John I Dent Cup saw Royals outclass Gungahlin 37-32 in a thrilling top of the table clash, Vikings dominate Wests 49-21 and Queanbeyan hang on for a 34-26 win over Easts.

In Round 6 of the Dewer Shield in Victoria, Melbourne Uni beat Powerhouse 41-17, Box Hill trampled Endeavour Hills 54-22, Melbourne asserted their claims for the shield with a convincing 48-19 win over Harlequins whilst Moorabbin outclassed Footscray 41-31.

Finally, round 6 of the Coopers Premier saw Adelaide Uni win their first match, defeating Woodville 43-0, Onkaparinga outplayed Port Adelaide to win 35-15, Old Collegians beat Southern Suburbs 50-31, Brighton thumped Barossa 131-0 whilst Burnside held on for a 151-0 win over Elizabeth.

Sevens fail to fire

Maurice 'Moz' Longbottom, Australia v Jamaica

Maurice ‘Moz’ Longbottom, Australia v Jamaica

The Australian men’s sevens side has capped off their 2018-2019 with a lacklustre semi-final loss to Ireland in the Challenge Trophy.

The result caps off a disappointing year for the side, whose lone appearance in the Cup final coming at the London Sevens in the previous week.

The side started off with a sluggish draw to Kenya, a far cry from their impressive showing in London, which saw the scoreline locked at 19 all after Matt Hood crossed right before the siren, with Lewis Holland failing to convert to secure the win.

They would then be shellshocked by Wales 24-7, a side who was fighting to maintain their core team status for the 2019-2020 season, gifting the Welsh their first win over the Australians in fourteen attempts.

The final match of the day saw them take on the juggernaut that is the reigning Paris sevens champion Blitzboks, with the side falling just short 19-17, after allowing the South Africans to score twice in the first three minutes.

This would relegate the Aussies to the Challenge Trophy, in which they would first face Spain on Day 2, in which they dominated to run in eight tries to cruise to victory 54-0.

Unfortunately, the Aussies couldn’t back up this performance in the semifinals, failing to capitalise on an early 10-0 lead to fall 24-17 to a spirited Irish outfit.

The result will leave the side to finish in 7th position for the year, which will fail to secure automatic qualification for the 2020 Toyko Olympics, ensuring that they will have to travel to Suva in late November if they wish to qualify.

Saracens claim thrilling double

One of Saracens best in the win (our Saracens photos are limited)

One of Saracens best in the win (our Saracens photos are limited)

Saracens have pulled off their second domestic and European double in three years, completing a remarkable comeback to defeat Exeter 37-34 at Twickenham.

Exeter got off to a flying start, with Aussie Nic White finding the line after just 27 seconds, before tries to Dave Ewers, Jonny Hill and Henry Slade put the Chiefs up 27-16.

However, Saracens class was too much in the end, with tries by Liam Williams, Sean Maitland and George gifting Sarries the win and their fourth title in five years.

The comeback marks the first time that a side has overcome a deficit of more than 6 in a Premiership final, with Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall praising the high quality of rugby played by both sides.

“It was as close to a Test match as you will get,” said Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.

“It was fast, furious and no backwards step taken by any of the guys. They are such a fantastically brave and courageous bunch of lads who just don’t know when to stop giving everything,” the former Ireland centre added.

Exeter’s director of rugby Rob Baxter was full of praise for his men, praising their efforts along with giving credit to Saracens for their consistent performance over the 80 minutes.

“We have come second to an incredible side and I could not have asked for more from the players,” said Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter.

“We controlled the first half and could have been further ahead. But against Saracens, you have to do it for 80 minutes and keep them down because they have the potential to come back from a deficit and they find a way of winning.”

When quizzed about whether this win cemented Saracens side as the best of the generation, Baxter had no hesitation stating “They probably are. Their record speaks for itself,” he said.

“They’re winning Premierships, they’re winning European cups, but it feels to me like we’re probably disappointed that we haven’t beaten them today, so that bodes well for where Exeter Chiefs stand as well.”

  • Scott

    Nathan thanks for the write up. Always appreciate those who contribute. Waratahs lucky to win (should have been Yellow Card on Rona), they were extremely lucky with the 50/50 calls. Is there something wrong in the Rebels camp! Force V Samoa – “just over 12000”??? It was 12,473. More than just over! Every Australian club would give their left one for that attendance! Reds really should have got a point out of that game. Need some experienced players there… Nic White coming back is great, but whose place is Skelton taking???

    • Nathan Williamson

      Fair call shouldn’t have sold them sort with the crowd, that’s now been updated. Skelton’s return is far more murkier than White’s, however, I think he adds solid depth and further options to a position of need

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Not sure bringing in a lock who can’t jump is something the Wallabies need Nick. Yeah he can be beast with the ball but no better than a lot of others and his defence is still lacking. I’d have Arnold, Rodda, Coleman, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Staniforth over Skelton. I think Australia needs to get over players going to the UK and doing well suddenly being better than anyone here and the next “Best thing”. It’s never really worked out that way so why is there so much emphasis on it.

    • Huw Tindall

      We’ve got a lot second rowers but other than Arnold and Rodda I’d say the rest are all doing OK but nobody is standing out. Skeltons is a point of difference but even with his improved fitness at Saracens he isn’t an 80 minute player nor a premier lineout target. Requires the backrow and bench to have lineout and legit second row skills if he runs on. Still, Wallabies really need a gain line player and that’s Skelton.

      • Geoffro

        First picked is Arnold let the rest fight it out but yeah,definitely no place for a Pooper.If the Wallabies don’t start with legitimate lineout options they’re toast I reckon and only see Skelton as a bench option at best

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Problem is that neither Skelton or Arnold call.

        • Geoffro

          Another reason Skelton shouldn’t be there but Rory is a no brainer regardless.His form this year has been undeniable.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, don’t get the Skelton love. We picked props because they’re dynamic around the field and it ruined our scrum for 12+ years. Let’s not make the same mistake with locks.

        • Dud Roodt

          It would be interesting to know what the Saracen’s front rowers opinion on Skelton in the scrum is. I can’t imagine a NH team copping a weak scrummaging 2R just because of dynamism around the park. But he has consistently started this year and they moved Itoji to 6 to accommodate him – so maybe he has improved in the scrum over there.

        • Keith Butler

          I watched the Championship final over the weekend. Skelton has shed kilos and looked more dynamic. Scrum looked pretty good but Kruis and Itoje we’re still the go to’s at the lineout. Still reckon McCall will want Skelton as cover for when those two are at the RWC and involved in the 6Ns. The Aussies have plenty of options at lock.

        • Dud Roodt

          Yeah I’ve watched about 20 mins of it. He is a much improved contributor to a game.
          I think he will too, although he seemed open to the idea, and did say that they want all their players being good enough to play international footy.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah I think he has. But still not strong in the line out, which is even more integral to the attack.

        • Brumby Runner

          Really, to accommodate him? Others have reported Itoje moved to 6 to replace an injured or suspended player which left the hole in the second row for Skelton. Previously, those reports indicated Skelton was consistently played off the bench. Is this not correct?

        • Dud Roodt
        • Hoss

          I watched the full match and he was very very good. They used him a lot as a decoy on blind side attacks and he absolutely lead to two tries as the defence, like my wife, was focused on Big Willy, leaving space for that lead to tries. Was busy and effective in D and very active all round the park. I would have liked to have seen more carries, but it was clear just the threat of him allowed Saracens to play like they did. Our current locks are honest toilers, but there are no threats amongst them at present, no intimidation and no physical presence.

          I opined a few days back we need to think and be different to Bring Back Bill and Skelton fits that description perfectly.

          Roll out same ok, same ol and get same ok, same ol I reckon. He’s gotta be in the mix.

        • Dud Roodt

          It’s always blown my mind that calling lineouts seems to be such a fine art that we only ever have 1 or 2 in the country that are effective at it. Can’t people learn how to fucking call?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate, I’m with you. I really don’t understand why this is such a specialised skill. It’s got me stuffed. I know you need someone to do it and that person needs to understand why you’d throw to a particular person and when, but FFS a 10 minute discussion with the coach before the game should sort that out.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It’s actuallt really a very difficult thing when you consider having to play against strong defensive line outs. You need to mix it up, yet also utilise your strongest jumpers, and also not give away who you’re throwing to. Generally, the best line out in the world is that with the best caller. Rob Simmons is the only really good line out caller in Aus currently.

          Even in New Zealand, it isn’t like everyone can call a line out well.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          mate, I wouldn’t think it’s that hard. Know your plan, know where you are on the field and what you want to achieve and then adapt as the game develops. Fuck if a player can’t do that then they probably aren’t clever enough to play anyway

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          That’d be fine if you weren’t playing against strong opposition line outs. Look at what Retallick did to England in November last year, or Matfield regularly did to the All Blacks between 07-10 and you’ll see what I mean.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate, I think one of the issues is people over thinking things. If you have a Retallick or Matfield in your opposition then you do have to work them out but the chances are they’ll still get the odd one anyway because they are so good.

        • Who?

          But that’s totally different to what we’ve given away at lineout time in previous years. Coleman’s said to call, but with him calling, some of our lineouts have been as insecure as our tryline!

        • Brumby Runner

          Then don’t call it to a jumper in their vicinity. Or do it as a surprise tactic only.

        • Who?

          We’ve frequently run a lineout with only two primary jumpers. The locks. Our loose forwards are mostly secondary targets at best (Hooper, sometimes Dempsey, Hanigan being an exception who could be considered a primary target). Then we face teams with three primary jumpers, five jumping options. The Bokke always have excellent jumping locks, with players like PSDT, Kolisi, etc. The ABs have their locks and Read, then add guys like Squire.
          .
          So it’s not just ‘don’t throw it near the primary defender’ – especially when we have fewer strong jumpers than they have strong defenders. It’s about timing, guile, misdirection, and type of throw. Our lineout throwers are generally too flat – they put no loop on the ball. So too often, when threatened, we’re forced to revert to the short 5m lineout. But our guys also aren’t the quickest off the ground. There’s plenty of examples of Etzebeth getting up alongside – if not in front of – our jumpers on our own throw.
          .
          If it was easy to call a lineout, everyone would be doing it. Even the known strong callers can struggle, especially when there’s a change in structures/calling/etc (which Simmons pointed out in the Wallabies a few years ago). There’s a reason why lineout calling locks – and loose forwards (like Ben Mowen, and to a certain extent Scott Higginbotham) – are highly valued.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t actually know what you mean here

        • Brumby Runner

          I agree KRL. All the forwards, and probably the halves, already know the lineout calls so they can react and move/lift/receive the ball at the point intended. It is a matter of someone sizing up the opposition strengths and as you say account for where they are on the field and make the appropriate call.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          If it was that simple then why would specialist callers be so valuable in every team?

        • John Miller

          As a note, Scott Fardy is an excellent lineout caller. Also a great lineout jumper. Also a great defender. Also a fantastic breakdown exponent. Also in recent European Player of the Year form. Shame he’s Irish and not Australian.

        • Dud Roodt

          Exactly. It should all be part and parcel of game preparation shouldn’t it? Like the 2R’s sit down, watch film of the upcoming team (hopefully with notes on all their previous games already in front of them) and see what their habits/strengths are, then go out and practice how you’re going to use that information.
          It would be like having a 10 that wasn’t confident calling backline moves.

        • Keith Butler

          One of the lesser known facts is that locks have their brain cells squeezed out by the fat/boney/muscled arses of props and hookers at scrum time so their memories are somewhat limited.

        • Greg

          I would like to dispute that assertion @KB…. I think…. no I can’t remember….

        • Keith Butler

          Ex lock as well. Had to look up comment, forgot what I said!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahaha Gold

        • idiot savant

          Its a very difficult skill and needs a strategic mind. The best callers remember who has already been thrown to, where the opposition is organising to spoil, and where the line out is on the field which determines if its front, middle or back, and if the backs want to play a move necessitating a throw to the back. On top of that dummy strategies are needed to oppose giants like Toner or Retallick so there can often be position swapping which needs timing. Obviously middle and back are the hardest to get right so often you swap to a dummy at 2 hoping to drag the oppositions best jumper away from the ball but if you’ve already done that twice you’ve got to go somewhere else. And if Toner stands at 2, you cant go to the front so options start to get limited…. It can get complicated. And if your lungs are heaving, thinking about all that stuff is doubly hard! Cheika gave up on the strategy game for a while when he employed Raului where they used a different system where they decided in a group away from the line out where the throw was going. However this did not go well as it doesn’t take account of where the opposition is standing or looking to move. Calling is important.

        • Keith Butler

          Sorry IS my brain just exploded. Very messy.

        • Who?

          Look at some of the lineouts Cheika’s coached over the years. They’re proof that it’s not as simple as some might think…
          .
          I recall a pre-season article on here (might even have been 2014!) where the correspondent came away from Cheika’s lineout drills confused. The correspondent said Cheika was constantly going on about ‘rucking’ when describing the lineout, and pondered whether that was perhaps why the lineout had been terrible the yea before. :-D

        • Bobas

          link or it’s fake news

        • Who?

          I’m looking, not finding. Maybe it’s fake news?
          I absolutely remember the article, and can’t imagine it was anywhere else. Because it was too humorously written (hence the comments about ‘ruckin’ when discussing the lineout), absolutely fitted the tone of this website (which is why this has long been my preferred Rugby news site), and gave a great insight into a day at preseason training from the Tahs.
          .
          Do you debate the point that Cheika’s teams have fielded some rather weak lineouts, though..?

    • Geoffro

      Who’s place is White taking?? Powell deserves his place and you know Phipps will be selected.Agree yellow on Rona and prob a pen try but Genia did score off a forward pass too.Rebs probably need new coaching staff ala the Jags who’ve really come on under Ledesma.The Force have no competitors over there for the oval ball game (talking nrl) plus relatively weak local comp sucking up fans-the Shute shield games seem to be pulling healthy crowds.But no doubt, reading the event programme for the game it’s miles ahead of whats offering this side.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate, I didn’t think Powell was that great on Saturday. Some of his passes were really inaccurate and that put a lot of pressure on the receiver when it wasn’t needed.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Can’t agree. Thought he was one of the Brumbies best. Easily the form halfback in Aus.

          You wanna criticise someone for putting undue pressure on his team, look at Genia. He was woeful and has been for weeks.

        • Geoffro

          Maybe so,he seems to get a bit slow to the breakdown and puts himself under some pressure.9 seems to be a bit of a prob , Genia looks jaded lately.Never been a Phipps or White fan so…. Perhaps McDermott will kick on he certainly shows promise but a bit early yet.

        • Dud Roodt

          I think Powell is a good, reliable, Super Rugby half, but (in my opinion) just doesn’t look cut out for International rugby. There’s nothing about his game that makes me think he’ll cut it. He’s tiny (I know there are the Peter Stringers of the world), and doesn’t have that “edge” about him to be a good international half for mine.
          I guess you’ve got to give someone a proper crack at it if they are beating down the door – I just can’t say that he’s beating said door down.

  • Onside

    Just how dreadful are the Aussie 7s?
    Lots of potential but nothing to show for it. The team has seriously regressed under Walsh and Hoiles.
    Andy Friend had them on the right track only to be replaced under unclear circumstances.

    • Huw Tindall

      Tim Walsh had major success with the Women’s team. Guess they are trying for the same? Walsh has experimented with a lot of players and game styles. Trying to build something different. A lot of failed experiments to date though. The team used to be known for skills and ruck work but now our defense is atrocious. Our attack has improved but possession in 7s means points and we give then up far too easily.

      • Bernie Chan

        Jeez we got touched up in the ruck contest a lot in Paris… In the Ireland game the halftime chat by Walsh was that Ireland would over-commit to the ruck and leave gaps…but Ireland won turnovers and AUS failed to adjust their tactics. Our team wasn’t hitting the rucks early enough or hard enough.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yep, People have worked out that Australia doesn’t commit so they hit up hard and win turnovers. The real issue is why the captain doesn’t change the plan in relation to the tactics

        • Bernie Chan

          Or the coaches…our guys were well ‘off-the-pace’ in Paris…
          Was great for Fiji to win the series again as they play 7s like nobody else can, but methinks the USA is truly on the rise. The US has such a deep pool of athletic big guys, and the collegiate system is giving rugby an increasing exposure. Imagine when the guys who (say) are American football linebacker/running back/wide receiver types but can’t get an NFL contract decide to give rugby a try…big, fast, and can handle collisions! 7s is a start but the USA will have a decent 15s team soon enough and then the linemen (yep…those 140-150kg beasts…) come into consideration.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I was really surprised at how poor they were. Almost a complete reversal from last week

    • IIPA

      I wouldn’t say dreadful nor totally agree re Andy Friend.

      Overall standard has improved with France, Argentina, Samoa and Spain all better than last year. Canada and Kenya have regressed but probably had their best tournament of the year. Will be even tougher when Ireland replace Japan next year.

      Agree Walsh has probably experimented a bit too much with small fast players though injuries have mainly occurred to bigger players like Anstee, Anderson, Parahi.

      There has been some rumours of discontent and I’ve noticed older guys back playing Shute Shield ( Porch, Killingworth, Malouf). Indeed Porch has signed for Connacht? So there might be something in that.

      • Onside

        Biggest concern is the lack of consistency both in selection and performances.
        Same could be said of Kenya, who made wholesale changes that almost cost them core status. The Olympics qualifiers aren’t going to be any easier with the likes of Samoa and Ireland on the rise.

        • IIPA

          In the centres for eastwood. Hasn’t been the same since a bad pre season injury at the Rebels two years back.

          Walsh has put faith in Jeral Skelton as our big Danny Barrett style ball runner. He’s a bit hot and cold but definitely had some good moments and plenty of potential.

          Longbottom is a gem, and I think Hutch had a very good second half of the season after starting off a bit slow, so there’s hope.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan, big disappointment by the 7’s I really thought after last week they might be able to back this up. I think they’re just not playing the right game plan and are getting caught out with others beating them in the contact after the tackle.

    I just can’t pick a game this year and when I do I can’t get the difference right. I like that there are so many upsets and changes but it’s playing hell with my picks. The real bummer for me is that no one coming through is really challenging the incumbents and I think Cheika is going to have all the ammunition he needs to pick the same players he always has and then we’ll get the same results. Brumbies are playing well but I thought Powell was very wayward in his passing and while I like Simone, it was only the Sunwolves and I think he’s a couple of seasons away from stepping up. Lealiifano is doing well but is it enough to push out Foley/Toomua? Not really. I think if it’s not Kerevi/TK in the centres there’s something wrong but I guess Cheika and his fascination with Foley/Beale despite never producing anything spectacular will be hard to pick against. I think this will really rest on who he sees as 15 and I think it’ll be DHP as he’s picked him in the past.

    • Geoffro

      So you’re predicting more of the same with the Wobs.Sadly you may be correct.How was that game in Suva ?probably the most entertaining I’ve seen all year and bet you got the margin wrong.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate I got the result and the margin wrong. By hell the Chiefs play well when it clicks, their off loads are a thing of beauty. Debreczeni played well, although he needs to work on the accuracy of his passes. By hell he’s got a boot and a half on him.

        • Keith Butler

          Had a decent game, yes. Meant to be the next big thing at the Rebs but didn’t live up to expectations. The siege gun boot often fired blanks and his game management wasn’t that great. If Duncan McKenzie wasn’t injured, would there be a place for him in the match day squad?

        • Dud Roodt

          Is Duncan any relation to Damien?

        • Keith Butler

          Third cousin twice removed. My error. I thought it was some devilish name. That smile when he takes kicks – he is the son of Satan.

        • Dud Roodt

          Stuff of nightmares that is.
          Feel like he’s about to pull out a knife and change his name to Chucky

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate it freaks me out and at least I’m on his side

        • Dud Roodt

          Imagine you’re in a deep sleep one night… you wake up to a floorboard creaking. You decide to check it out. You wander out of your bedroom to your hallway, pitch black but for a slit of light from the street light and it illuminates something, you can’t quite make out what. You edge closer, squinting in the dark until it becomes clear…

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6d314a1862563cf6886403d76fcf475e571e72cb5cfbe001b3576f76b53993da.jpg

        • Keith Butler

          Honey, I’m home.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Probably not although he did play well on Saturday

  • Mart

    Debreczeni had a decent game for Chiefs

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yeah he did. He’s got a great boot on him

  • Bay35Pablo

    ““It was as close to a Test match as you will get,” said Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.”
    Spoken like the usual NH ass hat.
    Us poor colonials with Super Rugby could never hope to come close hey? (tugs forelock furiously).

    • Crescent

      And there I was thinking it was the NH ass hat doing the tugging. Not sure you would call it his forelock through.

      I’ll see myself out. Opening like that, someone had to take it.

    • sambo6

      Mate…and its exactly that attitude that’s why the NH has closed the gap on the SH. If you think Super Rugby quality is still light-years ahead of the top teams in Europe then you’re kidding yourself. Further, he wasn’t talking about a random weekend match between two middling teams, this was the final between the clear two top teams all year, and you begrudge him a comment suggesting it was close to test match quality?

  • AllyOz

    My observations from the weekend:

    1. Rebels unlucky with at least four 50/50 calls on knock ons and perhaps Rona’s tackle (I find these ones hard when there is a change of direction from the runner as well but there didn’t look to be any arms from Rona). However, the Rebels didn’t play particularly well – QC had some deft touches but overall I didn’t think they played well as a team and I thought Genia was off a bit – perhaps lingering effects of the previous week’s head knock? Waratahs defence was excellent at times.
    2. I thought the Reds half McDermott was the pick of the Aussie 9’s on the weekend. He was a key point of different for the Reds and really challenged the Argentinian line. However, I would prefer he wasn’t brought into the Wallabies just yet. Still Genia at the moment for the ability to read the game and consistency but McDermott will be competing for that spot if he continues his development.
    3. The Reds are gutsy, I admire their application and they are really trying. They don’t threaten a lot but gee I hope they can come through this and taste the fruits of there all the hard work that they have done.
    3. Thank goodness Mariko Koribete can’t kick – if that “kicking dual” was extended by one more kick I was going to trash the tele.
    4. Best game I watched on the weekend as a spectacle was the Shute Shield match at Orange, packed crowd, great atmosphere, competitive and free-flowing game.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Force-Samoa game was a fantastic family outing at the start of WA long weekend. Entertainment was top class and the rugby was pretty good. The Force defense won then the game, and the new rules ensure a fast pace attacking game. It required something special to break the Force defense and Samoa delivered. If Samoa can play more games together next the score will be tighter as I do not think the score reflects how tight the game was – just a couple of defenses lapses that the Force exploited. Next year with a couple of marque players it will be different…..

Rugby
@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

More in Rugby