After a horror run of two defeats from the Force the Waratahs are heading for a three-peat on Saturday.
Although the Force have had some unlucky hiccups this year, they own the Flowers. Here is my accurate preview of the match—and to be fair to the Flowers, I generously gave the right of reply to “Pfitzy” a tragic Waratahs’ fan—a tautology, I know.
The Force will win
Daryl Gibson claimed in April that that Waratahs would never drift back into arrogance again. Never has a man been more wrong. If alchemy has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t turn lead into gold. A leopard doesn’t change its spots. Those born to the manor will always look down their noses at the help.
So we come to Saturday’s showdown. The Waratahs are riding high from three wins on the trot and will be under the absurd misconception that they will just need to show up to take home five points. That’s the same attitude that resulted in the Waratahs being embarrassed by the Force in Round 1 and the corresponding match last year.
They should feel very sheepish: there are 80 year old men who have less difficulty getting fired up for some action. Now in May, they will stride into NIB stadium pumped full of hot air and sneering at the hostile home crowd—air that will be knocked out as they are driven back again and again—sneers that will be wiped off by a desperate Force defence.
Expect a considerable glazier’s bill sent through on Monday morning.
Bend over Michael – The Force will make you feel sheepish.
Every inch the Waratahs shrink will be another inch the Force grow. When I close my eyes all I can see is Kurtley Beale grasping at thin air as Steve Mafi gallops past him on his way to yet another meat pie. Or Matt “Gladiator” Hodgson charging over the line off the back of a maul as the disheveled Waratah forwards struggle back to their feet. It will be a tough night for the Waratahs.
Waratahs’ fans will may find some consolation as the cry into their beers after the game. It will be a learning experience for the boys in (effeminate) blue. They will get to see what true character looks like. Maybe there will even be time to put those lessons into practice as the Waratahs’ run toward the finals. But then, a leopard doesn’t change its spots.
Force by 9.
The Championship run begins now
This week, the Tah train rolls back into Perthfontein with its sights set on four in a row. I’m not really sure what to read into the last three weeks of giving away bonus points to losing opposition (hi Ponies fans!) but it might point to the other teams being tuned into the Tahs’ game plan.
Either way, its almost a shame that we’re not on our way to South Africa after this, because Perth (and Western Australia in general) is great preparation for it: dull, distant, populated with too many people speaking English badly, who are generally mistrustful of anything that isn’t them.
And now that they’re out of mining booms, they’re looking down the barrel of a post-apartheid scenario where they’ll be taken over by the minority groups – artists, hipsters and coffee shop owners (if there’s a difference) will rise up to remove FIFO miners as the ruling class. And sand gropers will be forced to sit in their overpriced houses, muttering into their Swan Lager that it isn’t like “the good old days”.
Mining boom is over
But I digress.
The rugby is the thing here, and in all honesty, the Tahs need to aim up over their last outing against the Force. They were out-enthused in Sydney in the first match, but after a few close ones will not be making that mistake again. The forwards can match it with the Perth boys, and our backs can tear them apart.
The Force have had a rough trot since that win, always putting in a decent effort, yet not having the class to finish things off or hold a side. Boom second rower Adam Coleman versus Will Skelton will be a great match up if both are fit and raring, and it could be that niggly bastardry of the Perth lads puts the wind up us for a while.
Maybe even for minutes.
Tahs by 12