Reds Overwhelm The Waratahs. - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

Reds Overwhelm The Waratahs.

Reds Overwhelm The Waratahs.

  • Reds 7 tries to 1
  • Hat trick to Alex Mafi
  • Tate McDermott Official Man of the Match

By guest writer Hoss with thanks from GaGR.


Look, I blame Graham Cooper.

The Tah’s were in this contest, evenly matched, keen, fit and more than capable, then that mongrel blew ‘time on’ and well, it was largely downhill from there, and you know the rest.

Played in front of a bumper crowd of approximately 317 people, it was a night of firsts for the Reds in Sydney – a record score and a first win since 2013, seven tries to one and all this with the Northern Invaders barely ever getting out of second gear.

The reality for my beloved Tah’s is that they are playing to their current levels. The result was absolutely in line with their current levels of skill, their levels and connections as a team and to their current levels of experience.

In preparation for my guest gig reporting on this game I actually turned to the stats of the two sides to gain better insight. To my surprise the stat’s, If you didn’t know that the Reds were first on the SRA Table and the Tah’s were, well, the opposite of first, the stats before the start of round 6 were actually very, very similar. Check them out for yourselves here

Of course statistics are but one small contributor, are always historical in nature and rarely do they quantify the ‘grey matter’ or the ‘1%’s’ of a game and here, as was evidenced tonight the Tah’s fell well and truly short.

There is no shortage of will or endeavour by those in blue, there is however a dearth of Rugby IQ or IP though and therein lies the rub. The solution is painful, it’s purely dependent on time and executive will. Seven rounds into the comp and the folly of the NSW Executive to ‘save money’ on the player roster has been laid bare. You have a team of young men, good men, trying hard in what must be a very intense climate. My question for another time for the Executive Arm of the Tah’s is ‘what price monetary savings? What is the organisation saving really – compared to the actual commercial and human capital losses being experienced right now? But I digress.

For the Tah’s Tizzano put in another terrific shift and is a ball of pure physical intent wrapped in an angry body mixed with healthy doses of mongrel thrown in for good measure. In my opinion he could be the only Tah player invited to Moses’ PONI gathering from tomorrow. Perese repaid the faith of his coaches and was strong. The price of admission was worth it alone for him and Paisami to bash each other in the first 40. Foketi was also pretty good with the fractured fruit he got. The reality is the Tah’s are soft up front. You could have Jehovah himself at 10-15, and it wouldn’t matter when the engine room coughs and splutters like a Lada Niva.

There’s a saying I throw at my teams from time to time ‘we judge ourselves by our intent, other judge us by our actions’. Have a look at Harry Johnson-Holmes on the halftime break in the sheds. Cockbain is talking, the team are eyes and heads-up and engaging. HJH – chewing his nails, looking at the floor and looking like he’d rather be anywhere else. To be fair if I was opposing The Abattoir at scrums maybe my heart wouldn’t be in it either.

As an extension of that, watch the Tah’s warm up. I counted 4 dropped balls during warm up and the obligatory (and folks, this REALLY shits me) 3-4 players running in and giving the ‘it’s alright’ bum tap.  Disney has a great saying – ‘the standard you walk past is the standard you accept’. What was the standard the Tah’s accepted?

Anyhow – enough on the Tah’s. The brutal truth is they are at where they are and improvements will be gradual and 18+ months in the making. It’s a matter of who blinks first now.

What do we make of the Reds? Is it good that they didn’t get out of second gear and won by daylight? Or is it a bit concerning that they just lacked a touch of ruthlessness? If they want to be the best and (drumroll) I firmly believe they can, they need to be more ruthless. Rhetorical question, ‘how much would the Crusaders have won by tonight’? To win the whole thing with teams from the Shaky isles involved, they must improve, certainly I think they can and by some way.

That said they are a well-coached, well-connected and intelligent Rugby side. They have clarity of role, skill, pace and size all over the park and in my opinion potentially the best Oz side since the reds of 2011 or the Tah’s of 2014.

Eru justified his start. He has a great engine, silky skills and a good reader of the game. I believe he will surely be in the PONI squad of Sunday. Daugunu was terrific, and I love how he gets involved and his propensity for the hard stuff at ruck time. JOC2.0 was all class and I love how he underplays his role and injects himself at key times. This in turn allows McDermott to dictate play and that also grows him as a leader and a player ad that’s the success of the Reds right there. They invested, they identified a succession plan, they planned for pain, all bought into the vision of the padre a few years back and like a good investment they are reaping the results now – NSW Executives anyone paying attention??

History will show that on this night on display in Sydney there were two rugby sides at very different junctures of time on their rugby journeys. At approx. 20 minutes into the first half the Tah’s locks packed down for a scrum with a combined 4 Super Rugby matches to their name. The Tah’s have a #9 who never runs, a #10 who runs sideways a starting #1 & #3 who are the ‘Men from Uncle’ – entirely invisible. In Bell, Tizzano, Harris & Harrison they have young bucks to build off, but only time will tell who buckles first.

Special mention to Angus Scott-Young on his 50th cap. He’s a player that never gets the plaudits he deserves, doesn’t do the flash stuff, but boy oh boy, what would the Tah’s give for someone like him, that through his actions he lays the platform for the ‘big names’ to do what they do. He has long been the consummate team man.

But before you start beating your chests red fans, it isn’t all bad news for NSW. Wipe the toothless smiles from your face as verily I say this to you all – he whom laughs last laughs loudest.

The economy of NSW is the big winner from tonight’s match. The chiropractors straightening our props spines courtesy of the Abattoir and co, the sports psychologists employed to mend bruised, damaged psyches, the Dan Murphy retailer’s boost in sales from depressed Tah’s fans sourcing bottled mood conditioner and the additional staff required at the Sports Recruitment Agency charged with finding ‘Dead Man Walking’ Coach Penney’s replacement. It’s a huge win for our economy and those of us who reside in the chosen lands, in these unusual and perilous economic times.

You may have won the game, but again the great state of NSW wins overall in the game of life.

Take that Queensland.


The Game Changer

Referee blowing time on.


Tate McDermott,  only just ahead of Seru Eru. Tate was energetic, played heads-up rugby and looked to keep the tempo up all match. Not to mention the diminutive #9 put one of our starting locks out of the game with a ‘hit’ – for shame, for shame.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Waratahs 14
Tries: Harris


Penalties: Harrison 3

Reds 46
Tries: McDermott, Salakaia-Loto, Daugunu, Tupou, Mafi 3
Conversions: O’Connor 2 Hegarty 2

Penalties: O’Connor


YC – Nongorr

  • Crescent

    Thanks Hoss – love your work. Sadly, this was an improved performance from the Tahs – grading it reminds me of a nasty bout of peritonitis where a nurse wanted me to identify from swatches the closest colour to my vomit. Grading this performance feels the same. No matter the colour, it’s not pleasant.

    Penney should not be in the frame. The Powers That Be should be the ones under the pump for these performances. From pure pragmatism, if you eject Penney, who in their right mind would want the job?

    • Hoss

      There’s no panacea to cure what currently ails the Tah’s mate. Only time and hard graft will fix this.

      My point above are that all the ‘savings’ in the world for player payments next year will only attract mercenaries at the end of the journeys, so how does that fix NSW rugby?

      They need a ‘centre piece’ to recruit off and IMO that centrepiece is one M Cheika as director of coaching.

      • Brisneyland Local

        SO that he can root the Tah’s as badly as he did the Wallabies? that would be scary.

        • Yowie

          At least the powerpoint presentations on strategy options wouldn’t take up too much of the training schedule.

        • Brisneyland Local


        • Custardtaht

          Not a Cheika fan and not saying Penney should go, but wasn’t he the coach who turned them around and won the Super Rugby Championship. Maybe his ceiling as a coach is Super Level.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes but he had a sqaud with a lot of Wallabies in back then. ANd that was before he was Wallabies coach and made them all Wallabies. This is basically a clean sheet. He doesnt have a spine or a nucleus to build from. I dont think he would be able to do it. And even putting my Cheika bashing a way for 30 secs, I dont think graham Henry could turn this lot around.

        • Custardtaht

          Valid points. I think this type of situation is exactly the sort of thing that plays to his strengths. Building a team of loyal followers who fit his mold, and will accept his way without question. It couldn’t be a long term thing as he stales quickly, but 2 to 3 years and move on.

        • Brisneyland Local

          True. BUt the question is what position? Coaching director seems like the right position, but the question is can Cheika be that? He is a one man show the Generalisimo! I am not 100% sure that he can be the strategic man that is offset and over seeing. He is the hands on direct everything kind of guy.

        • Yowie

          From the limited bits & pieces I have read/seen about general George S. Patton, there are some Cheika similarities. Eg success from being a hard-charging sonofabitch and a pain in the arse to colleagues/supervisors.

        • Brisneyland Local

          YEs I have worked for a number of generals like that. They are good in short doses.

        • Gigs20

          I actually disagree, and I’m the strongest cheika critic you can find. Cheikas success with the tahs proved exactly one thing. Their problem isn’t coaching, it isn’t the players, it isn’t the support staff or the colour of the uniforms. Cheika has been the only coach in the history of time that has had the ability and will to keep the board from interfering with the team. He managed to win a Super rugby title with players known to be fragile compared to many of their contemporaries, imagine what a coach could do with the good players out of that system.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I do agree with that. But the question is, is he htere as the coach of the Director of Rugby? Both are very different positions. But yes he is a force of nature and would bully the board back into their seats. that is for sure.

        • Huw Tindall

          Thorn essentially did a Chekia. He demanded total control over the programme and kept the suits out of it. One of the articles recently mentioned a former Tah player saying Chek was essentially the CEO of the whole place. One way to get politics out of it is to have a dictator! If they are benevolent it really can work!

      • Alister Smith

        Are we allowed to mention his name again already….OK

      • Greg

        Who knows… maybe he would be great on that job. I have seem stranger transformations that worked really well, and some that did not.

        I think the Ass Clown jibes are not warranted. There are lots of facts we can stick with.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I like it all except getting that arse clown involved. With the shit he’s dribbling on Stan I’m only more convinced that he has very little knowledge of rugby tactics or even the basics of how to develop and implement a plan. Apart from some obvious motivation skills, a high level of misplaced confidence and being a bully he offers nothing. If NSW can’t find anyone better than him then they deserve all the crap they are in

      • idiot savant

        Its an intriguing and bold idea. A few random thoughts:

        Cheika I think will want control over the coach. I doubt Penney is his man, so he would want a disciple – like Nathan Grey.

        The Tahs can’t copy the Reds because the models are too different. Thorn started with the Qld Under 20s as a cohort, coached them at NRC level, and then took them into SR. The QRU supported the process and the values drive. Theres a baseline there that doesn’t fit with the entrepreneurial individualism of the NSW scene – the Shute shield aficionados, the haters of the NRC, the behind the scenes power plays, its a divided landscape that values the individual over the cohort.

        2014 was the first time the Tahs won anything. The Brumbies and Reds have won more tournaments since international provincial rugby tournaments began. The Tahs won in 2014 by buying in talent (there was no cohort led by Cheika or the NSW RU). Cheik was part of the buy in along with Folau, Beale, Pottgeiter, Naiyavoro etc.

        So if history is any guide, money is needed, a significant buy in required, and a great motivator required as coach. May as well just reappoint Cheik as head coach wth an open Cheik book.

        • Huw Tindall

          Chek made key acquisitions just like Penney said were needed when he signed up 1.5 years ago. Only problem was Penney didn’t have control of the purse strings….

  • Yowie

    Great write-up Hoss.

    All the more admirable on account of (presumably) having to watch the game and write it stone motherless sober. More than I can say for my viewing of it this evening.

    On the up-side, with the Tahs dominating the last 10 mins of last weeks game and the first 10 minutes of this weeks game, next week they will have the Brumbies surrounded with the classic pincer movement.

    • Hoss

      It’s the first time in a while I’ve decided to / had to / chosen to be sober to watch them play.

      Won’t make that mistake again.

      What’s the old joke about the best way to avoid a hangover – stay drunk.


      • Brisneyland Local

        Only quitters go to Rehab!

        • Yowie

          To butcher a Frankie Boyle joke from after Amy Winehouse died:

          “The police say her toxicology report might take some time…even if they leave the printer on overnight”

        • Brisneyland Local


  • It’s all Hoss mate.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      My excuse is i was drunk on a train when i wrote this

      • Yowie

        At least you don’t need to steer when you’re driving a train. It’s not like you were at risk of hitting a tree.

      • Reds Revival

        Can I borrow that excuse KARL? It has so many applications;
        I have your exam results
        “My excuse is i was drunk on a train when i wrote this”

        I got your love letter
        “My excuse is i was drunk on a train when i wrote this”

        You’re not listening to me
        “My excuse is i was drunk on a train when i wrote this”

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          You’re welcome. Results may differ

  • Brisneyland Local

    Hoss, well that must have been painful. I am proud of you for writing that. I am sure it wasnt cathartic.
    BL’s points in no particular order:
    – The reds struggled through that and dropped a lot of ball. A lot of ball. A lot of silly errors.
    – LSL still worries me. He is always good for three or four penalties.
    – Nela was bloody brilliant.
    – The Reds attacking play was great. Pity most of it didnt stick.
    – It was lucky that it didnt or the score line would have been triple figures.
    – The Padre cleared the bench early to save his boys for next week and get some game time for the juniors in the squad. And yet they still managed to pile on the points.
    – Uru is a great find. I really hope he finds his way into the PONI squad. Great skills great motor.
    – Tate Mc Had a great game. So did JOC. Hunter and Dungnunu as well.
    – This Tah’s team is not the Coach’s fault. But he will wear the blame. I feel sorry for him.
    Anyway I dont want to keep hitting the tahs whilst they are down. But they sucked.
    Over to you GAGR’s

    • Damo

      I’m just wondering how long Thorn will put up with Jordy’s loose handling and 50/50 passes. He is mercurial and does some great things but a lot of promising moves break down with him. I think I would be bringing Hamish back to 12 Paisami to 13, and bringing Jordan on in the 2nd half with some pretty explicit instructions. He is still very young and will be good.

      • Reds Revival

        Completely agree Damo. I think Jordy needs to be benched for the next game. He has always played when he is available, so it might make him reconsider some of his poor handling and hail Mary passes. I actually think that this will make him a better player if he rides the pine for a week or two.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah he is high risk and high reward. If the rest of the players are playing disciplined rugby, then it is ok to have a HR/HR player inthe team. But when everyone else passes arent always sticking it is of concern.

      • Keith Butler

        Don’t know whether overrated is the right word but I agree with you.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Still too much dropped ball, inaccurate passing and some dumb decisions at times when to pass or not for me.

      • Brisneyland Local

        For the Reds?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yeah. I watched the game this morning whilst drinking copious amounts of coffee and they just lack accuracy. Love the good stuff Paisami does but gee he fucks up a lot as well

        • Brisneyland Local

          Hunter and JOrdan both had a few errors each. In fact the Reds really never got out of second gear, with too many errors and soft penalties. But whent hey get the attck to stick it will be good. tongan Thor’s try was outstanding. The old Islander side step.

    • I’m only seeing the highlights still :(

      The Tahs desperately need to learn how to tackle. Up here, Italy have been the whipping boys in the 6N and they’ve had the excuse that they’ve fielded a bunch of schoolboys. Almost everyone is 22 or under and, as I’ve said before, in the first match Alun Wyn Jones on his own had more caps than their whole side. But they put up more defensive effort than I saw in the highlights!

      Looks like you were spot on about Penney wearing the blame.

      • Brisneyland Local

        It is ok to pick a side of youth, stick with them and build them. A long term goal. But NSWRU got themselves into this mess. And they are firing their way out of it and that never works.

        • I agree with that.

          I’ve defended Italy, and while they’re still making mistakes, they have improved. It’s also hard to tell from a highlights show how good or bad a side really is – if you watched the highlights of France v Wales you’d believe neither side can’t tackle either, and they’re two of the best defensive sides in the competition.

          I disagree with the firing of Penney, but jeez, it still looked way too easy to score against them for a SR team, even though they were playing against the top side in the contest at the moment.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true, but almost half the team was only playing SHit Shield a year ago. They havnt had the chance to be filtered into the team. They were just thrown in the deep end.

  • HK Red

    What a write-up Hoss. Lots of completely unacceptable generalisations regarding QLDers and Reds fans. As both of those things, I loved it. Hopefully through the season we’ll see another report from you, but with a better result for the Tahs. No-one likes to see an Aussie team playing this badly, I know I hated it when it was the Reds.

    Also, Tizzano is a bloody courageous player. For mine, I would have handed him MOTM as soon as he laid it on the line and tried to take down Tupou at full gallop. It didn’t work, but massive balls and total lack of self-preservation, will never go amiss in the Green and Gold. Hopefully he gets rewarded.

    • Hoss

      I actually am a huge fan of the northern invaders and of The Padres (for some time). Admittedly I say that with jaw clenched shut and no lip movement.

      My eventual dream was to move to Qld and open a banjo shop, but apparently the market is saturated……….

      • Brisneyland Local

        No its not mate. Come in as a market leader and sell electric banjo’s. you will be ahead of the curve and help bring Qld into the modern era.

        • Happyman

          We have electricity?

        • Brisneyland Local


      • Yowie

        We don’t take kindly to fast-talkin Sydney folk comin’ up here with your fancy banjos and your internets…

        • Hoss

          You call me ‘Sydney’ again and we can’t be friends.

          I am from the Hunter.

          Sydney-sliders are lucky to find their arse cheeks with two hands let alone find the economic powerhouse and massive carbon contributor (plus nations most obese per capita AND most amount of teenage mums per capita) that is the Hunter Valley.

        • Yowie

          That’s crazy-talk.

          What’s next, not all Victorians are late-sipping hipsters who yell sh!t at Indigenous AFL players?


      • idiot savant

        I think all the Tah fans are praying for deliverance now…

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    Nice work, Mr. Cartwright. I’m slightly less depressed than I was after seeing the score. Glad I don’t get to watch this year.

  • Who?

    Ref looked better than Murphy, but the Reds don’t need any assistance… And they got some. Interested to see when the Reds will finally be consistently penalized for consistently walking around their LHP. They don’t scrum square – and with the talent in that tight five, there’s absolutely no reason why they should be walking that far sideways.

    For anyone not a partisan Reds fan, that was 2 hours wasted. Didn’t really learn anything new – Uru’s excellent, McDermott’s excellent. LSL’s a thug. Tahs tight five is chocolate. Tizzano deserves all the credit he gets. Harrison was better than the last few games I’ve seen him, and Maddocks was the better fullback (again, consistently the best back in that backline).

    • Can’t really add anything to that Who.
      Maybe Reds scrums weren’t quite as blatant as last week.

      Oh, one thing, we want Tizzano back.

      • Alister Smith

        I suspect he might want to go back the way things are going for him.

        • Gigs20

          I don’t know so much, he’s getting 80 minutes a week and all the media attention at *automatic wallaby land* do you really think he wants to fight it out with kane koteka every week to be ignored by Rennie and be denigrated by Aussie rugby media?

        • Alister Smith

          true enough…I don’t know about Rennie though…while not from the West myself I think there were some players from the Force squad last year good enough to at least make the broader Wallabies squad to gain some experience (ahead of a Melbourne Storm RL player anyway).

  • Huw Tindall

    I’m a glass half full guy so was encouraging to see exactly how many chances the Tahs had in the Reds 22. They struggled to convert but at least there were opportunities.

    After that if you take away the endless Reds scrum penalties giving them easy territory and attacking opportunities then the game is a lot closer. Having average props and losing the starting front row after 15 minutes was always going to end in tears.

    Get the Tahs a 5 and they’ll go ok. Add say Latu, Skelton, and Hannigan to the Tahs with a veteran like Holmes and they instantly look better. Enough talent in the younger guys to feed off them and of course Hooper is back next year so will be spoilt with Tizzano as well.

    Perese and Foketi looked handy today too. Hopefully Foketi isn’t out injured again though. Bloke can’t buy consecutive games at this point.

    Going to be a tough season but ride it out and look ahead to development.

    • Red Block

      That’s assuming that Hooper won’t be an 80 minute player and Tizzano will be left to rot in the Shute Shield or he’ll get jack of it and head elsewhere. The Tahs record of managing succession planning isn’t exactly overwhelming.
      Remember Mac Mason anyone?

      • Reds Revival

        Isn’t he winger for the Brumbies now?

      • Huw Tindall

        Hooper could do with not playing every minute of every Super and Test each year. Even the Energizer Bunny is going to run out of batteries at some point. Reading the media Tizzano is mad competitive and told the coaches he was here to take Hoopers starting spot. Check out the balls on this bloke.

  • Custardtaht

    As to question, what the Tahs are actually saving. I think the following;

    1. Security, not needed if stands are empty
    2. Covid Marshall’s and Covid plan, not needed if stands are empty.
    3. Food , not needed if stands are empty
    4. Web domain, not needed if no fans
    5. Saving Face, did the Tahs lose if no one is there to see or hear it.

  • Happyman

    Nice work boys on getting the article up so quickly.

    The game was never in doubt the Tahs tried hard but they really struggle man for man at the moment. As a Qld supporter I truly feel sorry for the coach as he seems to be doing a good job and the team is playing for him. I fear that the Tahs board will knife him in spite of this situation being a problem of there own making.

    Tizzano is standing out and I am sure the Sydney media will speak him into being a Wallaby but TBH he does not make the Qld back row if he were North of the boarder. Some of your backs should get a chance as they are playing behind a violated pack every week but not one forward should make the squad they are just terrible.

    Reds did what they had to do and one could argue that they did not get out of second gear they still won by thirty.

    All on all life is good nice coffee on a Saturday and the sun is shining.

    • Yowie

      Nice work boys on getting the article up so quickly.

      With a game like this in the calendar, the author can write most of it in advance, leaving a few blanks along the lines of:

      [ ] from the Reds scored a cracking try in the [ ] minute, O’Connor converted

      • Hoss

        Great minds Yowie, I knew I mostly liked you sometimes…..

        • Greg

          Hoss is not letting on that he wrote this 4 weeks ago, It is amazingly accurate.

        • Custardtaht

          He is known as NosTahdamus, the Oracle of QAnon.

        • Yowie

          HOSS Yes. I am the keeper of a greater magic. A power known throughout the universe, known as….
          BARF The force?
          HOSS No. The Schwartz.

  • Greg

    I was at the game. It was a good night out. The stadium and playing surface were in great shape – some re-packing of the turf notwithstanding – …. and then there was the game.

    I said to a mate at the beginning of the game, I want to see JOC2.0 have a good game and see the Tahs play well…. but I don’t think both things can happen in the one game.

    It was interesting to watch OConnor. He holds himself in reserve very well, and commits into the breakdown or the tackle when he needs to but is otherwise standing back for whatever happens next. I don’t know what the Tahs error rate was, but when hard on attack, I would guess it is 90+. Attacking lineout? overthrow. Attacking maul, knock on.

    This is depressing but otoh… surely the basics can be improved. Who knows what might happen then. Shooting the coach won’t change a lot imo. The boys tried hard – no question. They need to be better at the basics first… and then see what they can do form there.

  • Alister Smith

    Excellent work Hoss, intelligent, insightful, and very funny (as usual) – hope it isn’t a one-off as I enjoyed it very much.

    One thing – with the HJH “looking at the floor” – from unfortunate personal experience as a “fill in prop” who once came up against a former Australian Schoolboy and barely lived to tell the tale – he may not have been able to move his neck at all to lift his eyes above the horizontal. Chewing the finger nails might actually have been cleaning the mud out after he was forced to touch down a few times (didn’t watch the game unfortunately so not sure if he actually did that).

    Also, I guess the budget is one thing, but how much would Queensland be paying for a player like Eru – last year they lost Rodda, struggle with their line-out for much of the season but seem to be able to identify someone and get them to a level pretty quickly.

    I guess the issue for Penney is that he has so little experience around those players, and he has to bring on 10 – 15 new players in a squad, which, for me, makes the decision to let someone like Karmichael Hunt go (who wouldn’t have been costing them much if he is prepared to keep playing for Souths Logan in Rugby League). The Force may not face the same limitations around $$ as the Tahs, at the moment, but they were able to pick up some experienced players from the market, including a number of current test quality Argentinians – they are still struggling against the top two teams but I think a couple of players with that level of experience in the Tahs would have made a difference. An experienced 12 next to Harrison (Guitea has signed to play Major League Rugby and I suspect it isn’t for enormous money), a TH prop of the quality of Greg Holmes, a couple of strong locks. They would have known well ahead of time that they had inadequacies in some of those areas and could have bought in some experienced players on specific one year deals, who would have, in both training and on the playing field, helped these youngsters develop. I imagine there are some journeymen players running around in ITM as well who possibly could have brought something to this squad over a relatively short season. Haven’t seen if Gary Whetton’s young bloke has had a run yet – he can bench 200kg according to the news but that isn’t much use if he can’t play rugby as well.

    Anyway, while this season is obviously gone, I think there are a lot of very good young players getting some life and football lessons at the moment and if they can learn from them, I have faith that they can do what the Reds have done. I don’t think Penney is an issue if he is not the one calling the shots around player recruitment at the moment. His record prior to the Tahs was decent and I think I saw some improvement over the course of last season.

    But I am with you, the budget is important but there might have been other ways to approach this and add some experience to help these young blokes develop.

    • Hoss

      G’day Al, agree with you on all fronts. For mine the coach is NOT a factor in the bigger picture in recruitment and form. The Tah’s are playing to their current best levels and were improved last night. My inference to ‘dead man walking’ is more to do with likely board level actions and he being the the fall guy.

      The more I think on the Tah’s current predicament the more I want to punch Gibson and Hoare square on the nose.

      The rescue package for for me lies in Cheik as director of rugby – essentially freezing out any Tah’s executive involvement in player issues. He becomes a magnet for recruitment / retention. Buys some clean air for Penney, who I believe is a good coach to simply coach and then and only then when all is in place can you get clear form lines and can arrive at informed decisions.

      • laurence king

        Thanks for the write-up mate, funny, insightful and a way forward. Some involvement by Cheika as you suggest could be the way forward. A couple of experienced blokes could do a lot for this young side and it certainly begs the question as to why some weren’t found doesn’t it?

      • Alister Smith

        You agree with me that you are intelligent, insightful and very funny….and also a very humble man too I guess. ;)

        • Yowie

          If people want to shower Hoss with compliments, who would he be to deny them the pleasure?

      • Alister Smith

        Yes I don’t think it is a bad idea. As long as both blokes are of the right temperament to work together. I have no knowledge of either man to be able to say this but I get a feeling with Cheika that there would be certain blokes that he would work well with and other types that he might not. If there is a way that both men could stay in their channels, so to speak, then it would work but, to use a rugby league comparison, you could get a Griffin-Gould at Penrith experience. Now Penrith are in the right spot at the moment and much of it had to do with both those men but neither of them are there.

  • Reds Revival

    Thanks Hoss for your ponderings from The Ponderosa. They are insightful, intelligent and witty, which must make you quite the anomaly in the Hunter region. Geez, I drove through Cessnock last year at 90kph and still lost three of my hubcaps!

    By far, the biggest take away for the game for me was the lead up work to Taniela Tupou’s try. There must have been ten offloads in that stretch of play. Clearly, this is what Jim McKay has been working towards – where the forwards and backs can link up to keep the ball alive. It is almost impossible for any team to defend against it. We saw glimpses of it last year in the games against the Jaguares, and then also when the narrowly lost to the Crusaders.
    We have all pulled our hair out at some of the forced passes, but when you see it work like that, it is a thing of beauty (particularly if the Wallabies can play like that against the ABs).
    It is ominous for other teams when they see those passes starting to stick, and with the Reds being able to boast some serious firepower on their bench (Liam Wright to return soon, Uru, Mafi, Stewart), you know that it is going to be high octane for 80+ minutes.

    • Hoss

      Three hubcaps, locals are slipping a bit..

      • Yowie

        Must have already had one of that type, so just needed to complete the set.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Awesome work Hoss, thanks for this and sorry for the drunken credit being passed elsewhere.

  • Keith Butler

    My friend you have surpassed yourself. Eloquently put, the Bard would be proud of you. Tizzano really shone out for me. If he’s not in the PONI it would be a travesty and I’d go as far as to say he would make my match day squad. The Tahs do need a no nonsense front five though.

    • Huw Tindall

      Rennie rewards form and 5 games from Tizzano isn’t enough. Reckon if he continues to make more tackles than anyone in the comp whilst not being far behind on the metres front then he can’t not be in the picture. Tough lining up behind McReight and Hooper though. Also feel for Dicky Hardwick. IMO he’s been the best jackling/ruck destroying 7 in the comp hands down. McReight showing better link play and Tizzano a tackling machine but if Rennie wanted a pure on baller in the Poey mould then Hardwick would be your man.

  • Reds Revival

    The PONI squad has been announced. Here is the link;
    It’s a good looking squad. A nice mix of old and new. A couple of notable omisions are BPA, and Sio, and a couple of surprise inclusions with no game time are Tom Wright and Isi Naisarani. Liam Wright is also not in the mix.

    • Yowie

      Brumbies 14, QLD Reds 12, Melbourne Rebels 7, NSW Waratahs 4 and Western Force 3

      Operation Keep Western Australia Down seems to be well on track.

      • Reds Revival

        Having said that, I’m really happy to see Anstee in the mix. He has the height and skill set that we are missing at 6. A few more kilos and he will be great for the Wallabies.

        • Hoss

          I think the form rake of SRA has been Kaitu’u. BPA is poor at throws, lazy in general play and seems a tool, Faiinga probably unlucky not to get a spot, but perhaps it’s a warning shot from Moses to lift his general play.

          Pretty happy with the squad overall.

          Scotty Sio should never be near fold again – he was dreadful in gold last year.

        • Reds Revival

          That’s a big call Hoss on both BPA and Fingers. I do agree with your sentiment on Sio though.
          Moses has been true to his word about picking on SR form, which can only be a good thing. No-one is guaranteed their jersey!

  • Greg
    • laurence king

      Its unseemly, this mob (the board) are a disgrace. Penney should not be going

  • Andrew M

    Thanks for the match report otherwise I would be none the wiser from reading the local rag the Courier Mail

    The only mention of the Reds win is the score in an article about the NSW Tahs coach getting sacked

    Am I the only person who can’t find any Reds news in the CM

    • idiot savant

      The CM is owned by News Ltd who have a big stake in Foxtel who just lost the rights to rugby union broadcasts. And just to show there are no hard feelings and how much they believe in quality journalism they print a sentence or two about rugby union every now and then. And its usually so positive it reveals just how much they want the game to grow and prosper in Australia.

      • Andrew M

        Love it ty for the quick
        Lesson in big media dummy spits

  • Nutta

    Well done mate. Would not have been easy.

NSW Waratahs

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to

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