Reds steal late win over the Brumbies - Green and Gold Rugby
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Reds steal late win over the Brumbies

Reds steal late win over the Brumbies
QUICK MATCH STATS

  • Late Jordan Petaia try seals Reds win
  • Doubles to Pete Samu and Folau Fainga’a
  • Suliasi Vunivalu scores maiden Super Rugby try

The Reds and Brumbies have played out an absolute heart stopper in Canberra with the visitors coming out on top with a last minute 40-38 win following a Jordan Petaia try right at the death to snatch the win.

The Brumbies shot out to a 17-0 lead after just 15 minutes, but the Reds chipped away with James O’Connor pulling the strings to keep them in the hunt at half time before their scrum showed their dominance in the second half.

The loss of Tom Ross and Scott Sio for the Brumbies around the 60 minute mark saw the Reds finish with 24 points and come home with a wet sail to secure their first win in Canberra since 2014.

The Match

The Brumbies opened the scoring with a penalty goal after just two minutes to Noah Lolesio after the Reds defensive line was a bit eager to get off the line in their own half.

The Reds looked a little off their game early with a knock on from Jordan Petaia allowing the Brumbies good field position and followed by penalty advantages, the Brumbies went to the right wing and Andy Muirhead put Pete Samu away with only millimetres to spare on the touch line for the opening try after five minutes.

The Reds had a great chance to hit back from the restart but fluffed their lines and the ball was kicked downfield and the Reds were saved by a steaming Suliasi Vunivalu. But the resulting five metre scrum saw the Brumbies camped on the Reds line and while the Reds were initially able to halt the rolling maul, they couldn’t stop the returning Folau Fainga’a from scoring from close range. Lolesio’s conversion made it 17-0 after 14 minutes.

The Reds were able to benefit from the next restart after the Brumbies knocked on and then gave away a penalty to give James O’Connor the chance to get his side on the board and regain their composure after a shaky start. That gave the Reds the lift they needed, and O’Connor added a second penalty six minutes later as the Brumbies started to infringe and gain the attention of referee Nic Berry.

Vunivalu had a mixed opening half but made up for a knock on in his own 22 to finish off a nice Reds move down the right wing with O’Connor linking up with Harry Wilson to send Vunivalu away. Jock Campbell’s elusive kick return set up the passage to make it 13 points in as many minutes for the visitors.

O’Connor then undid his good work with a knock on at the back and from the scrum, Pete Samu worked it close and a few phases later Nic White floated a wide pass to Samu on the left wing for his second try of the night.

After a slow start the Reds reduced the margin to eight points with O’Connor’s third penalty just before the break to make it 24-16 and end the point a minute opening half.

Embed from Getty Images

The Brumbies started the second half in the Reds half but some impressive defence by the Reds on their own line saw them repel the Brumbies initially. But like in the first half, the pressure was too much for the Reds second time around from the lineout and Fainga’a joined Samu as a double try scorer.

But with the lead at 31-16, there would have been a few nervous Brumbies fans as both starting props in Scott Sio and Tom Ross left the field injured to see Harry Lloyd and Archer Holz, on debut, as the props.

Straight away the Reds smelt blood and earned a crucial scrum penalty but O’Connor’s attempt hit the upright and from the resulting scrums where they were dominant, they turned it over from a penalty, where patience would have more than likely seen more points coming their way.

Eventually the Reds would get their try they had been working so hard for and it was the scrum that got them on top and it was Taniela Tupou from close range proving too much for the Brumbies defence to stop and O’Connor’s conversion made it an eight-point margin again with less than 20 minutes to go.

The Reds started to get the momentum going their way and again it was the Reds scrum that had them on the Brumbies line, and it was Harry Wilson on the back of a dominant scrum to score and O’Connor’s conversion made it 31-30.

But somehow the Brumbies would pull something out of the fire under the pump and a bit of footwork from Len Ikitau saw a little bit of space for Issak Fines-Leleiwasa to slip through and score. Ryan Lonergan’s crucial conversion made it back to eight points.

And there would be late, late drama as O’Connor added a penalty and then Seru Uru found acres of space from the restart to have the Brumbies back pedalling under pressure. A grubber from Hunter Paisami saw Jordan Petaia evade the goalposts and Brumbies defenders to score and give the Reds the lead for the first time in the game with only 70 seconds remaining and after O’Connor’s conversion they would hang on for a tense 40-38 win with Tupou having the final say as he kicked the ball into touch.



The Game Changer

In the second half, both Brumbies props left the field injured and from there, the Reds took control to score 24 points and finish off the game.


The G&GR MOTM

James O’Connor for the Reds showed his game smarts by taking the penalty with five minutes to go to give his side a chance to make it 20 points for the game and his side up trumps with the late Petaia try.


The Details

Score & Scorers

BRUMBIES 38
Tries: Samu 2, Fainga’a 2, Fines-Leleiwasa
Conversions: Lolesio 4, R Lonergan
Penalties: Lolesio
REDS 40
Tries: Vunivalu, Tupou, Wilson, Petaia
Conversions: O’Connor 4
Penalties: O’Connor 4

Cards

Nil

  • Greg

    Thanks for the write up.

    I thought it was a great game. Quite a few players showed some good form. I thought O’Connor was quiet early on but he was indeed the general that brought them back into the game.

    and @hoss …. the best performance from the Waratahs all season was tonight!

    • Cloudx14
    • Geoffro

      New Wallaby captain ?

      • laurence king

        O’Connor was great wasn’t he? Game management bang on.

        • Yowie

          O’Connor: [calmly] You ain’t got no problem Reds. I’m on the mother****er. Go back in there, chill them boys out and wait for Tupou, who should be coming directly.
          Reds: You sending Thor over the tryline?
          O’Connor: And through the Brumbies scrum. Feel better, mother****er?
          Reds: [grinning] Shit, yeah, Bieber! That’s all you had to say!

        • Geoffro

          Good stuff,yeah and fully vindicated for taking the points when on offer (suck that Googy)

        • idiot savant

          Ive got a fear that Goog will be the next Phil Kearns. He’s awfully pleased with himself.

  • Yowie

    What a cracker of a game – same opinion regardless of final result.

    The Wallabies should be ok this year if that is the sort of guts we have in these two teams.

  • Wallabrumby

    Just shows the importance of a strong scrum and good game management. Great game

  • Steve

    Great game!

    Valetini was my best on park all game only to cost the team with a cold drop near the death. Turning into such a powerful player.

    Masterclass in game management and cool headedness from JOC. Accurate kicking and good decision making?? As Cheik would say, it’s not the Australian way.

    Bit disappointing for the Brumbies to lose by essentially running out of props, but Reds can only play what’s in front of them and Tupou was destructive.

    Looking forward to the rematch.

    Did anyone see LSL appear to shove JOC at the end there?

    • Merrow

      Also his shot on an obviously injured Cusack. Dick move.

      • Hutch

        He should be suspended for that. I struggle with the logic of penalising players for being marginally offside, but doing nothing about a cheap shot on an injured player.

      • numpty

        Absolutely. The only excuse I can come up with was that he didn’t realise he was injured at the time. I know it looks obvious on replay, but it all happens pretty quick on the field.

    • Keith Butler

      Pete Samu put in a decent shift as well.

      • Steve

        Definitely KB. I’m just happy to see Valetini starting to run over blokes consistently (stomping over Wilson was a highlight) and manhandle them in D.

    • Timbo

      The shove was jovial from what i could see/read into it

    • Hambone

      Valentini really putting his hand up this season. Been very impressive, rating him alot

  • Huw Tindall

    Best game this year by a country mile. Brums know how it feels to lose a close one at the death now!

    Wallabies should do OK this year. White, JOC, Toomua, Paisami feel a lock at 9-13. Koroibete on the sting. Other wing spot and full back more open but plenty of candidates lining up. Tate and Hodge in the bench and we’re laughing.

    Also, if Tupou is not the most valuable player in Australian Rugby after the next world cup I’ll eat my hat.

    Seru Uru looking like a Wallaby bolter. Could have started him and bring LSL back from the bench.

    Really hope we get some trans Tasman so we can see how these two match up with NZ. Not so keen to see Force and Tahs get mashed by the Crusaders though.

    • Keith Butler

      Agreed Huw, looking good for the G&G. I wonder when or if Cabous Eloff from the Rebs will become eligible. At only 22 he could be a monster for the future. Just need some grunt at 4 and 5 and we’ll have a more than competitive pack.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        LSL and Uru are looking like providing that mate.

        • Reds Revival

          One game is a bit early to be throwing Sinclair’s name into the mix.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          True but it is an indicator of some depth

      • idiot savant

        The Rebels starting props were massive. Cabous is gonna need a dialogue coach to qualify for the Wallabies. He sounds like Tony Greig with a mouthful of molasses. No idea what’s he’s saying.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I’m not sure it’s just be the Force and Tahs. The Crusaders are looking pretty damn good – again. My Canes, not so much

      • idiot savant

        The Crusaders need to be swabbed. You can’t be that good eating lamb chops alone.

        • Custardtaht

          It’s the Special Rams Milk Sauce.

        • idiot savant

          ewe!

    • Geoffro

      Re wingers,Andy Muirhead deserves to be in the Wallaby mix.Always puts in a good shift and keeps improving.

      • Mike D

        Was it Muirhead got the offload away to Samu for his first pie? As a Reds fan I couldn’t effin’ believe it, absolute class.

    • Brumby Runner

      But so long as they are competitive with the Clan, Canes and Tribe, then they won’t be out of their depth or an embarrassment.

  • laurence king

    Thanks for the write-up mate. Great game, climactic finish.

  • Keith Butler

    Great game of rugby last night from both sides. Nice to see that GAGR have got their priorities right and only reported the game that mattered.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Good mrning GAGR’s! I am still eurphoric from last night. Oh what a win. Bad luck Brumbies, you fought to the end and ran out of bodies. A most enjoyable sight. BL’s points in no significant order:
    – I am worried LSL is a ral hot head, and should be the bench option. Uru is a fucking star.
    – JOC is definitely my pick for 10 and Captain. What a grown up boy he is now. He trod a hard path, but it has led him to the garden of plenty.
    – Tupou is farkin brilliant. A goofball, funny, but a scrum destroying machine.
    – The Qld backs when they finally starting partnering were excellent.
    – Valentini and Samu were brilliant for the Ponies.
    – I think for once we are starting to show some real strong options for the Wallabies. Unfortunately for Hoss there wont be a single tart in the line up.
    – I thought the referump had a pretty good game. He communicates very well.
    Over to you GAGR’s

    • Keith Butler

      Right on all counts BL. A great advert for the game. Just off now to Jansz Winery for lunch and a bit of wine tasting followed by the SDs v Les Bleus on Kayo, which was apparently another corker.

      • Brisneyland Local

        You lucky bastard

    • Damo

      And BL, a tweak to add to your Qld backs point, once Jordy P learns to relax and play to his instincts, he will be lethal. I still think Stewart would have been handy at some point in the 2nd half last night- mind you I’m not sure where we would have put him.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Vunivalu can go to the bench and come on when others are tired and use his speed. He still needs to learn more. Stewart should have been playing if it wasnt for him getting pissed and turning up late to training. Idiot.

        • Damo

          Aha! I hadn’t heard that. So the Padre’s penance for that sin is 3 Hail Mary’s and a week sitting in the grandstand. Fair enough.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. Off to the naughty corner. Great to see standards be applied and adhered to.

        • idiot savant

          I think Thorn skips the forgiveness passage in the Lords prayer. Just ask Quade, Karmichael, and James.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Absolutely, no way he justifies the hype that’s being touted. Out of position on defence and not a lot seen elsewhere

        • Brisneyland Local

          He will pick it up again. He grew up on union. Just needs to get the mungo ball beaten out of him.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yeah I agree but I think it’s go8ng to take a few years not a few games

        • Brisneyland Local

          At least a season.

        • Who?

          Part of the problem for him is the changes in defensive systems run at the top level in Rugby. I don’t imagine it was common for the teams he played in as a kid to defend their 10 on the wing and their wing at 10 off a lineout. And he wasn’t helped (in allowing that try) by LSL going into the ruck when it was sealed off and right when they cleared the ball. That was dumb from LSL.

        • Brisneyland Local

          LSL did not have a good game.

      • Mica

        At full back instead of Hegarty

  • numpty

    Great game and up the reds! What I’m most happy about with this game is that Aus rugby now has two teams that can close out a tight match. So often the kiwis pull a try out in the 70th minute to clinch victory from the jaws of defeat. We know brumbies can do this but the reds haven’t had the experience/cool headedness in the past. This will do huge things for their belief. Now they’re in the box seat for a home final – you beauty!

  • Jason

    Quite a few people saying ‘Reds Scrum was only good against the Brumbies trash’ and fair point, but I’d also point out Mafi while no slouch started for BPA who is probably the best scrumaging Hooker in Australia and the scrums against the Brumbies starting front row were slightly in favor of the Reds but not enough to dominate and gain the penalty. I feel like adding back in BPA and LSL having a few more games under his belt will help push that Reds scrum over the top of even the Brumbies first choice pack.

    • idiot savant

      Yeah the Brumbies starting tight head struggled against Zander. He went down in the first 2 scrums, got away with the first one and was penalised in the second. The Brums had one good scrum which earned a penalty but they opted for quick ball in the others which could have saved a few penalties against them.

      • Jason

        Gosh Zander has been really impressive this year.

  • Greg

    I watched a replay of the Crusaders v The Chiefs this morning.

    I thought the ref was completely over the top with his ruck decisions. A player on the ground, on the wrong side of the ruck, but *behind* the 9 was pinged 3-4 times. maybe 3 Chiefs and 1 Crusader.

    This makes them slow learners… but if this was the interpretation when Ruchie was playing, he would have been permanently suspended.

    I presume this is the NZ interpretation this season.

    • Not disagreeing in particular Greg, but the harsher NZ ref interpretations around rucks enables the free-flowing game that we expect from NZ imo.
      The other option seems to lead to games like Reds v Force, grinding, slow and much less attractive to watch.
      Just my 10c…

      • idiot savant

        Agree with this. Im not sure in the 40 years I’ve watched the game that I would associate free flowing with kiwi rugby. The irony of your comment is that a lot of kiwi vs kiwi games over the years have looked like the Rebels vs Reds. Generally the first half hour of most NZ derbies are pretty boring before the game opens up. This is because all sides are brilliant at contesting the football all the time – slowing ruck ball, wrestling opponents in tackles, line speed defence etc. I think its the reason why kiwis have led the world in counter attack because they struggle to make inroads against each other domestically in structured play. So its great to see more entertaining rugby being encouraged by officials.

        • Agree Idiot, I’m speaking in very recent terms.

          It seems much more “free-flowing” in SuperNZ would be a better way of putting it.
          Maybe the wrong terminology, perhaps faster, higher skilled across the board would be more appropriate.

          I’m sure most would have seen the stats on NZ v Everyone in terms of passes, kicks etc.

          Then correlate that with “the more it happens, the better the skill level becomes”, which doesn’t happen when the refs ignore ruck laws.
          The irony in it all to me, seems the general thought process of “letting the game flow” and not penalising, seems counter productive.

    • Keith Butler

      The officials made a complete fuck up of the decision that led to the Saders going 17-11 up. Mind you it was on the cards that they would run out clear winners the words ‘totally ruthless’ come to mind plus the occasional rub of the green.

  • Mike D

    Absolute belter. There’ll be some very sore bodies this morning. As a reds fan, I had this pencilled in as a Brumbies win before the match with more complete all round game.
    – Note that teams are getting better at maul defence. I’ll be interested to see how the disruption tactics evolve, between spoiling in the air at the lineout to put off the maul formation timing and learning to bust through the maul.
    – Thought J O’C’s defence was brilliant, couple of times there he cleaned up after a missed first tackle.
    – Vunivalu has league winger syndrome, drifting in while defending. Great athlete though, so hope he can unlearn league style and develop union nous.
    – Seru Uru, don’t suppose he’s tall enough to become a second rower?
    Watched the game on FTA, they’re getting good with the analysis side of the commentary really enjoying learning, and Cheika’s comments are perceptive and helpful.

    • Brisneyland Local

      At this stage I am taking Uru before I take LSL. LSL is another red card and a suspension waiting to happen.

      • Damo

        BL, Uru is one of those players who knows how to run into space, not just into bodies. So valuable. I think he is going to be good.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep agree. LSL is better in the line out, but gives away too many penalties.

        • Hoss

          He’s been form lock of comp for mine and unlucky to be behind Blyth for starting.

        • Keith Butler

          Blyth needs to lose the Thrush tache.

  • Red Block

    Even though I’m a Reds supporter, I thought Valentini was huge.
    However, the Brums front row also got away with ‘dropping to the ground’ at regular points through the first half. Nic Berry decided the ball was at the back and play on. It is hard to be critical of the ref when we’ve been calling for this instead of another bloody scrum penalty.

    • idiot savant

      Yeah Valentini was huge. While ASY doesn’t have the same big hitting power he was also very good in the tight – great clearances, high work rate, and jumped and called the line out well. With Wright, Swinton and Fergus Lee Warner Australia now has some handy Sixers.

  • Reds Revival

    The Reds are finally start to live up to my moniker! So good to finally get that monkey off their back in Canberra.
    While it was great to have the Wallabies midfield in the backline, I really feel like the Reds weren’t as potent without Hamish Stewart.
    Who won the No. 10 battle out of JOC2.0 and Lolesio? And then who won the midfield battle? For mine, Simone was very quiet compared to previous weeks.
    I notice that a few people are saying that Uru should start in place of LSL, but why not in place of Blyth? LSL just adds a menacing bit of physicality that is a step up on Blyth (but I’m still a big Blyth fan).

    • idiot savant

      Paisami really surprised me. He looks like he will be the goods at 12. One beautiful long pass which I dint know he had, another super quick inside ball to Campbell, the usual crash balls, a clearance kick with real distance and height, some great D, and of course the grubber. I have long been of the view that Stewart was the critical factor in transforming the unimaginative Reds backline of Thorns first 2 years but if Paisami keeps this up they won’t need Stewart anymore.

      Petaia remains a problem at 13. If he hadn’t scored that try we would be very critical of him. I thought he was outpointed by Ikitau. As far as the 10 battle goes, if you’d asked me after 15 minutes I would have said Lolesio easily but not after that. JOC is the better player when behind a pack going backwards, and his experience in decision making is now showing. Noah remains a real prospect though.

      • Who?

        Paisami was the best playmaker the Wallabies had for half their test season last year. His long ball (he threw a few in Gold) is way better than Hodge’s.

        • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

          Paisami has played a lot of 10 at club level, so his skill set is no surprise. It was really illuminating to hear JOC say that HP called that final grubber play, and the team backed him.

          Similarly, Seru Uru makes big plays regularly for Easts at club level, and he has made the transition to the higher level seamlessly, while still having the support and confidence to do his extravagant things.

          It seems to me that the Qld coaching staff and on-field leaders have allowed players to express themselves – jeez, who would have thought that might work?

        • idiot savant

          Brisbane Premier League club football must be a very high standard. So many players that come out of there look at home at SR level right away. And it is producing coaches too – Tim Sampson, Rod Seib (Brumbies backs coach) and of course McKellar.

    • Damo

      RR, form my point of view I would give Jordy some bench time and have JOC, Hamish and Hunter in 10,12,13, roving in and out of 1st and 2nd receiver- and really working to unleash the firepower we have in 11,14 and 15 (I thought Jock Campbell had one his best running games for the Reds last night). For mine Jordan still has the body language of a kid who is doing well against the big guys instead of a legitimate Wallaby who is prepared to take charge of things.

      • Reds Revival

        My thoughts exactly Damo! I think that is a more balanced backline, and it may teach Jordy to work on his handling to be able to break back into the starting side.

      • idiot savant

        Yeah Jordy is all power and no subtlety which is what often happens with schoolboy athletes who are so much bigger than their opponents. They dont have to learn craft. By contrast look at Ikitau’s inward move and outside pass that results in Fines’ try. I dont have a sense that Jordy can do that. He needs to learn the art of 13 play.

    • Brisneyland Local

      LSL is a penalty magent, and his behaviour always has us a step away from playing with 14 players. He needs to get a grip on his temper.

  • Hoss

    Afternoon rugby lovers.

    Just watched the game today after Disney duties last nite. What a cracker.

    A few obscure points

    – Nic Berry has been sensational this year. Good feel for the ebb and flow and looking for the game to keep moving and allow fatigue become a contributing factor later in match.
    – goal kicking across SRA is best I’ve seen – ever, full stop, move along.
    – I truly hope we get to dance with the sheep shaggers this year is SR. I am not saying we are certainties but the Ted Bundy XV look like they are currently a ‘generational side’ and could beat anyone and the Reds could be everything to everyone.
    – JOC2.0 has to be captain of gold with Noah up close and personal on the pine as future 10. Pat Healy from the Tah’s misses out because of his powder-puff pack.
    – the squatter was terrific both sides of the pill, Jordan of Nazareth was extremely skilled to score that try but was average overall.

    Terrific spectacle overall, right result, some outstanding efforts from both packs (spoiled for choice from 1-8 for gold jerseys) and a great advertisement for Oz rugby – long may it last.

    And my Tah’s didn’t lose – what’s not to like.

    • Greg

      Hoss,
      You are being too modest about the Tahs.

      Not only did they not lose… no errors, no missed tackles, no tight heads… If they can be this good next week, we are in business.

      Agree re JOC. The incumbent has a motor…. but strategy? Ref comms? calm decision making?

      • Hoss

        Lee Majors doesn’t lose his ability or class by chasing the Yen, but by removing himself from the ‘spotlight’ of Wallaby selectors he faces the risk of the ‘rise of the rest’ or as Crosby, Stills and Nash have oft said ‘love the one you’re with’.

        My take away from the Captains Run unattended last year was Hoops was very much him first, team next. I don’t mean that as a criticism, only an observation. Whereas JOC2.0 is the ‘arms around the world’ type in comparison.

        I suppose in all my waffle is this – are those in gold collectively better with JOC as skipper and a newish 7 or with Hoops and the status quo.

        Interesting.

        • idiot savant

          Jeez a ‘me first team second’ race would be close with anyone racing any version of JOC. The Chiefs anyone?

        • onlinesideline

          Its time for Hooper to move aside and I belive he deep down wants to too. Ist just not him. If he loses his captaincy and is relegated to a bench sub then he will be a fantastic weapon at being just that. A sub rearing to go that can break tiring teams.

        • Mike D

          I think JOC’s life experience is a big part of his captaincy. Hoops didn’t get that huge kick in the nadgers that JOC has which, I think, has led to his maturity.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Dont forget his contribution to the poor era of players attitudes and culture.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Hahahaha gold.
        I think both JOC and Toomua are demonstrating very good leadership.

    • Brisneyland Local

      You mean another week where the Tahs didnt win a game!

      • Hoss

        Glass half full thank you Lurch.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I take the engineering approach. Glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

        • Greg

          Very sound assessment BL.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well I am nothing but logical. Even when ranting!

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Hahahahaha

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I hope the TT comp goes ahead as I think both national teams will benefit from the cross sea competition. Just watched the Blues stuff the Highlanders and I’m thinking both them and the Crusaders are looking very good and seeing them against the Reds and Brumbies would be awesome. I think it’ll take a lot to beat the Crusaders but a few lucky bounces and taking opportunities and you never know

      • idiot savant

        Mate the Boks would struggle to beat the Crusaders right now. And if Williams is the referee they wouldn’t get close. The intensity of the Crusaders is astonishing.

        Its interesting the Blues and the Crusaders look to be a step above the rest in the shaky isles. I don’t remember the gulf being as wide last year. And while the Reds and Brumbies look a cut above here, a bit of Saffer style coaching can help a less talented side like the Rebels be competitive. Maybe that’s the approach the canes, highlanders and Cheifs should be taking?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          The gap certainly appears wider and I think a lot of it is the players off on a sabbatical in Japan. The Canes miss Perinara more than thought they would and I think they rely too much on Savea. Not sure that a SAFFA style would suit the teams as they don’t work well with over structured play

    • Mike D

      Prefer Jordy on the wing. He looks more like a finisher than a linker.

  • idiot savant

    At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man after such a wonderful game, it did remind me of 2 of my pet hates. The line out maul and scrumming for penalties.

    The line out maul is a blight on the game and like the flying wedge in league should be outlawed. Its basically obstruction and often involves all manner of dubious joining and swimming. It also offers referees with a plethora of options to penalise, further slowing down the game. It often leads to several re-sets (yawn) and then a yellow card reducing the contest. Do we really pay our hard earned to go and see players sent off after 5 minutes of lying all over each other?

    Now I love the scrum and used to head butt and angle in with the rest of them but those were the days of 30 second scrums, channel 1 ball, and providing space for the backs to entertain with. Nowadays its a tactical strategy to piggy back your way up field with penalties to get field position – often to set up a maul to score a try with! I can see a future breeding program for rugby where we breed 2 x 150 kg Pacifica props supported by 2 Dutch Afrikaans beanpole locks resulting in scrum penalty, iineout maul, try, rinse and repeat. What happened to trying to win field position by playing rugby?

    Rugby is a fascinating study in evolution. No wonder the laws keep changing. Constant adaptation is required to preserve the spectacle and stop the GFC pink bat contractors from rorting the system. Im looking across a rather large ditch as I write this…

    • Who?

      First off, never, ever forget that, whilst the refs seem to have forgotten, the flying wedge is also illegal in Rugby. Which means, to my mind, that all pre-latching should be penalized.

      Secondly… I thought Berry actually handled his rulings on the scrum poorly. Especially towards the end. At the beginning of the game (I’m a neutral), we saw Reds props hinging and collapsing without penalty. Towards the end of the game, we saw a very dominant Reds scrum driving the Brumbies backwards. But even when they retained their feet and the Reds won the ball, the Brumbies were penalized. Why? If there’s no collapsing and the dominant team clears the ball, there’s absolutely no logic in awarding a penalty advantage/penalty. Penalties aren’t meant to be earned through dominance; they are meant to be conceded for failing to adhere to the laws of the game.

      I actually think Rugby’s laws are a terrible study in a failure to understand how to manage those controlled by the laws. The way Rugby administrators operate, it’s as if they think, “That person’s speeding over there. I know – rather than enforcing the existing speed limits, we’ll add speed bumps on the highway and require that all parking spaces be converted to 45º angle parks!”

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Steve, must have been hard to write up after that game. I was very impressed and there are some good players coming through, although to be fair most of them have always been there but have been ignored by the national setup for the last 6 years. I loved seeing Uru charge down field and when you look at him SLS, Hosea and a few others who are stepping up I do ask “Rodda who?”
    By gee JOC and Toomua are stepping up in the leadership stake. Both seem calm, make good decisions, get their teams motivated and work well with the referees. I hope DR is taking note of all this as I’m struggling to see any position that will be filled by the Tahs if the places are filled based on performance in Super rugby.
    Great to see the Reds continue to push and to come through at the end it’s demonstrating a really good attitude and something that will help the Wallabies later this year.

    • idiot savant

      Yes Karl, JOC and MT are standouts at the moment in maturity, leadership, and poise. I cant help but think their bodies wont stand up to constant high level rugby though. I think they have both been injured for large chunks of time for the last 3 years. I doubt they will make it to the next RWC unless there is some serious rotation involved. In fact I doubt they will both make it through a TT series . So DR has got to give test game time to Lolesio and Harrison from now on.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I agree mate. I’d like to Lolesio at 10 and either JOC or Toomua at 12 guiding him through

        • Mike D

          Now there’s a nice idea. Lolesio at 10, Toomua at 12, and JOC off the bench for either, and Hodge as redundancy. 4 kickers and two who have played every position in the back line.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Not Hodge. Well past his use by date

ACT Brumbies
@steve_l15

Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

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