Super Rugby AU 2021 Round 1 - Green and Gold Rugby
ACT Brumbies

Super Rugby AU 2021 Round 1

Super Rugby AU 2021 Round 1

Rarely have I been this excited about a Super Rugby season. It seems like only days ago I was lamenting the end of Pro rugby in Australia, and now we wait for Super Rugby to start, with a new broadcaster with a free to air presence. Personally I can’t wait for this to get started.

Reds v Waratahs

7:45pm AEDT – Queensland Reds vs NSW Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium, LIVE on 9Gem and ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport.

James O'Connor kicks through QLD Reds v NSW Waratahs 2020 Photo Credit QRU Brendan Hertel

According to almost everyone this is a training run for the Reds but, I’m not so sure. The Reds have lost their skipper, Liam Wright, for the season. LSL is still suspended. New recruit Suliasi Vunivalu got is a scuffle and is suspended before ever playing a game.

While the young Tahs lineup have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They’ve added some bulk to their underrated forward pack and have one of the best halves pairings running around in Australia today.

I think this is much closer than many people are expecting. Reds by 3

REDS: (1-15): Dane Zander, Alex Mafi, Feao Fotuaika, Angus Blyth, Seru Uru, Angus Scott-Young, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor (c), Filipo Daugunu, Hamish Stewart, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Jock Campbell

Reserves: Richie Asiata*, Harry Hoopert, Taniela Tupou, Ryan Smith*, Tuania Tali Taualima, Moses Sorovi, Bryce Hegarty, Ilaisa Droasese*

*denotes potential Super Rugby debut

WARATAHS (1-15): Angus Bell, Tom Horton, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Sam Caird, Jack Whetton, Will Harris, Carlo Tizzano, Jack Dempsey, Jake Gordon (c), Will Harrison, James Ramm, Joey Walton, Izaia Perese, Alex Newsome, Jack Maddocks

Reserves: Dave Porecki, Tetera Faulkner, Sio Tatola, Jeremy Williams, Hugh Sinclair, Jack Grant, Tane Edmed, Mark Nawaqanitawase

Force v Brumbies

10:00pm AEDT – Western Force vs Brumbies at HBF Park Stadium, LIVE, ad-free, and on demand on Stan Sport.

Been a while

Been a while

In this game it’s the Force that will be the unknown quantity. They’ve recruited heavily in the off season and seem to have test capped players everywhere. Having said that more than half the match day squad played with the force last year so maybe the hope that ‘they haven’t gelled yet’ it a false one.

The Brumbies… Well the Brumbies are the Brumbies. The most professional of the Australian franchises will run out a strong, well drilled side like they always do. They will have a plan to defeat the westerner and as always will have their lethal maul to fall back on.

With no form to go on I have to go with the Brumbies here. Brumbies by 7

FORCE (1-15): Tom Robertson, Feleti Kaitu’u, Santiago Medrano, Jeremy Thrush, Fergus Lee Warner, Tomas Lezana, Kane Koteka, Brynard Stander, Ian Prior, Jono Lance, Marcel Brache, Kyle Godwin, Tevita Kuridrani, Byron Ralston, Rob Kearney

Reserves: Andrew Ready, Angus Wagner, Greg Holmes, Ryan McCauley, Tim Anstee, Tomas Cubelli, Jake McIntyre, Richard Kahui

BRUMBIES (1-15): James Slipper, Folau Fainga’a, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Darcy Swain, Cadeyrn Neville, Rob Valetini, Jahrome Brown, Pete Samu, Nic White, Noah Lolesio, Mack Hansen, Irae Simone, Len Ikitau, Andy Muirhead, Tom Banks

Reserves: Connal McInerney, Harry Lloyd, Tom Ross, Nick Frost, Tom Cusack, Ryan Lonergan, Reesjan Pasitoa, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa


  • Adrian

    Pretty good predictions Shane, especially as the bookies reckon the margins will be greater.

    I see both games the other way… maybe I’m mad!

    I think that NSW will move the ball too quickly for the Reds, and conversely the Reds will take ages to clear the ruck.

    In WA, I get a feeling that the intensity, depth and experience of the Force could upset the Brumbies and their (In my opinion) over-rated pack. I reckon that the Brumbies too will muck around at ruck time, denying quick ball to their backs.

    • You could be right about the Tahs. The second half in the trial looked pretty slick.

      • Yowie

        That’s enough spruiking the Tahs Sully. I’ve re-written the above sentence to help you get a reasonable Reds bias sorted in time for kick-off:

        Dunno if you’re right about the Tahs. They took until the second half to get going in the trial, then they tried to be too slick instead of putting the grunt-work in.

    • idiot savant

      I agree with you about the Tahs. They have the blueprint to beat the Reds after the absolute thrashing they handed out last year. Ive been banging on about this for years (and will again now!) but Thorns predilection for big heavy grinders can lead to thumpings if the opposition move the ball quickly. He played giant centres (CFS and Kerevi) for 30 consecutive matches and 2 consecutive last places in the Aust conference. ASY and Wright are both slow. Now clearly they are all good players but when you have that many they add up and quick ball movement can open up gaps in he defence. We saw how the Tah’s strategy last year led to the 3rd biggest Tah Reds thrashing in history. The Tahs backline looks even quicker to me now with Perese so if they can get enough ball and have enough confidence they have the game plan to win. On the other hand the Reds bench strategy may just save them.

      Im leaning the other way with the Brumbies Force game. I think the Brumbies cohesion and experience under pressure (which gave them victory against the reds in the final last year) will outlast the Force. The Force will lack the same cohesion and their collection of oldies will be a bit slow for Super Rugby. I fear what will happen to them in the trans Tasman matches.

      • Who?

        Your point about ASY and Wright is very relevant. Nick Bishop did multiple columns on how the loose forwards combination of ASY/Wright/Wilson was just far too tight in their distribution in that thrashing last year. Whilst I rate Wright, I think having McReight out there will significantly benefit the Reds. Because it prevents Thorn from playing a big backrow.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Sully. The big one for me is “Can the Reds get over their mental block they seem to have playing the Tahs?” I’m thinking first game of a new season may help them there but with so many first choice players down they could struggle.
    My heart is saying Force just because of the way RA have treated them over the last 5 years but I also think; at home, redemption game, passionate fans…… an upset could be on the cards

  • Hoss

    Pffft ‘Reds by 3′

    Mr Sully did you join the NASA space programme on the off season? As you appear to be talking from Uranus.

    Tahs by 12.

    • Keith Butler

      It’s so refreshing to see the GAGR banter in full flow. No matter how slick the Tahs might be the game will be determined by the ‘piggies’. As an interested neutral probably too difficult to call. All the best to all teams and to the refs, sort the bloody breakdown out.

      • Hoss

        There’s no such thing as an ‘interested neutral’ your either for gods-chosen ones or agin em.

        Beware the splinters KB

        • Keith Butler

          Fair enough, GO REDS! Good match up all round.

        • Yowie
        • Hoss

          Et tu, Brute?

        • Keith Butler

          Beware the Reds of February!

        • Hoss

          Did the tour of Bill the Bards Bungalow a few years back whn last in blighty. FFS those poms were tiny – like Hobbits, I needed 5 litres of vasso and police rescue to get me out of the place – i got wedged in a hallway

        • Reds Revival

          They arrest anyone in possession of 5 litres of Vasso in the UK. Probably for good reason too..

        • Hoss

          I was with an Archbishop at the time who just happened……..

    • Yowie

      All the arse-kicking NASA action is on the Red planet mate.

      • Custardtaht

        That’s what Colour Uranus will be after the Tahs have had their way.

        • Yowie

          Turns out the whole time Izzy was holding back the Tahs from *ahem* that sort of thing.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I knew it was Izzy’s fault

    • onlinesideline

      lololol – havent heard that one before. You’re crackimg me up already and its only round 1.

      • Hoss

        G’Day OLSL – how life in Hungary – dont hear much of it re C-19 – you doing ok?

        • onlinesideline

          G’day Cobber – mate we have been in lockdown again since November 1. Going batshit crazy. Planning my escape soon. Had enougggghhh.

          While the Brits have admin 13 million vaacines the Hungarians have given out SFA. The EU is a just a joke. They want to rule the joint but just don’t deliver in any capacity other than slap duties and taxes on everything. If you want some evidence that Brexit made sense, look at the UK today compared to Europe. Things wont change here until October-November. All cafes and restaurants are closed. Its just dead. In the last 2 months I have noticed virtually every 2nd retail business has not just closed but completely vacated. Gonesky. Its an absolute disaster. Lease signs everywhere. Europe has to collapse. Meanwhile people are becoming gazillionaires with bitcoin and record wall street nos. The world is indeed unbalanced and getting worse. TBH Australia and NZ seem like the only sane places in the world.

        • Hoss

          Its a sad reflection when a nation of sheep fiddlers seems sane…..

          What has shown though around this blue globe is that those governments that have stayed calm, trusted the science, been prepared to set aside or shelve long-held ideology and act accordingly, plus communicated well with their citizens have received goodwill and compliance back from the masses in return. Those nations have at least suffered on a smaller scale. Obviously being a desert island in the middle of nowhere also plays a role.

          If it wasn’t so tragic it would be completely fascinating. As an advocate for modern monetary theory it has a been a case study in what’s possible when the ‘debt and deficit’ BS gets shelved, albeit from a horrible pandemic.

          Just like my hair, these days will pass into distant memory, stay safe and keep working on the grey matter and obviously support the Tah’s.

        • Hambone

          I just snorted my Morning coffee out through my nose reading your first one liner there.. #quality , fair play

        • Greg

          Video industry still open?

        • onlinesideline

          booming :)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Come back to Communist victoria. It will be just the same! ;-)

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Mate you need to wake up before you respond. Dreams are fine but they aren’t reality

    • Greg

      I still remember my High School Physics teacher explaining that name was pronounced with an “uh” sound rather than an “ay” sound.

      Why is that Sir?
      Why do you think son.

      • Yowie

        Why were you calling Sully “Saylly” in the first place?

    • Who?

      Uranus, which is located in Qld. You been watching too much Holey Moley..? :-P

    • Clearly I was wrong.

    • Yowie
  • Crescent

    Ahhhhh – to be freed from the tyranny of Foxtel. I, for one, now welcome our new Stan/Nine overlords – at least rugby can now be found on FTA!

    Didn’t get the chance to catch the trials, so going into the season cold, just like the beers that shall be consumed whilst joyfully watching everyone go round. Bring it on!

  • Timbo

    Holy moly! What a salacious night of rugby we’re about to witness! I’ve been frothing for some man on man action and have grown a moustache for the occasion.
    Tahs and Reds will be close. The Reds have the cattle and size to really put the Tahs to the sword but unsure if they have the legs to go the distance.

    The Reds back row looks like a real weapon with Wilson and McRight’s Wallabies experience hopefully bringing some rugby smarts to their game. Tupou on the bench surprises me but I’m sure he’ll bring his regular starch to the game. Back line looks the goods too with Hunter and Daugunu bringing that international experience to the table.

    Tahs with a solid front row until Tupou is released. Really hoping Horton finds his who this year as I thought he did enough in the loose to earn a Wallabies squad place. Tahs were really looking for quality locks so unsure on the two giraffes. Blyth might take advantage however I’m sure his haircut will be better than last year. Looking forward to Dempsey taking on a leadership role and having a blinder this year. Gordon and Harrison should be an electric pairing this year with Gordon using his size and running game and Harrison really cementing that 10 with some Bernyesque touches to put big runners thought holes. Unsure on Walton but Perese has experience and bulk to batter the defence. Maddock needs a good year.

    Bench goes to the reds purely on Tupou but I think the Tahs will take it with their game smarts and halves pairing. by 3-7

    The second game is looking juicy as well. I think the Force are really going to push the Brums. Force to have a solid scrum with Robertson’s ear, Medrano, Thrush and Fergus, backrow looking really solid and a bollocking centre paring. I think this will be a tighter game than the Reds v Tahs. Force by a nose.

    Rugby is back!

    • Hoss

      Great preview Timbo and right on both fronts. Jehovah’s XV and The Farce to end Friday night with ‘W’ next to their names

      • Who?

        Hang on Hoss, Jehovah’s XV..? You mean, those from Godzone, or The Padre’s team? Might need to be clearer. :-)
        Hope you had a great break – man it’s great to see some content on G&GR again!

    • Who?

      I’m far from sold on The Commissioner. I think he shouldn’t have debuted in Gold last year, and I think he was a liability most of the time he was out there. Tate’s the better scrummie – by a margin.
      But I’m really, really hoping that Harrison and Lolesio stand up this year and shunt all talk of JOC, Toomua and Hodge ever playing 10 for the Wallabies again. I hope the young blokes have a blinder.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Hello Bitches!
    Did you miss me? The grumpy, tall, overweight, man north of the border who likes coming in off the long run up is back.
    Sorry I have missed all the early fun.
    Just got my Stan plan in action.
    Cant belive the Ass Clown is going to be commentating, and here we thought Phil Kearns was bad, this will be fucking unbelievable.
    Cant wait for the two games tonight.
    I hope the Reds do things that Izzy would frown upon to the hapless Tahs. I hope the Force win but think the Ponies may just hold them out. But it is over in the Western Wonder Land so all bets are off.
    Am glad to be back and great to see the Shenanigans has started early.
    And the winner is Rugby.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Keith Butler

      Welcome back BL. Looks likes you’re off Hoss’s Christmas list already. Go Reds.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Maybe a little. Was messaging him during the game.

        • Hoss

          I have a headline ready ‘Tah’s unlucky to be run down after early dominance – controversial ‘hone town’ red’

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. that about sums it up! ;-)

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Good to see you back mate. Happy 2021

      • Brisneyland Local

        Always good to be back. Looking forward to a good year of Banter! KARL

    • We had the AssClown commentate on the 6N last year up here. It was… an experience.

      It felt he wasn’t watching the match, the things he highlighted we totally at odds with what the rest of the commentary team pointed out and what the eye observed.

      Good luck to you all. I’ll be scouring YouTube to look for matches I think, no one in the UK is signing deals to broadcast SR (any format) this year.

      • Greg

        Can you get Stan over there? Perhaps via a VPN?

        • Greg

          Better still, any chance of a haircut and a comb for Mr Johnson?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Can you get Stan in the UK? It is worth it for the Rugby alone.

        • Part of the T&C is a valid Australian address… so it seems unlikely

        • Brisneyland Local

          Get a VPN, and I will send you a valid address to put down. Happy to help!

  • Yowie

    “Rugby Fans In A State Of Shock And Confusion After Seeing Their Game Actually Being Promoted”

    “It’s been f*cking confusing,” said Betoota Muttaburrasaurus’ Reserve Grade 10/15 turned hooker Josh Cairn.

    “Normally I have to google this sh!t, find out who’s playing, when it’s on, how to watch it.”

    • Who?

      Typically accurate reporting from The Advocate. It has to be true – after all, the Advocate was banned from Facebook, and they only allow Fake News now.

      • We got banned too! Shows you how much Facebook knows.

        • Who?

          Yeah, but that’s fair. Because G&GR’s always factually accurate and far more trustworthy than the vast majority of other media sources. It’s the opposite of Fake News. :-)

          That said, I’m not on FaceBook, so I only know about that due to Radio National….. Man I sound old! :-D

  • Mica

    I reckon that Tah’s backline could be pretty impressive. Whilst somewhat young and unproven, I wouldn’t be surprised if it fired. Anyway GO REDS. :)

    • Greg

      “GO REDS

      err… I think they did.

  • Greg

    I missed the game Hoss.
    How did it go?

    • Yowie

      I don’t want to jump to premature conclusions, but after a 140 year experiment with some notable achievements, I think this is the end of Rugby Union in NSW.

ACT Brumbies

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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