The Tuesday Top 5 - Green and Gold Rugby

The Tuesday Top 5

The Tuesday Top 5

Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5 – Post Super Rugby season edition. Yep, it’s all done and dusted with, I hate to say it, but a fairly predictable ending. We all wanted the Jaguares to do it, but knew it was going to be tough. This week we look at the good, bad and ugly, check out some stats, see what the different nations are up to in the lead up to the World Cup, say some sad farewells and I’ll give you two of my many many favourite tries from the year.

The Top 5 will be taking a very little break (really it’s only one week, I honestly thought we’d have longer off than that!) until after the first round of the Rugby Championship. With not as much rugby on, it gets hard to find stuff to write about! So we’ll be back on Tuesday 23rd of july

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Good – The final on Saturday, while not the flashiest game, was a close and entertaining match. The Crusaders were the better team on the day, the Jaguares kicking game wasn’t as strong as it was in the semi and they game the Crusaders some easy return ball.  It felt like it was a real arm wrestle and it was good to see the Jaguares really push the Crusaders.

Bad – It would have been interesting to see how the game would have gone if both teams had managed to hold on to the ball. I don’t know if it was the conditions, but there was so much dropped ball it really stopped a lot of the running.

Ugly – What do we watch this weekend on TV? There’s really only one game of Rugby to watch this weekend. The Wallaroos are playing Japan this Saturday (2:30pm on Foxtel) but apart from that … what will we do with ourselves???

Wallaroos pre-game (Credit Keith McInnes)

Do the numbers tell us anything?

It’s really hard to compare the way the teams played in their respective Semi-finals to the way they played in the final. They were hugely different games, different conditions and being a final can have an impact on the game itself. But I will still give it a go.

Both teams ran less in the final than they did the previous week. That can come down to solid defence from the other team, dropped ball and lack of continuity. The Crusaders actually turned the ball over less than they did against the hurricanes, while the Jaguares turned it over more often. That clearly had an impact on their game.

The Jaguares kicked marginally more than they did against the Brumbies, but their kicking was way less effective. They were unable to put the Crusaders under the same pressure that they did to the Brumbies. The Crusaders on the other hand, kicked a lot less and their kicking did put the Jaguares under pressure.

finals stats

Looking Forward

So now we all look to the Wallabies and the Rugby Championship/Bledisloe Cup and on to the World Cup. Interestingly, the last time we won the Rugby Championship was in 2015, the year of the last WC. We also won the Tri Nations in 2011 – notice a pattern here? So can we look at that and think that maybe we will lift this year too? After all, no one gave us much hope then either. In 2015 we had a favourable draw, playing NZ and SA at home, this year we have NZ and Argentina at home, with the trip in week 1 to South Africa being the only away game. NZ and SA both have to travel twice, so perhaps that gives us a slight edge.

Do you recognise this trophy?

Do you recognise this trophy?

After the RC we have the second Bledisloe match at Eden Park.

Before we get to the World Cup there are also a series of test matches featuring teams from around the globe. Here are who some of our major competitors are playing, as well as the teams in our WC pool. The ones to really keep an eye on are the England/Wales/Ireland matches. It’s always hard to tell from these matches what will happen at the WC, but we may be able to get some idea of how the teams are travelling in the lead up.


  • Wales (2 test series)
  • Ireland
  • Italy

  • South Africa
  • Russia
  • Western Force

  • England (2 test series)
  • Ireland (2 test series)
New Zealand

  • Australia (Bledisloe Cup)
  • Tonga

  • Italy
  • England
  • Wales (2 test series)
South Africa

  • Argentina
  • Japan

  • Scotland (2 test series)
  • Italy

  • Maori All Blacks (2 test series)
  • Tonga

  • France (2 test series)
  • Georgia (2 test series)

  • Russia
  • Scotland (2 test series)

  • New Zealand (Bledisloe cup)
  • Samoa

  • Spain
  • Brazil

Saying Goodbye

This year, being a World Cup year, sees a high number of players leaving our shores. So just who are we saying goodbye to? This isn’t a complete list and there may be more to be announced, but here are some that we do know of so far.

BrumbiesSam Carter (Ulster)

Christian Lealiifano (Japan)

Rory Arnold (Toulouse)

Jordan Jackson Hope (Japan)

David Pocock (Japan)

Wharenui Hawera (Japan)

Leslie Leulua’iali’i Makin (Japan)

Henry Speight (Reds)

Chance Peni (released)

Ben Hyne (released)

Josh Mann-Rae (retired)


RebelsSam Talakai (Japan)

Sam Jeffries (Japan)

Adam Coleman (London Irish)

Michael Ruru (Bayonne)

Sione Tuipuluto (Japan)

Tom English (Japan)

Ben Daley (Retired)

* Unconfirmed

Will Genia

Quade Cooper

Marika Koroibete


WaratahsSekope Kepu (London Irish)

Nick Phipps (London Irish)

Curtis Rona (London Irish)

John Folau (Released)

Will Miller (Brumbies)

Le Roux Roets (Released)

Israel Folau






RedsDuncan Paia’aua (Toulon)

Sefa Naivalu (Stade Francais)

Scott Higginbotham (Bordeaux)

Samu Kerevi (Japan)

Caleb Timu (Montpellier)

Aidan Toua (Japan)







It’s interesting to note, that from what I could find there are still a lot of players who are unsigned. The Brumbies look to have the most players leaving, but there are only around 6 players who are as yet unsigned. The Waratahs don’t have a huge list of players leaving, but still have quite a few who are unsigned, and some big names too, like Beale, Hunt and Foley. It will be interesting to see what announcements are made in the coming weeks/months.

DJ Will Genia and MC Quade Cooper  Reds v Rebels 2019

Will they stay or will they go

Our Picks

I’ll be honest here, I was going to see if I could find what were, in my opinion, the best few tries from 2019. But there were so many, where do I start looking? So I did look around a bit and came across two that stuck out. I know there are LOTS more that I missed, but these two are still pretty good. Plus, they are both from Aussie teams!

Though to be completely honest, I think the Reds were a little lucky, the hit that started it all looked a little dubious and I think Hegarty may have been on the ground when he played the ball back … but it still looked spectacular.

Feel free to let me know any other tries you thought were outstanding.

  • RoffsChoice

    Thanks for the write up, MSTs.

    Makin playing in Japan for the 2019-20 season is confirmed, but the Brumbies didn’t farewell him in their QF farewells. It’s not a Japan thing either, as you can see just how many players are going there! I’m hoping that he’ll be returning to the team for the start of 2020.

    • Slim 293

      If Makin is playing in Japan in 2020, he won’t be playing Super Rugby as the seasons now align…

  • Hows this for a team that are leaving our shores this year:

    1. Ben Daley
    2. Josh Man
    3. Sekope Kepu
    4. Rory Arnold
    5. Adam Coleman
    6. Scott Higginbotham
    7. David Pockock
    8. Caleb Timu
    9. Will Genia
    10. Christian Lealiifano
    11. Marika Koroibete
    12. Samu Kerevi
    13. Tom English
    14. Henry Speight
    15. Israel Folau

    Not the most balanced team, but would be fun to watch at Super XV level. Lots of talent departing Aus.

    • RoffsChoice

      Speight isn’t leaving Aus, he’s just heading up to Queensland. Which is arguably worse :P

      • Missed that, you can sub in Rona or Naivalu… still haemorrhaging a lot of talent overseas

      • Yowie

        You Mexicans just need to become better banjo players and put this jealousy aside.

        • Hoss

          Ahhh Queensland where unsolved homicides are rife – no dental records and all the DNA is the same.

        • Yowie

          Only for witnesses to Qld police corruption. Also, strike out “murder” and replace with “unfortunate accident – victim a bit clumsy”.

          Also, you’ve made my wife & sister very upset about your DNA joke. She says you are very mean.

        • Who?

          It’s scary for those of us who weren’t born here. We’re seen as ‘fresh blood’. :-O

    • AllyOz

      if 2. is Josh Mann-Rea then he is 38 y.o so debatable that he has a lot more time in him. still that’s not your point. It is a very decent team of players that will no longer be eligible. (also you’ve picked LLF over QC – its a bit of a no-no on this site I’ve found ;)

      • Jason

        Only if we are playing teams we shouldn’t win against (so everyone!) QC will win you games you weren’t going to win anyway, but will put at risk games you were always going to win. So QC for the Japanese National team would be OP! Haha

    • Missing Link

      Speight is off to the Reds, I know Queensland seems like a different country at times but they are in fact attached to the mainland :D

      • Dud Roodt

        but they are in fact attached to the mainland

        For now…

        • Yowie

          bring on Quexit!

        • Who?

          So you’re with the new ALP member in Canberra who said Qld’s the best country in the world?

        • Yowie

          They wouldn’t even be the most embarrassing Qld politician by a long shot.

          Apologies for Pauline, Bob Katter, Clive Palmer, etc.

        • Who?

          But they’re the reason why people want Quexit, as opposed to people who think it’s already happened. ;-)
          Though Robbie Katter’s pushing for a NQuexit..?

    • Jason

      Play Timu at 6 and Higgers at 8, Higgers skill at the back of the ruck are probably as good as any Aussie.

  • Geoffro

    Tri nations / WC winners and two games at home advantage ?? Sounds like Cheika is going to roll out his faves for Joburg (where we havent won since 1963) and then a long haul back to play the next week against the Argies and then onto Perth where there’ll probably be more AB supporters than Wallaby….we prob looking at a third at best

    • AllyOz

      If that is the case and we cop a hiding I don’t know if the other two selectors will be prepared to have their reputations besmirched along with what remains of Cheikas

      • Geoffro

        The latest piece I read from Cheika is that it’s all about “momentum”. Seems I’ve heard that before ? Maybe prepare for a besmirching.

        • So, lose in Joburg, lose in Brisbane, lose in Perth, lose in Auckland. I mean, under the loose definition of momentum that he’s using, it’s definitely momentum of a kind… 100% travel in the same direction!

  • idiot savant

    So if CLL, JJH, and Hawera are all laving Brumbies who is playing flyhallf there next year?

    • Geoffro

      Have heard Tom Wrights name bandied about

    • Steve

      Apparently putting their faith in one of the young guns IS…they’ve got a couple of great talents in Hansen and Kuenzle but arguable whether either is ready to lead a Super team (although to be fair I was wrong once in 1998, so you never know)

  • Nutta

    Thanks for the write up, MSTs.

    Thanks for the efforts Josh MR

    Time to strap-on and get serious.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks MSTs, love your work.

    personally I’m not that sold on statistics of the games as so many of them seem to make a losing team look good and I wonder what value they actually provide. To me it’s a bit like all the tests done to players that have them outstanding and top of the list and yet who don’t perform as well as others on the field during a game. Interesting but only a small part of the equation.

    I’m looking forward to the week off so I can settle and then get up for the upcoming games. Thanks for the list of what’s coming as while I don’t see any form in these coming into the RWC they will all offer something, especially to those players on the cusp of selection and who want to prove themselves. Of course injuries and form will also be something to keep in mind during this period.

    Interesting that so many players haven’t re-signed yet. Maybe some of the Tahs are waiting to see who the coach is and if they can play him like they played Cheika and Gibson :-)

    • Yowie

      I think you’ll find that the “game minutes standing behind tryline” statistics for my under-17s Sixth XV team was among the highest in the GPS competition, but “haters gonna hate” I suppose.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hahaha gold mate

    • AllyOz

      I wonder if any are going to Global Rapid Rugby – if he intends to continue on with it then he could be actively signing players at the moment but blokes are keeping it under wraps.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I doubt they’d be paid enough

  • idiot savant

    Thanks MST. Interesting lead up games. Wales will arrive at the WC really match hardened. South Africa has a relatively soft preparation aside from the RC games. The Maori All Blacks should also sharpen up Fiji for their first match against us.

  • Mart

    John Folau (Released)
    Le Roux Roets (Released)

    If these guys got paid anything wtf?

    dud root take 2

    • Dud Roodt

      That is a low blow man, no need for that

  • Funk

    I thought Foley was off to Japan as well?

    • Hoss

      ‘allegedly’ (fingers crossed)

      Like i was ‘allegedly’ caught inebriated and naked in Leura Mall early hours of Sunday Morning. As i explained to the officer i wasnt naked, I was simply not wearing very much

      • Jason

        ‘allegedly’ (fingers crossed)

        Is this the hope he goes fingers crossed, or stays fingers crossed?

        • Hoss

          Stays. For mine he is our premier 10 and possibly our SR player of the year.

        • Geoffro

          I know its a slow discussion but no need for trolling

        • Hoss

          That you would knock a deeply held view, nay conviction just makes me sad. I will turn to the good book for solace. Chapter 16, Sarm 3 verse 2, appendix 3e, subsection 1 ‘and god said unto Israel, grab me the lighter and let’s cook some ’ – oh wait, crickets on.

      • Yowie

        “Also, it’s really cold at 3:00am OK!”

    • AllyOz

      He might just not make the team – third choice after Christian and Quade

  • I think your stats, if you read them overall, provide a decent depiction of the game. The Jags tried hard and looked impressive for a lot of the time, but didn’t quite finish it off. There needs to be a stat for “try scoring chances made” and “try scoring chances taken” which would be the icing on the cake though – three, four chances at least for the Jags, 0 taken. One or two for the Saders, one taken.

    We come back to the value of the stats – and I’m not picking on you. But if you look along that list, what points out that the Crusaders won, once you get past the points? You can argue it was an unusual match, with lots of endeavour, lots of handling errors, ferocious defence and so on – to some extent that’s true. But the handling errors were on both sides, although I thought the Saders did adapt better.

    Points of difference that are hard to track easily but I think would show – effective kicking %. (Split down kicks so you have kick metres and return metres before the first breakdown maybe?) Penalties in own half vs penalties in opposition half. That might need tweaking to “penalties conceded in a kickable position” say, inside opponents 10m line or something, but half is a decent working point. No stats, but eyeball and a bit of thought suggests you’re much more likely to score from a penalty in their half, whether you take 3 or go for the corner than a penalty 5m out from your own try line. You *can* score from there of course, the Saders got a penalty at the end of the first half pretty much from that position (it was a bit further upfield but it was well within their 22) but it’s notable because they’re rare.
    Scrum and line out outcomes. Scrum outcomes would be reset, turnover, win, penalty, free kick. Lineout would be harder to quantify I think, but pass to backs, run, maul, loss, penalty, free kick, trick play… metres gained/lost…. there’s probably some more.
    Honestly, a lot of the rest is pretty ho hum I think. People rave about how great X is because of Y stat, but looking at tackles broken, defenders beaten, possession, territory… the Jags clearly won that game. Seems like those stats are broken!


Brumbies first, then for the love of the game. "It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I'm right." —Moliere

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