The Tuesday Top 5 - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

The Tuesday Top 5

The Tuesday Top 5

This week in the Top 5 we look at how the players in the Wallaby squad performed this weekend, say Adieu to the Top 14 and one of our favourite sons, check out our Aussie tries from round 15 as well as he usual Report Card and the good, bad and ugly from the weekend.

Report Card

Reds C+:  The Reds were very patchy. They showed some great play and some poor passages. They actually pushed the Blues a lot harder than some had thought they would, with the match in a winnable position with the clock ticking down. Early errors put them on the back foot, the game might have been very different if they had started more strongly.

Waratahs C: They had their chances, but some poor decision making let them down. Passes that should have been thrown, trips that shouldn’t have been made … momentary lapses that are costing them big time in matches. Once again, for like the 50th time this season, they really only showed up for the second half, which is pointless if you let the other team get such a big lead to start with.

Rebels D-: Their defence held out pretty well in the first half, but disappeared in the second. They spent a lot of time camped in their own half and didn’t really get much opportunity with the ball, when they did have the ball they were unable to break a solid Brumbies defence.

Brumbies B+: They got a well-deserved win, securing top spot in the Aussie conference in the process, and for the second week in a row it was a bonus point win, seems they have remembered how to score tries. They showed solid work, both in the backs and forwards with some great scrums and mauls. They were let down a little by some poor decision making in the centres with a number of poor kicks and the inability to break the line.

Force C-: The Force threw everything at the Hurricanes and spent a large chunk of time close to the try line, but were simply unable to convert. They had multiple chances to cross the line, but the Canes defence proved to be too much, allowing them to only score two tries.

Peter Grant on the move

Peter Grant on the move

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Good A break from the disappointing season that has been this year’s Super Rugby and 3 weeks’ worth of very winnable test matches to watch!

Bad Injuries to Kerevi and Simmons are a bit of a downer on an already bleak Queensland Reds season.

Ugly Nearly 2 months on, at the June test window with only 2 rounds of Super Rugby to go after the tests and we are still no closer to hearing from the ARU about what is going on. Cut/no cut … teams being allowed to sig players but still not certain of their future … That is the ugly state of affairs that is Australian Rugby.

Bill Pulver - Credit ARU Media - Karen Watson (1)

 

Top 14 done and dusted

Very early Monday morning our time, Clermont took out this year’s Top 14 championship with a 22-16 win over Toulon. It was a tight match, with Toulon having a chance to take it in the last 10 seconds with an attacking line-out 8 metres from the line, but they were unable to convert giving Clermont the win.

A I said last week, there were a number of Aussies involved in the contest. Matt Giteau played his last match for Toulon before heading over to Japan next year. Liam Gill and James O’Çonnor were also in the starting side, as was Drew Mitchell, who was playing his last match having announced his retirement earlier this year. For Clermont, former Waratahs players Sitaleki Timani and John Ulugia were involved.

Wallaby Watch

With all the Aussie teams in action in the last round before the June Internationals, we thought we’d take a quick look at a few of those named in the Wallabies squad performed. Who justified their inclusion? Who perhaps showed that they should have been included, and did anyone play themselves out of a potential Gold jersey?

Of the tight five that played Alaalatoa, TPN and Kepu showed the skill sets that justifies their selections. Latu drew attention to himself for both the wrong and the right reasons, again solid performance and very good over the ball, but the usual ill-discipline still is a real issue.

The locks stocks could be a little bit of a worry with Coleman and Tui taking a battering. If they don’t pull up well who does he look to?

In the back row Higgers, Hardwick and Hooper all showed they are on form, but the at the other end of the scale Timani was fairly anonymous.

While Genia was relaxing by the pool, Powell’s consistent formed continued on having another good game. Gordon too showed he is still in form and the call up will certainly do him wonders.

The loss of Kerevi was a big blow so TK will need to make sure he keeps his form on the upward trajectory. Hodge is looking good both in general play and that boot is locked and loaded. Godwin appeared to have a crack at playmaking on the weekend and after a couple of chip kicks to no one turning the ball over each time and grubber kick fail we still are wondering why he was selected.

All of the outside backs are showing form with the exception of Niavalu who hasn’t had much work to show off his skills.

So looking at form as the measure, the majority of the squad looks to humming along nicely.

Knocking loudly at the door

Chris Alcock had another very strong match for the Brumbies and can possibly consider himself unlucky not to be in the squad, especially given that Hooper is the only number 7 named.  If the unthinkable happens he deserves the first call.

Chris Alcock socres for the Brumbies

Chris Alcock socres for the Brumbies

I am questioning why Duncan Paia’Aua isn’t in the squad if we are think about the future. Meakes would be another who could step up in to the 12 or even 13 role if required based on his current form.

So if any of the locks go down and Simmons out, there are plenty of fresh faces that would go well. It’s hard to go past Evener, possibly Staniforth and even the “other” Arnold to name just a few.

Highlights

This week again saw some wonderful attacking rugby from the Aussie teams. Here are all the Australian tries from this round.

  • Ian

    Greatest run by a prop for a try ever.
    Watched the Force – always fascinated about how the pressure increases 10m out and the game plan breaks down to being too simple to cross the line and all creativity goes out the window. They are a courageous group though. They are there abouts.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I’m not sure your marking score and comments on the Waratahs match. To me the comments, which I agree with, are a D+ or C- at the most.

    • Waz_dog

      KRL – you forget this website is run by tah men. ALWAYS look at a scored article with the tah effect in mind :-)

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hahahaha ok then

    • MST

      Sometimes diplomacy is a tough business. As Brumbies supporters we compartmentilise our Tah hate as best we can while trying to keep the optimism curve high for the sake of Aussie rugby. Marking performances has been challenging this season!

  • AllyOz

    Just read that Melbourne Rebels have signed England player Parling for 2018. That appears to have happened at the same time as Rob Simmons has been cut from the Reds squad. The fact that the Rebels appear unable/unwilling to sign an Australian player when a team is about to be cut and more Australian players could become available is as good a reason as any not to have them back next year. The Force have excellent locks – both the run ons I would have thought were Super Rugby standard and if they are cut there is one less place for them to go now – might be good for the Rebels but dumb from the Wallabies and Australian Rugby generally. with Cubelli out, Powell has got a run and he has shown he is up to standard so if we are cutting teams there should be no need for any imported players.

    • Kevino

      Is Super Rugby about winning games or supporting the Wallabies? It can’t be both unless the ARU makes it a level playing field. The Rebels are a private organization that has been decimated by the incompetence of the ARU and the roster system.

      I am a fan of the Rebels, not a Wallabies fan. Yes I want as many Wallabies in the Rebels squad as possible. But I also want the best available players for each position and for the Rebels to win games and grow the supporter base in Melbourne.

      We had two locks that would both be in or around the Wallabies squad that we received no support from the ARU in keeping, they both are making big money in France. We now have the worst second row and need the the experience a player like Parling provides. If the ARU want’s to help us get Jones, Pyle or Higgers (Sorry Reds he was a good captain for us) back to lead our pack than great, if not we need some leaders especially if we are loosing McMahon and Mafi at the end of the year.

      You need to win games at all cost, if that means playing foreign players who are the best available in that position, than that’s what you do. Toulon fans don’t complain that there side is full of international quality from around the world, they embrace they are supporting a winning team.

      • Miss Rugby

        The big problem I have with it is that there has been a lot of noise about player welfare, if a team is going to be cut then players are unsure if they will have a club to play for etc, especially the younger players (not Wallabies) who are not assured of a contract. Well if there is a team cut there is now one less spot where the locks from that team can go. If the force are cut they have 4 good quality locks, and the signing of an OS player could result in one or more of them going off shore. Or they will get snapped up by another club, meaning one of their younger/fringe locks misses out. When ppl are rabbiting on about there being no depth in Australia and then in the same breath celebrating an ex international from OS being signed by the Rebels it seems wrong.
        Most teams (with one or 2 notable exceptions) have received little help from the ARU in keeping players who want to go OS or bringing them back. That only seems to happen for the most high profile players. Reds and Tahs seem to do ok on this front, but apart from the likes of Cooper, Kepu, Beale, Douglas or Housten there hasn’t seemed to be a lot of effort gone into getting players back.
        Look, good on the Rebels for securing another high profile international to add to the list of other high profile internationals they have signed in the past (Delve, Cipriani, Tanaka, Day, Retallik, Mafi, Ellison, Vuna, Horie, Thompson etc). Can’t blame a team and their fans for wanting to win especially after the miserable season they have had this year. Personally I don’t like it, but that is just my opinion.

        • Brumby Runner

          Forget Volavola?

        • Rebels3

          I can’t quite remember the figures but I think kev is more trying to point out that the tahs receive around $2.3 mil in top ups, the reds $1.3, brums around $1mil and little old force and rebels are offered $250k and $125k reportedly each. That’s almost 20x the funding granted extra to retain players when comparing the tahs to the rebels. Now obviously the reds and tahs produce more players, but when someone like McMahon is told no extra money is to be offered to him from the aru it’s just crazy. I personally hope some of the top up simmons was on is thrown at McMahon to retain him. He is potentially our best player in 5years time, yet will be lost to Australian rugby forever

      • Who?

        I don’t see that both shouldn’t be a priority. But I have no idea why the Reds ended up with both Caderyn Neville and Kane Douglas moving there. At the same time they’d capped Lukhan, and Rodda can’t be a complete bolter. If the ARU want their provinces to be successful, they can’t allow clubs to end up with riches in depth while other clubs have empty cupboards. It doesn’t benefit anyone – not even the team with Wallabies who can’t make the bench. And it’s not the first time it’s happened.
        Very disappointed to read the Reds are giving up Simmons, who’s a regional Qld boy, a 100 gamer, a one club man, whilst they’ve got Douglas (who is from Yamba – sure, having lived down that way, many support Qld in Origin, but it’s still NSW – he should’ve been sent back to the Tahs! Or otherwise the Rebs), and Neville (I feel sorry for Neville)…

      • Alister Smith

        Super Rugby should be about Australian players playing in Australian clubs that are eligible to be selected for Australia – at least in the main part.

        The All Blacks don’t appear to need imports in their teams and don’t have an issue with dual goals of winning Super Rugby and supporting the national team.

        IMO, Toulon is a great example of exactly what is wrong with rugby and sport in general – doing nothing to develop players or grow the game or introduce new people to the sport just skimming the cream off the top. Same with Manchester United or any other EPL team in soccer for that matter. How often does England feature beyond the early rounds of Soccer World Cup these days. The other issue is the number of teams – Toulon play in a 14 team competition, there are similar numbers in the English Rugby Premiership but we have 5 teams in total at Super Rugby level – if we have just one or two foreign players in a key position it means that’s blocking exposure to potential Australian players. So if the Melbourne want to play with an All Star international team then let them see if they can get a spot in the Japanese club competition and leave the other four teams to foster and develop local talent.

        On the weekend, I watched the juniors run around at one of the Brisbane clubs i used to play for. And to be honest they are the players I am interested supporting and I hope they get a chance to play professional rugby in Australia and go on to play for the Wallabies.

    • James Pettifer

      Maybe the Rebels should sign Simmons as well …

      The Rebels line out is the worst in the competition. Parling has talked about coming to Australia for months so obviously this was worked out ages ago.

      And if the ARU wants to come to the party and actually do a proper salary cap where the Waratahs don’t get 50% higher player payments than the Rebels and Force, then maybe things would be different.

  • Bernie Chan

    Paia-Aua is a fine prospect…getting better now he has fully recovered from his head injury from last season and gained match fitness. Good with the ball-in-hand and (unlike some…) a decent tackler, he is probably being groomed to be the next Reds flyhalf. Hot off the press…the Reds/ARU have not re-signed Simmons! Only 28, 71 Tests, 117 Reds caps…is he considered “past it”…? Prefer Simmons to Douglas…

  • Moose

    On top of good, bad and ugly, I’d add ‘Truly Appalling’, being that the Crusaders have more competition points than the Reds, Tahs, Rebels and Force combined…

  • Andrew Miller

    1 Force try? Try two! And what about that one where a Force player grounded the ball but somehow wasn’t a try..

    • MST

      Yeah, sorry. Not sure what I did there but I knew they scored 2 because I made sure they were both in the video. Its been fixed.

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