Right. Straight into it this week. No mumbly pumbly intro which is usually only written to take up a bit of space on the page. Here’s the Tuesday Top 5.
The Good The Bad and The Ugly
Good – At the start of the year, while people were predicting a better year than 2017 (let’s face it, it would be hard to have a worse one), I don’t know that many really believed with deep conviction that we would have an Aussie team in the Semi finals. So I think on the whole 2018 has been better than we believed it would be. Now the conference system probably has a fair bit to do with the greater success, but when the Waratahs beat the highlanders they showed they weren’t just in the finals to make up numbers.
Bad – The stats for the Lions and Waratahs look very even in most areas. Run metres, tackles, missed tackles (a shocking 69% and 68%) were all fairly similar. But the big difference was penalties. 7 against the Lions and 15 against the Tahs. Discipline has been a bit of an Achilles heel for Aussie teams this year.
Ugly – With the end of the Super Rugby season comes the inevitable discussion about how the competition doesn’t work in its current format, how something must be done to retain interest and make it fair for all teams etc etc. This will be followed by the also inevitable release from SANZAAR saying nothing will change.
So What Now?
Well we all know the Super Rugby final is up next. But what after that?
First up is the Rugby Championship. The Wallabies take on the All Blacks on August 18th in Sydney (8:05pm kick off). Later that evening (or early the next morning to be more precise) the Springboks play the Pumas in South Africa (1:05am AEST). The following week, on Saturday 25th of August, the same teams match up against each other. This time the Kiwis will be hosting the Wallabies at Eden Park (5:35pm) and The Pumas play the Springboks in Mendoza (5:10am AEST).
Is this the year the Wallabies will turn it around – those first two weeks will probably provide us with the answers. Facing the All Blacks first up is always a tough ask but could provide a good barometer as to where we are at.
After a week’s break we are back at home on September 8th to take on the Springboks (at Suncorp, 8:05pm) while the Pumas travel to New Zealand (5:35pm kick off – prior to the Wallabies match). Then on the 15th we are still in Queensland, this time on the Gold Coast to play the Pumas. The All Blacks play the Springboks in Wellington.
We then finish the Rugby Championship with a tough trip to South Africa and Argentina. On August 30th we take on the Springboks (1:05am AEST Sunday 31st kick off) then a week later travel to Argentina to close out the campaign against the Pumas (October 7th 9:40 am AEST). The All Blacks also end with a road trip, meeting the Pumas on the 30th and the Boks on the 7th.
So it could be a tough start, a slightly easier middle section (although both the Boks and Pumas can be unpredictable) and potentially a tough road trip to end the Championships. It will definitely be a fascinating six weeks!
Now while all that is going on we also have the NRC for this year. 2018 will see a slightly shorter comp, with one less team than last year. Round one kicks off on Saturday the 1st of September and fingers crossed it will provide us with the same sort of exciting matches we witnessed last year.
The full draw for the NRC can be found HERE
IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!
Bloody Brumbies! Glen ‘Whacko Whistle’ Jackson did the Tahs no favours but all the blame falls squarely on the Brumbies. Yep, the Tahs, neigh, Aussie rugby’s whole world came crashing down on Saturday because of the Brumbies. Bloody Brumbies! If only, right? They could have tanked the last round, but no, they made it a competition. Kept the integrity in the game. Best they played all year. Bloody Brumbies.
Just last week we brought this up with the question how could the Tahs not have known the consequences? Right here is the evidence that they really didn’t get the whole home semi-finals thing.
Yeah, whatever; Bloody Brumbies! With the post mortem underway it’s fascinating to observe the psychology behind some of the reporting emanating from Aussie rugby supporters.
Overpowered? Aside from getting arguably unlucky with some scrum calls they weren’t exactly dominated upfront. Overwhelmed. Really? Are we talking professional athletes here or some junior team?
Interestingly missing are the simple words like defeated, beaten, outplayed and discipline. They seem to be the usual words is situations like this. But the absence of these words seems to suggest a touch of denial. Bloody Brumbies!
But, we all know it’s the Brumbies fault. They are the reason that the Tahs were overwhelmed and over powered in J’burg. Wouldn’t have happened at home. Bloody Brumbies!
But in defence of the Brumbies was Rod Kafer. His slant; all the fault of a light forward pack. Now I must have seen a different game as the Tahs scrum struggled but they certainly weren’t dominated. But that 6kg advantage at scrum time is apparently what’s holding the Tahs back from success. Also, correct me if I am mistaken but that Lions pack are pretty fleet footed. And we have all seen plenty of Kiwi sides succeed with a light forwards pack. Just remember, “That” pack only got the Tahs to the semi’s after all. Anyway, who listens to Kafer? He is only covering for his beloved Brumbies.
Bloody Brumbies. It not like 355 days before the Crusaders made the same trip to J’burg and won the final. (Not the Brumbies fault!). Saders even went back early this season to prove it wasn’t a fluke and again won. Even the Blues went over and got a win (definitely not the Brumbies fault!). Gee, even the Moondogs got closer than the Tahs losing by 2 points (nope, can’t pin that on the Brumbies either).
But irrespective of who has been to J’burg and won, the Brumbies are responsible for the Tahs loss and have derailed the hopes of Aussie rugby bringing home the Super Rugby Trophy. Nothing to do with the Tahs at all. If only “they” had taken one for the team.
The Lions would have not beaten the Tahs at home!
**Editor’s note – due to a fortuities rift in the time continuum all events during the period of 19:30 and 22:30 on 20 April 2018 have been erased from history to suit this narrative and support the argument that it was all the Brumbies fault as there is no way the Tahs would have lost to the Lions at home, ever! Bloody Brumbies fault.
CAN WE MAKE IT UP TO YOU?
In all seriousness, on behalf of the Brumbies and all it supporters we are sorry the Brumbies success contributed to the Tahs loss.
We (Mst’s) felt genuinely bad about the whole thing. So, we wanted to do right by the Tahs and their supporters. But we thought is that enough? We know that all of NSW would be hurting as the Tahs are part of the NSW DNA. In the heart of every New South Welshman; rugby Australia backyard. I mean, even Yenda is in NSW!
How could we make up for what the Brumbies had done? Well It was brought to our attention that MovetoSydney.com were also upset at what had transpired. How could we not be touched by their reporting of the loss considering what thy do for NSW.
“MovetoSydney (.com) believe there is a better way to build a community, to help people who are just started their life in Sydney for whatever reasons it might be.”
So, putting on our RugbyBrumbies twitter account hat, we thought we would try and put a positive spin on things, give them something for next week so that NSW didn’t totally miss out on the final. You know, silver lining and all.
Waratahs CEO Angus Gardner to referee the final next week!
— #RugbyBrumbies (@RugbyBrumbies) July 29, 2018
**Editor’s note 2 –The Mst’s lie and as passionate Brumbies fans actually feel little remorse when the Tahs lose. Bad for Aussie rugby, but the Tah hate runs strong in us!
Actually, a quick check of Twitter has revealed who was really to blame for the Waratahs loss.
We’re in the end times, repent and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ before it’s too late. — Israel Folau (@IzzyFolau) July 27, 2018
Israel tempted fate and God intervened. Izzy did try to warn us all that the end was coming – just maybe not the end he imagined.
Christ works in weird and wonderful ways.