The Tuesday Top 5 - Green and Gold Rugby
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The Tuesday Top 5

The Tuesday Top 5

This week in the Top 5 we grade our teams, look at what was good, bad and ugly, have lots of videos for you, put the chariot up for sale on Gumtree and look at some of the plays from one match that may have upset the coach.

Report Card

Brumbies B- It was good to finally see some attack from the Brumbies that didn’t end with the ball being turned over. They were scrappy, but defeated the Sharks despite being a man down for 20 minutes. Their backline looked a lot more cohesive and their defence was pretty tight, they managed to hold up the Sharks twice while they had a man in the bin. They will need to improve their discipline though, they are still giving away too many penalties.

Reds B  They did well to get the win in Argentina, their defence held out and forced the Jaguares into a number of errors.  They scored two very good and well worked tries, when they got running in attack they did look dangerous. They weren’t as disciplined this week, but the Jaguares weren’t able to make them pay.

Waratahs

First Half:  D- They were terrible. Absolutely terrible. Silly penalties, poor handling and absolutely no defence to speak of.

Second Half: A- Brilliant work under the high ball, line breaks galore, slick passing and their defence was better. Not much better mind you, out of 74 attempted tackles they made 49 of them giving them a tackle success rate of just 67% for the match.

Rob Simmons walks it in.

Rob Simmons walks it in.

Rebels

First Half: B- Yes they scored some tries in the first half, but were hardly challenged. Their defence was ok, they stopped nearly all of the Waratahs attacking opportunities with relative ease.

Second Half: D- Whatever defence they had in the first half simply disappeared in the second. Their tackle rate wasn’t much better than the Tahs, at just 71%. They let in a ridiculous number of points, and the one try they scored was barely consolation, their attack was completely missing.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Good – After the weekend’s games all the Aussie teams have chalked up some pretty competitive performances and have shown that they can win. There is still plenty of room to improve but at least we have can now have some optimism around the competitiveness of all of the Aussie teams and collectively Aussie rugby.

Bad – Is it just me or does it seem that when you step back and consider some of the statements coming from the Aussie teams and some coaches, do they leave you wondering if you’re talking about the same team or game? I can’t help but wonder when I hear that Wessels is “taking the blame” for the lacklustre Rebels performance as he may have tired them out with some extra work this week.  In comparison to the 9 day Rebels turn around without travel, the Tahs seemed fine on their less than 7 day (considering time zone changes) turn around after 2 weeks of travel and a return long haul flight from Argentina. Then apparently we Rugby supporters tend to overreact and don’t understand the intricacies of Super Rugby according to Dan McKellar. “There was a bit of an overreaction (outside of the club) with how we performed the first couple of weeks and I think people underestimate the travel that goes into this competition”. I am unsure if the “overreactions” are in reference to such a strong squad losing badly or to the frustrated repeated calls from supporters over the last few weeks for the changes he finally made. As for the travel I think most of the rusted-on are pretty much aware of the effects and his statement could be construed as insulting the intelligence of rugby supporters. It’s not new Dan and considering the Brumbies have played in Japan and the rest of the games in Australia, in reality they really haven’t travelled much at all.

It would be really refreshing if coaches and the like (Aussie Rugby in general) would just skip the attempted smoke and mirrors ass covering antics and just say it as it is;  I screwed up or we just got outplayed.

Dan McKellar and Sam Carter post match press conference

Dan McKellar and Sam Carter post match press conference

Ugly – The capitulation of the Rebels once the momentum changed has to be a big concern. Bleeding 51 points is never good but when you allow the opposition to score 38 unanswered points you have start asking some very tough questions especially when you’re at the top of the table.  Of most concern would be that once the pendulum swung the Rebels seemingly didn’t have any answers on how to arrest the decline and challenge the Tahs who were expected to be the “tired” team coming off the back of travel.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – In Videos!

For something a little different this week, I thought we’d add in some videos of some of the good, bad and ugly events from some of the matches. Which team you support will influence whether you think they fit into the good, bad or ugly category, so we’ve left it up to the readers to work out.

1. Before their final match against Ireland, England apparently requested that the in-goal area be extended further back. So it was. And it proved very beneficial during the match – just not for England.

2. I think Genia had a mild brain snap when he picked up the ball that Mafi had just knocked on

Animated GIF

3. How’s this for a scrum? 7 man Brumbies v the full Sharks pack

Animated GIF

 

4. Speaking of scrums, I believe there is a new scrum guru in town. Henry seemed pretty sure that the Sharks player was committing an offence, and let the referee know it!

5. Tom English seemed to forget which football code he was playing for a moment.

Animated GIF

And finally

6. I think the pictures say it all! This wasn’t in the script? A little bit close for comfort?

Sunwolves leading Lions

Italy leading Scotland

 

FOR SALE: Used Chariot.  Not fully functional – wheels have fallen off.  Requires some repairs / renovations

We often hear the saying about swings and roundabouts and Eddie Jones and his England team are really giving us a real-life example of the old adage. From 6 Nations Champions to crisis in 12 months.  On the flip side Ireland. Fate can be a funny thing but to be given the opportunity to humble England at home, on St Patricks day, for the 6 Nations Grand slam, and possibly relegate England to a 5th place finish; that’s a once in a life time opportunity.

The England v Ireland match lived up to the hype. Unless you are an England fan that is. Played with a backdrop of snow showers (which were very distracting!) Ireland really pressured the English right through the game. They had England on the back foot from the outset, their kicking game really threw down the challenge to the English, which they were unable to rise to.

Embed from Getty Images

Unfortunately for England, their loss, when combined with the other results from the weekend, meant that they did indeed finish in 5th position. That’s 5th out of 6. Second last. Only beating Italy. Ireland, Wales, Scotland and France (yes, even France!) all finished above them. Let that sink in.

Now I’m sure Eddie Jones isn’t hitting panic stations yet, but I have a feeling some English fans might be. After all, I’m sure they were getting pretty used to winning. I think that was the first loss at Twickenham while Eddie has been coaching. It is also the lowest that England has finished in the 6 Nations since it began in 2000.

With the English set to meet the All Blacks in November, there might be a few heads on the chopping block from the playing group. I don’t think the knives will be out for Jones just yet – but if English rugby fans are as fickle as some Aussie rugby fans … who knows.

What are the current odds the Eddie Jones to replace Cheika post RWC ?

 

Highlights Blooper Reel – The Coach killers!

All you have to do is catch,……er, um…..lets just start there.

  • It would have been really nice if the Jaguares had played dropsies the week before. I don’t remember one dropped ball in the tahs game.

  • Who?

    It would’ve been really interesting to see what Angus might’ve done if England hadn’t extended that in-goal area (it was still short of the maximum 22m allowed under the laws). Because I reckon there’d have been a pretty good argument for a Penalty Try and YC against England 14, given he was effectively tackling Stockdale without the ball as they cross the tryline.

    • mikado

      Yup, looked like he was trying to interfere didn’t it.

      • BigNickHartman

        Can you still get yellow carded in that situation? For illegally but incompetently trying to interfere with a try?

        • Who?

          Under the 2017-18 WR Reffing protocols, aren’t they trying to encourage the refs to flash the cards every chance they can..? :-P
          Really would’ve been a big call. You can’t wrap your arms around the thighs of a player without the ball, even if you’re supposedly trying to ground it. And the ball wasn’t on the deck, so the best outcome he could’ve hoped for would’ve been knocking the ball dead with his hands, which then is a PT/YC call anyway. Poor Eddie’s team isn’t full of the brightest of individuals…

        • mikado

          Seems quite often a referee’s probably grateful a try was scored, saving them the hassle of deciding whether to award penalty tries and cards.

          Seems a fair reflection of England’s season, that even their cheating was a bit incompetent.

  • I didn’t see the game but that dropsies clip was almost gruesome. With that number of unforced errors I’d almost take a mark off the reds to have only won by 11.

    • Sideshow

      14 knocked on balls in one match! That’s the game right there!

      • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

        Yep. I needed to check that all those fumbles were against the same opposition. After that effort, the coach will be examining his hair loss in the mirror.

    • Duncher

      I watched the replay (or as much as I could) and it wasn’t the prettiest game of rugby I’ve ever seen, but there’s something that I just love about watching Thorne’s Reds this year… And I’m a Tah’s fan (officially back on the bandwagon after we flogged the Melbourne Force)

    • McWarren

      Agree mate. As a Reds fan I’m loving two things at present, the commitment shown to not give up and the luck of bounce seems to be going our way at present. Though this luck will run out. I’m still containing my excitement for the season until we come up against a good side playing well. There is still the chance of another Rebels like thrashing I fear.

    • SuckerForRed

      Not sure all of them were unforced as such. The Reds defence certainly got in their faces and I think that forced a few of them.

  • Braveheart81

    The Tahs first half where they were down 20-10 rates the same as the Rebels second half where they went down 41-7? Seems reasonable.

  • Custard Taht

    After a rough start, the mighty tahs are back. This win will give them so much confidence….Tahs will win the Aus conference and are a real chance of winning it all.

  • Missing Link

    Disappointing brainfarts by the Rebels. Both Genia and English should hang their head. inexcusable errors which gave the Waratahs a free pass. further to that, their rush defence from the previous games went missing and it showed on the scoreboard.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Nice write up again MST. I agree with your bad. The smoking mirrors don’t work and it appears everyone knows it except the coaches.
    Glad to see the Aussie teams stepping up and now let’s see it continue. I guess there’ll be some soul searching in Melbourne after that 2nd half display. Pretty shocking. I watched the Reds game and just love their attitude. Not always the best decisions but boy have they got heart

  • Gregory Parkes-Skell

    Am I the only one who was hearing the Benny Hill theme music in their head watching the Jaguares handling?

  • Brendan Hume

    I don’t think you can overestimate the effect of the heat in that War v Reb game – I wouldn’t read too much into the missed tackles by either team. It was good to see the Tahs use the pill in the second half but both teams forward packs were rooted pretty early on.

    Big win for the Reds, with the Jaguares really disappointing after an impressive victory against the Tahs. Reds backing up in SA this week will be tough. Stormers were excellent against the Blues – this is going to be a really difficult game.

  • SuckerForRed

    So my description of a “death of a thousand knock-ons” was fairly accurate. And you didn’t even show the Red’s ones……..

  • Custard Taht

    The Tahs have the best players in the world at their positions in Hooper, Foley, Beale and Folau. Throw in the many Wallabies and fringe Wallabies in this team, they have the talent to win it all.

    • Chinese Dave

      They’re only Wallabies or fringe Wallabies because Michael Cheika would rather lose than pick non Tahs!

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Even Raymond Rhule could not stop Ned Hanigan.

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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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