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.
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.
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.
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.
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
3. How’s this for a scrum? 7 man Brumbies v the full Sharks pack
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.
6. I think the pictures say it all! This wasn’t in the script? A little bit close for comfort?
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.
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.