Aussie super 14 team video moment and try of the round 1 2010
ACT Brumbies

Video: G&GR Super 14 Round 1 Review

Video: G&GR Super 14 Round 1 Review

super14Every week during the Super 14 season G&GR will take a look at the key plays and players of the week just had. We can be a myopic lot here at G&GR sometimes, so no point stopping now.

Let’s make it clear. Our focus is the Wallabies, so these reviews will focus on the Aussie teams and Aussie teams only. Not that we won’t cover the kiwi and saffa teams in our posts, but in this particular weekly wrap up it will be all about the Aussies. So let’s get to it.

Team of the RoundLT

15 Peter Hynes [QLD]
14 Digby Ioane [QLD]
13 Stirling Mortlock [ACT]
12 Christian Lealiifano [ACT]
11 Lachlan Turner [NSW]
10 Quade Cooper [QLD]
9 Will Genia [QLD]
8 Wycliff Palu [NSW]
7 David Pocock [WA]
6 Matt Hodgson [WA]
5 Nathan Sharpe [WA]
4 Mark Chisholm [ACT]
3 Al Baxter [NSW]
2 Stephen Moore [ACT]
1 Ben Alexander [ACT]

There you go. Our “Wallaby” team from the first round.  It is probably significant that there are no Reds players in the pack, although Jimmy Horwill came damn close.  Likewise the battle for the 15 jersey, between Adam Ashley-Cooper, James O’Connor and Hynes was hard fought.

Four from the Reds, five from the Brumbies, three from the Tahs and three from the Force. I’d say that’s probably a fair distribution given performances over the weekend.

WillPlayer of the Round

Will Genia from the Reds takes this out. The guy was sensational for the Reds last year, despite limited field time. When he broke into the Wallabies he was consistently one of our best.  Now he’s back as the Reds first choice scrumhalf and he’s showed everyone why on Saturday night.  His service and sniping was dynamic and kept the Tahs on the hop all night. His role in the penalty try was brilliant and critical given the context of the match at the time.

Try of the Round

Josh Valentine’s try was the first of their match against the Western Force and featured one of the most beautiful, and yet funny as hell, sights on a rugby field. A fat guy running.  Benny Alexander we love your work. But it goes back a step to the pass by fellow fatty Steven Moore, who delivered a delightful inside ball to put Big Ben away. It was a great run by Alexander, transferring the ball into two hands to keep the opposition guessing. Eventually he found George Smith (dare I say, bordering on the ‘fat-ish’ side?) on the inside, who scooped up the low pass on the ground before popping it up to a supporting Valentine who scooted the rest of the way to score.  Great interplay by the tight forwards, nice support play by Smith and Val and a ripper of a way to start the Super 14 season.


Moment of the Round:

Big Cliffy Palu’s match winning try.  This is the type of impact you want your big players to have. The fact that Palu pulled it off in the last minute of the game should not be understated either. The big fellah has worked hard on his fitness in the last couple of years, and this is exactly why. It was a big match play by a big match player and it gave the Waratahs just the start to the season, whilst at the same time giving their opponents, the Reds, the start they (the Waratahs) wanted as well. A demoralising one.


  • Lindommer

    Four from Queensland and only three from New South Wales? I’ll have to check my replay to see who won that match.

    • My sentiments exactly but I couldn’t think of any other Tahs to get in there!

    • Noddy

      happy for you to come up with alternatives.
      I don’t think you’d pick any other Tahs over those Reds selected? Mitchell over Ioane? Not a chance. Barnes over Cooper likewise.

      Burgo was good, but Will was better.

      If you extend it to include the bench then Mowen was better than Shaw/Taylor and Halangahu was better than …

      • Jake

        Robinson? Beale? Mumm?

      • Tommy#9

        Tell me your kidding Noddy, Mitchell was better than Ione and Turner until he retired hurt. At best Hynes might have deserved a reserve wing spot, because O’Connor and Ashley-Cooper were by far the 2 standouts from the back 3 all weekend, and both should be included in any ‘wallaby’ team. And on what grounds was Mortlock selected? He looked too old, too slow, too unfit and looked out of his depth. It’s a big statement about a man that was recntly one of the greats, and a wallaby captain, but the fact that he was pushed out for a woeful T. Smith should be indication enough that he’s finished. The best we can hope for is that McKenzie moves Ione back to 13 and allows him to continue developing there.

        • Did you watch a different game mate? What did Mitchell do besides a couple kicks, nothing. What did J’OC do besides kick a couple goals and miss several tackles?

        • Hawko

          Mitchell was better than Ioane and Turner? He made a couple of long kicks but against that he made at least two absolute howlers (knock on, charge down). Never once did he try to run an angle or join the backline from the blind. Never once did he try to run over or round his man and he was facing a rookie with a reputation as a poor tackler. He is supposed to be a key backline weapon but he wasn’t even a popgun.

          Both Betham and Nadolo should have gone to SA so that if he didn’t improve in the first game he could be replaced completely. (As an aside, Sidey showed in his time on the field he is not a winger and should not be covering that position)

  • Seb V

    Reds played better attacking Rugby then Tahs but still i think the problem is simply the Reds Defence. It just goes to show if you have Good attack/Poor Defence against Average attack/average defence who will win.

    • I’d agree the Reds have a problem with their defence if they can’t protect a 5 point lead against 14 men.

      Tahs wanted it more, and while losing Mumm didn’t help they still got back deep into Reds territory and pressured the line.

  • Gallgher

    Nah thats bollocks Seb V. Its simply that the Reds had a thinner bench to work with, less depth and seniority in the last twenty minutes. The reds clearly outgunned the tahs throughout the game, but in the closing stages, having to bring on debutants and young guns always shoots the defense in a situation like that. How can you say the Reds defense was overall average when they only conceded two tries? Tahs conceded three! The tahs should be worried, the reds should be proud of the effort, their season is well on the up still!

    • The tahs should be worried, the reds should be proud of the effort, their season is well on the up still!

      Dreamed spoken like a true Reds fan – god bless you!

    • How can you say the Reds defense was overall average when they only conceded two tries?

      they may have conceded less tries, but they conceded more penalties (15 to 9), and the fact that the penalties kept NSW into the game shows that a good majority of those were while defending, so the defence was not as good.

      • Penalties while defending for infringement at the rucks and poor defence are two completely different things. The Brumbies and Blues also conceded a lot of penalties, does that make their defence poor too?

        • Granted they are two different things, but it has to be taken into consideration.

          Perhaps the build up of pressure on the defence would have resulted in a break and a try had the infringement NOT occurred. A defence resorting to illegalities does not make a good defence.

          I don’t think their defence was dirty or bad, but the fact that these penalties kept NSW in the game suggests that the infringements relieved pressure, pressure that may have told the next phase or two.

  • Great team, Nods.

  • Pedro

    check out growden’s team of the week if you want a tah biased account. Palu’s try is the best try of the round according to old greg.

  • Ballboy

    Growden’s a goose and we should ban all reference to him on this blog. Next one to mention his name is in the bin for a week I say….starting from now.

    • Wagga Magpie

      But Growden….ah shit…can we start that again?

  • Blinky Bill from Bellingen

    Another Moment worth watching is Horwill’s post match interview. The emotion he showed needs to be bottled. May it transfer over to the Wallabies.

    • Agreed 100%, it’s in the second youtube of the above post as well!

  • Pedro

    I think reffering to him as old greg should be acceptable.

    • Tommy#9

      I’m old greg!!!

  • AJ

    Although King George was there for the assist, did anyone notice how he got there? A little nudge in the back from JV for a lot of extra speed. Great try.

  • Robson

    The match of the entire round for me was Reds v Tahs. The other Oz v Oz game was utterly boring in comparasion even though a couple of lovely tries were scored, overall still boring.

    I liked the way the Reds pulled their game up by the boot straps and got stuck in. Sadly they just got worn down sufficiently at the wrong time to let big Cliffy in at the end.

    I don’t live in Oz so hopefully I can’t be accused of being biased – well I can I suppose – but it would be an unfair accusation. So coming from a total outsider who has no state of triumph axe to grind whatever, I’m sorry the Reds lost at the end, because IMHO they deserved to win. They punched way above their weight in experience and had some real fire in their bellies.

    Not saying the Tahs didn’t play with passion, but given the cattle they had on paper, they should have won by more than they did. The fact that they couldn’t is a huge endorsement of what is going on in the Reds camp and the new direction their coaching admin is taking. They’ve got some rounding and polishing to do but the shape of things to come is there I believe.

    I have the feeling that they will also travel very well providing the injury list doesn’t blow out on them.

    • Agreed. Injuries is what the Reds cannot afford, their current XV is strong enough to get them a top 10 or maybe even a top 8 finish if your optimistic, but if we get a few injuries then who knows.

  • Some Fan

    Thank God the Aussies’ best play-off hopefuls both won their derby games to boost their respective semi finals chances.
    There’s no doubt the Waratahs and the Brumbies are Australia’s best chance to make the top 4 and whenever they are involved in the local derbies against the Force and the Reds, they should always come out on top!
    And of course, when ACT and NSW meet in Week 11 later, whoever is higher on the standings (the better chance to make the semis) should win it!

  • ula

    watch a replay of palu’s try and you wouldnt have cooper in your team of the week

    • Noddy

      cause he couldn’t takle Palu? Harsh.

      And who would you have there? Barnes? Sam Harris?

      Toomua possibly, but Cooper was more dangerous in my eyes.

      • Cause he couldn’t lay a finger on Palu. Being stepped by a number 8 who gets a 2 step runup is not a great quality in a flyhalf.

    • Davey

      Palu front on from 5m out, to win the game? Quade is not the only S14 first five that Cliffy would have run over.

    • Sam

      very harsh…. missed a tackle/slipped off a leg after 80min of footy against a relatively fresh Palu with +20kg on him 5m out… all he needs to do is pretend it’s a laptop in future and he’ll be right.

      • Robson

        I don’t think anybody would have stopped Cliffy at that point. And at that point it was always going to have to be a back.

      • Newb

        agreed. boys like higgers were hanging out on the left side leaving cooper alone next to the ruck with cliffy barreling down. not ideal. and who ever the second guy was (18 i think?) he had a chance to push palu back before he surged over the line but instead dove over palu as if he was waiting for palu to lay the ball back. not going to happen in that situation.

  • Muppet

    Agree with the team Noddy. Of course Qld should have won, and QC should have made the tackle but the damage was done with the tighthead and the consecutive lineout losses. Nearly there.

  • Langthorne

    I would take Barnes over Cooper, in general and based on last weekend.
    Put Mumm or Mowen in at 6 over Hodgson.
    Ioane to the bench, Hynes on the wing, O’Connor at 12 and AAC (I can’t believe it) in at fullback. This would not be my ideal Wallaby team, but the best available this week.

  • Ishmael

    I feel for you Noddy, it must be rough. That’s a pretty good team of the round for the most part, with a few mistakes.

    O’Connor was the best fullback. Not only did he kick goals, he salvaged a heap of field positions to assist the Force backrow. Sure, he missed a crucial tackle, but he was the only Force back who actually looked close to dangerous.

    Horwill takes the 6 jersey. He was immense. If he could use that aggression and work rate in the 6 jersey from now on it would be a massive boon for the Wallabies. Hogdson was good but Horwill was better.

    Robinson was better than Alexander. Alexander got a couple of lucky penalties in the first half but was clearly being bested in the scrum by Dunning. Robbo caused trouble for the Reds all night and put in plenty of work around the park.

    • Hawko

      Agree with you Ishmael and I’m died in the wool Waratahs. Horwill was immense, but he could have been selected at 4 or 5 also. Chisholm did not play that well, just had a couple of runs that looked good.

      Robinson was better than Alexander, though I thought both needed to improve. The Reds scrum is not going to be the last one this season to lose a few tight heads.

  • I guess that Cooper at 10 speaks for the fact that it was not the best day for Australia in terms of five eighths showing…

    Bartholomeusz, Barnes, Giteau… either they couldn’t play or they didn’t exactly have their day.

  • Doc

    Good to see that the ref picked up the Waratahs player entering the final ruck from the side… Should have been game over to the Reds right there and then. Look at the video at about the 20 second mark.

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