Waratahs bash up Brumbies in Sydney - Green and Gold Rugby
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Waratahs bash up Brumbies in Sydney

Waratahs bash up Brumbies in Sydney

The Waratahs won a brutally physical game against the Brumbies, with Israel Folau putting on a clinic to see the home team triumph 28-13.

The Match

This was one of the most intense Waratahs games I have ever seen. Not only was it brutally physical, but there was a lot of aggro and niggle from both sides. I have never heard so much chat through the ref mike, and this boiled over with a few off the ball scuffles late in the game.

The Tahs won the forward battle, and in the end that was where the game was won and lost. Some of the Brumbies early season stars were outplayed by their Waratah opponents, and despite scoring early the Brumbies just couldn’t find any broken-field situations to really take advantage of.

The Brumbies wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard, with Matt Toomua slicing through some soft Waratah defence, running 25m to score. But the Waratahs came back hard, working down to the Brumbies line thanks to nice runs from Sekope Kepu and Kurtley Beale. With numbers out wide, Scott Fardy attempted an intercept but didn’t quite get there, and his touch was ruled an intentional knock down and he went to the sin-bin for ten. It was certainly a 50/50 call, but in those situations going for the intercept is a dangerous game, and Fardy paid the price.

The Brumbies defence stayed strong, though the Waratahs registered a couple of penalty goals through the boot of Bernard Foley. The Brumbies hit back in the 17th though with three points of their own after a Matt Carraro late tackle. With Fardy back on the field the Brumbies slowly started to get on top, and they kicked further ahead thanks to a dominant scrum, with the score at 13-6 after 20 minutes.

But the remaining 20 first half minutes would belong to the home side. Israel Folau got on the outside of Tevita Kuridrani in midfield, running 20m before throwing a nice inside pass for Foley to finish in the corner. With extras added, the game was tied at 13 apiece. The Waratahs kept their foot on the accelerator, and continued to dominate both territory and possession. Michael Hooper made a nice break on the outside, and the Waratahs scored in the ensuing phases through Folau after a lovely break and inside ball close to the line by Carraro. The Brumbies defended grimly in the latter stages of the half, and held the Waratahs at bay. They went to the oranges with the tahs leading by 20-13.

Michael Hooper tackles Henry Speight

Key moment – Hooper on Speight. Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes

The Waratahs opened the scoring in the second half thanks to a Kurtley Beale penalty goal from long range. The game started to break down, with both sides defending with aggression and intent but also spinning the ball wide when they had the chance. With twenty minutes left in the game the Waratahs led by 10, but you felt like the game was still in the balance with the blue forwards tiring.

The Brumbies then spent ten minutes trying desperately to crack the Waratah line. They had countless penalties and chances to score, from rolling mauls to attacking scrums. Wave after wave was repelled by the Waratahs, the most impressive example being a tackle by Hooper to thwart a Henry Speight try-scoring chance in the corner. The game was heated, and the crowd could feel the energy. The Brumbies just couldn’t cross the line, spurning a number of kickable penalties in the process. When the Tahs cleared the sighs of relief were palpable around Allianz Stadium.

The clincher came just minutes later. Scott Fardy broke away down the sideline, and on halfway put in a kick well into Waratah territory. Israel Folau fielded the ball, and ran it back well into the Brumbies half, beating four or five tacklers in the process. A few phases later the play was finished in the corner by hooker Tolu Latu, who ran 20m to secure the match for the home side. Foley missed the conversion but the game was done, 28-13 to the Waratahs.

The biggest concern from the Brumbies (and the Wallabies) is the injury to Tevita Kuridrani. He was taken off in the second half with what looked like a shoulder injury. Christian Lealiifano, Matt Toomua and Rory Arnold also look to have injury issues.

 


The Game Changer

It had to be the desperate tackle by Michael Hooper on Henry Speight with just 15 minutes left on the clock. Had the Brumbies scored there the margin would have been just five points, and you would have probably had the Brumbies as favourites to finish fast. But the ball came loose in the tackle, and the Brumbies never recovered.

The G&GR MOTM

It could only be one man: Israel Folau. The best game he has had in a long time, he was at the centre of each of the Waratahs tries. It wasn’t even close.

Wallaby watch

I was really impressed by Sekope Kepu early, but he was completely spent after 45 minutes. Bernard Foley probably won a close points decision over Matt Toomua, though with Waratah forward dominance this wasn’t hugely telling. Will Skelton played the full 80, and took a couple of lineouts as well. Scott Fardy was a menace at the breakdown and had a few nice touches.


The Details

Crowd: 27,469

Score & Scorers

Waratahs 28
Tries: Foley, Folau, Latu
Conversions: Foley 2
Penalties: Foley 2, Beale
Brumbies 13
Tries: Toomua
Conversions: Lealiifano
Penalties: Lealiifano 2

Cards & citings

Fardy (deliberate knock down), Latu (repeated infringements)

  • sugarwookie

    *LOST*

    “Tah” was last seen inside the players tunnel at the SFS shortly before kickoff. If found, please return to Craig Joubert ASAP.

  • Fatflanker

    The Brumbies tried hard but just aren’t S15 standard.

    • Ali

      Classic trolling! *claps hands*

    • Liam

      To date this season they have beaten 3 sides. The woeful Rebels once, the even more woeful Reds twice and the very average Force once. Felt overhyped going into the game and got shown to be just that for big chunks of tonight’s game.

      • Merrow

        Let’s do some comparisons here. We beat the Force…Tahs didn’t. We beat the Reds by considerably more than what the Tahs did on both occassions, Rebels game, Brum’s by 5, Tahs by 10. Tahs got dished up by the Highlanders, Brum’s came within a whisper of beating the Chiefs. Tah’s beat us fair and square yesterday; not too many complaints. Don’t get too excited yet buddy, one good game doesn’t make up for the Tahs lacklustre start to the season. Can’t wait for the rematch.

        • harro

          Haha! So losing with a bonus point is getting dished up? What’s your term for losing by 15 points? You forgot to mention the Highlanders beat the Chiefs who ‘dished it up’ to the Brumbies.

        • Merrow

          Still not convinced. Ok, dished up might have been slightly too strong, but….they got done by the Highlanders. And as my friend above says, no matter what, once we’ve both had our byes after next week, they’ll still be ahead of the Tahs.

        • harro

          And you will have still lost comprehensively to a team behind you.

        • Merrow

          Everyone’s entitled to an off game. That being said, yet another game where the Tahs didn’t manage to get a bonus point, despite being so dominant. Could work against them in the long run.

        • Billy Bob Vanderwaal

          Hey Merrow, what happens if the Tah’s get a bonus point win next week?
          A: they’re still behind the Brumbies.

          :)
          Go Brumbies!

        • Jack Mallick

          Whatever. Tahs couldn’t flog the reds by by as much as the brumbos divided by the difference between the rebels games accounting for the sum of the NZ factor. At the end of the Sunday we just dealt you a thrashing, work out that equation.

      • Billy Bob Vanderwaal

        It’s called winning the conference and there’s a rematch in week 12, in Canberra.
        Looking at the schedule, I can see where the tahs might eventually win the conference; their SA road trip is about as good as it could get this season and they don’t play the Chiefs. However, for now, the Brumbies are still on top and will be next week, too. Cheers

        • jamie

          Brumbies at Brumbies is hugely different to brumbies at Sydney

    • Seb V

      I think you ment to say Craig Joubert tried hard but just isn’t Super XV standard.

  • what a great game of rugby. Both teams will blow a lot of sides off the park.

  • Alan Grouse

    What. A. Game.

    Fair play to both teams for in my opinion making it the best game of super rugby this year (i’ve only missed about 2 matches – the life of a student!). Some amazing rugby, brilliant running, simply stunning handling and a nice bit of rucking in there too! The match had a great balance of physical tenacity in the scrums and breakdowns and wonderful, skilful running from the backs.

    Izzy was immense, Naivaravoro was dam near unstoppable (the Wallaby Savea perhaps??), Kepu with his scrummaging and running, Beale another good performance, Pocock with a pilfer 2 mins after coming back was a sight to behold as was Skelton jumping in the lineouts.

    That was a return to the 2014 Tahs and i really hope they maintain that intensity.

    Also hope Kurindriani’s injury is not too serious but he certainly looked in significant discomfort. We need him for the WC so heres hoping he returns sooner rather than later. England and Wales played some excellent, up tempo rugby last night, so much so that it was a little disconcerting as a Wallaby fan. However seeing our top two provincial sides willing knock the shit out of one another for 80mins while simultaneously scoring some beautiful tries gives me more confidence.

    • Mart

      Wallaby Savea I wish. He has the traits and should be fast tracked in if you ask me But i don’t think he’s eligible yet. Similar to Speight’s situation last year.
      He is the sort of winger we’ve been missing i reckon
      The guy is a beast, and fast and grew up playing rugby as a kid

  • Timmychap

    Have to agree Hugh. Great game of rugby. Kepu was fantastic for the first half. Scrum was really good from both sides too.

  • Roland

    Why all the love for Hooper? He missed the tackle that lead to Toomua’s try, Nick White made a dominant tackle on him (thats a forward getting dusted by a half back), he then got dusted by Kurindrani in another tackle which lead to a turnover, his side of the srcum kept getting belted in the early stages because he had his head up and not pushing, got belted into touch (12th minute) when any normal forward would have had the strength to stay in, his “break” you speak of was not a break but a run down the wing un-manned (why’s he seagulling out there?) and he also turned the ball over again from an incomplete maul when he should have been ferreting his way back to ensure this didnt happen. Pocock within 10 minutes had 2 pilfers (1 was disallowed due to one of his team mates penalising at the same time).

    how many did hooper get in 80? 0..which is about the same amount of rucks he hit with any effectiveness. If he wants to run down the wing, put 14 on his back.

    • Hugh Cavill

      I guess you see what you want to see mate, you clearly have made up your mind about Hooper and just look for any evidence to support that view, no matter how tenuous. I didn’t think he was outstanding, but he had his usual industrious game.

    • Mike

      Hooper got two

    • Mark Blackwood

      Of course Hooper makes a few mistakes… because he is everywhere, all the time.
      Pocock in my opinion will start for oz if fit (And butler is pushing) but Hooper is all he is said to be and more (at such a young age).
      When your team is struggling to make the gain line and you see Hooper make a 10m run you don’t stop and chat about how that isn’t the way a 7 should play, it inspires you.
      Too many second rate players comment on this site. As the years go by the 1 good match you played in 3rd grade becomes a John Eales performance.
      Yes, it’s personal. Every other country would kill for Hooper to be in their team

      • roland

        So its not ok if a prop cant scrum, or a hooker cant hook/throw, or a lock cant jump, or an 8 cant bend the line, or a wing cant run fast, or a 10 cant make plays, but it is ok for an openside who cant tackle, ruck, maul or pilfer with any great effectiveness?

        makes sense. thanks guys. im on the hooper band wagon now coz he can run fast. thanks for straightening that out.

        • mike

          hey back off. Skelton can’t Jump and he’s a a shoe in for RWC glory!

        • glenn

          and a mistake that will be. Attacking players heads. falling over and sealing off rucks. He will be sent off by any consistent ref and we will be down to 14 men

        • BillG

          Gosh it was funny seeing Carter get thrown around by Skelton and Palu. He was completely owned. He isn’t anywhere near physical enough for super rugby let alone tests. Woeful.

        • jamie

          Not sure if trolling, taking advantage of one bad game or just being an asshole.

        • harro

          Saw him take at least two lineouts today

        • Mark Blackwood

          Rewind tape mate.
          I think you missed a few plays.

        • Sape

          We can agree that Hooper is less effective in rucks than most sevens, but we have both seen him pilfer the ball and he is one of the best tacklers in S15 so get your facts straight before you bash someone.

          Dont start arguing if you cant do it unbiased.

        • Johns

          He topped international pilfers in 2013… And don’t tell me that was in the past because all I hear about Pocock is one game a long time ago.

      • Masher

        Sorry mate but Hooper wouldn’t make either the All Blacks or the SA team and would at best be a bench player for Ireland and England. He doesn’t seem to know if he wants to be a flanker or a back and contributes nothing to the hard graft needed in the forwards. He has some good runs and makes a some good tackles when he is in the back line but doesn’t seem to offer a lot as a forward and even less as a leader

    • mikeylives

      Hi Roland – I wouldn’t be at all shocked to find your real name is Brad Linkers or Alan Genda? Seriously mate – Hooper had a good game – had a bad missed tackle (rare), but also saved a try, had loads of dominant tackles and was a general menace for the Brums in both attack and defence. The way you put it makes out like he shirks the workload – Nothing could be further from the truth. Another thing, and this is not just directed at you – Hooper is not Pocock, both are very good 7s which focus on different skill sets – get over it.

    • harro

      Did you have any time to focus on any other player?

    • John Tynan

      The open side got off the scrum, around it and made a try-saver on the blind side winger (one who is regularly in the couch commentator’s XV). Not many athletes could be in most of the positions he puts himself in, up to and including that one. As said below, I think you are seeing what you want to mate.

    • Chinese Dave

      Michael Cheika must be a real muppet. He keeps telling Hooper to get stuck into rucks and not run around and Hooper keeps ignoring him and doing his own thing. Yeah, that makes sense.
      Or perhaps, you’re the muppet.

  • Tim

    Crowd numbers were a bit ordinary. Don’t these games, in Sydney normally pull closer to 40k? Was a very rugged encounter and I’m for one glad the Brums have a week off next week. I reckon we’ll lose Kurindrani for a few weeks at least. There is one helluva hoodoo for the Brums in Sydney. From my side of the fence, I hope the Brums “continue to build” from this game, because it won’t be remembered as one of their best ones, which is not to take anything away from the Waratah’s win – they were very physical and Folau has proved himself a big game player. Onward & upward.

    • gurchin

      Stadium only holds 40, and i think 30 is as big a crowd as they’ve had in the last couple of years.

      • Klaus

        Pretty sure they upgraded her a while ago and she is closer to 50 than 40 these days isn’t?

        • Hugh Cavill

          Capacity is around 43k.

        • Klaus

          Thank Hugh I would like your response but I have to log on…

    • Bay35Pablo

      Looked bigger than 27k. I was expecting number to top 30k. But few empty seats in bottom clearly added up. Was good crowd & atmosphere. Plenty of nag 5th columnists & repartee going on.

      • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

        It looked and sounded great on the tele. Even as someone who can’t get to games all that often, I think the SFS is a great for atmosphere & that all important Home Ground adv that all teams need.

    • Chinese Dave

      27K for a game this early in the season and with the Tahs still looking wobbly is an excellent showing in Sydney. Some of the most spoilt and fickle fans reside here.

  • RubberLegs

    Opponents have to learn not kick the ball to the Tahs; their counter-attack is too good. Their regular attack is average and a good goal kicker and a patient opponent might be the secret to sneaking ahead of them. Naivaravoroororowyerboat is something else. Coach Cheika needs to develop some plays that involve him.

    • RobC

      I thought the Brumbies counter A is better. Having said that… Yes. the kick by Fardy from the right wing to Folau at 72′ was a stupid move, and gave the game away.

  • fatdog

    Pocock is dusting his chances of selection by his whinging to the ref. Team cohesiveness is key for Wallabies, and whining about people insulting his pet cause is not good.

    • Merrow

      Neither is being homophobic.

    • Sape

      Agree to a certain point, but homo-jokes belong as little to a rugby field as racist comments, so I think he had a case there.

    • Dom par

      Any excuse to keep non- tahs out of the wallabies right. Pocock brings exactly the kind of leadership we need. Look at Moore and fardy back him up in the video too. What if a tah called someone a n—er. Or told someone with depression to go off themselves. Because using the f-word twice ( with a full 5 minutes apart) is in the same league.

    • Bay35Pablo

      First thought yes. Then no. Need to stamp this stuff out. Pocock is brave enough to call what most would shrug about (hooper …?).
      This isn’t GPS firsts where calling the joeys half back a “f@g” is sh!ts and giggles to put him off his game. Would it be different if players were sledging KB or various islander players with racial ones? Same thing.
      If we can stamp this out it makes us a better sport.
      And do you think this would happen in league …. ? More f@ggot calls than a wood choppers convention every game there I suspect.

    • Chinese Dave

      Maybe he is blowing his chances, who knows? If he is, it only increases my estimation of him for taking a brave personal stand instead of just being one of the boys, and perhaps paying a price for it.
      This might be overstating it a bit (or a lot), but evil only prospers when good men say and do nothing.

  • Bill

    So Cheika heard nothing and will only comment when he does hear something. I’m guessing his lips are zippers and his best friend is Sir Humphrey Appleby.

    • Braveheart81

      I’m guessing it was hard for him to hear what happened on the field from up in the stands behind a pane of glass.

      But by all means, criticise him for not making a definitive statement on the issue before he actually knew any details.

  • Dom par

    This will be a pretty unpopular opinion but maybe when AAC is fit he can spend some time on the bench or contest naiyarovoro’s wing spot. Carraro is fast, runs through holes, and actually offloads and passes. AAC does these things less and less. Likewise Latu looks great, he should be getting 30 mins off the bench every match once TPN is back. People forget Latu would have been 3rd or 4th choice wallaby hooker last year, til he broke his arm.

    • Bay35Pablo

      Agreed on carraro. Cheika made a great pick up there with a player most wouldn’t have remembered or rated. Solid performer.

    • Chinese Dave

      Not unpopular at all. I suspect most keen eyed rugby watchers share your opinion. I certainly do. Cheika’s done well in recruiting Carraro and Hoiles. Both are perhaps not as gifted as others, but have made up for it with brains, toughness, hard work and a real team-first attitude. It’s good that Rugby still remains a game that rewards such attributes.

  • Billy Bob Vanderwaal

    Folau deserves credit for his performance but I can’t get over Joubert’s sh!t refereeing and thinking that set the Brumbies behind the 8-ball from the start. Kuridrani had a terrible game, too. Hopefully there’s a better ref in Canberra for the second fixture it would be nice to see the match without the ref affecting it.

    • Bay35Pablo

      Normally tahs get scr$wed by refs called Joubert …

      • JK

        You mean like Super15 final last year and the 50/50 call on Richie McCaw at the death?

        • harro

          Or the 50-50 call on the Nadolo try?

    • Jonny B

      In future let’s get an internatinally ranked Australian ref to do these local derbies. Oh wait on a minute….
      Get your own refereeing house in order before taking shots at others mate.

      • Billy Bob Vanderwaal

        I don’t quite follow your transition there, “mate”. My criticism of Joubert doesn’t translate to criticizing all South African referees (or any other nations). I’ve seen Peyper do a good job many times and even Joubert have good games in the past. That being said, I don’t think an NRC crew would’ve done worse.

    • K

      Agree. All the 50/50 calls went the Tahs way which made it hard for the Brumbies to get any continuity and weight of position told in the end. The Brumbies of course didn’t help themselves by dropping the ball and missing one on one tackles.

      • Billy Bob Vanderwaal

        It was the difference between a close, but probably bonus point loss vs the blowout that it became at the end. IMO.

  • John Tynan

    it was a very intense game and the Tahs showed some resilience to withstand Brums at start and end of the game.
    In no particular order:
    Joobers had an off day, very inconsistent and breakdown was a mess, which is not usual for him (see Palu jumping over the ruck to interfere vs Carter stepping through the ruck for a penalty)
    A bit kind saying the Fardy incident was even 50/50, and I don’t like the manner it came about, AFTER he referred to the touchy and made a decision, some replays on the scoreboard and he changed his mind – don’t you always coach juniors that “they never change their decisions”?
    Waratah line speed, especially early, was excellent, and Brums didn’t have the time they’ve gotten used to in the last few weeks. The amazingly fast ruck ball from the last couple of weeks was absent. They old cliche that the Waratahs didn’t let the Brumbies play the way they wanted was very applicable here, and a compliment to the Tahs.
    How good was Kepu around the park?
    The way the Tahs switched from containment at the start to attack through the middle to digging in at the end shows how far they’ve come on the course of this particular 3 year plan.

  • Tahs Tiger

    So how all those pompous Brumbies fans feeling now? Talk of “looking the most complete side in the competition” got badly unwound yesterday and apart from Toomua (for 40 minutes), their big name players were outplayed (ex. Scrum time) or were they merely overhyped after a few easy wins against a dreadful Reds team? They sure struggled when the intensity really lifted. Kuridrani was simply dreadful, Speight was not too far behind him and Lealiifano showed once again he is competent, but not any real attacking threat. Maybe also Rory Arnold and Fotu Auelua not quite the talent we were all led to believe? Was Auelua even on the field? The good thing was both Sam Carter and Nic White were. Fun watching both get man-handled like that. Nic White should personally thank the architects of the modern day rule book. In the old days he’d be stretchered off after 30 minutes.

    • John Tynan

      Um, no, Fotu Auleua was not on the field……you are 100% correct.

    • John Tynan

      (I think you meant Ita Vaea ;) ) Who had a solid half but was dragged for Pocock.

    • Billy Bob Vanderwaal

      Feeling pretty good, thanks for asking. At the start of the season I looked at the schedule and thought 3-3 record, instead they’re 4-2 and 6 pts clear at the top of the conference. How are you feeling?

  • Hack Ref

    Fantastic game, just loved the contest and mongrel was off the leash, running around the paddock having the time of his life!
    Carraro looked to keep AAC on his toes if he wants a start after injury. TK was just missing. Possibly his most transparent game ever. I am sure that will be a oncer for the season.
    Craig the ref! Not his best day with the tweeting device.
    Tough call on Fardy but he had it right at first and Jaco and George with the TV helped him think otherwise.
    But the mauling was pretty free and easy which hurt the Ponies big time. Ref assessors will have bashed him over it.
    In the end to sum up: Ponies outmuscled by Tahs! The level of physical abrasion in Australian Rugby has gone up which is a must if you wanna belt a kiwi or saffie team.
    AND I GOT MY MONIES WORTH BY GOING TO SEE REAL TOUGH RUNNING RUGBY!!!!!! YES YES YES.

  • Monk EyBoy

    the Tahs played well, they forced the Brums to defend for 30mins so they were gassed in the second. Joubert was poor compared to last week and that yellow on Fardy was a crowd influenced decision IMHO. Not saying Joubert caused the result, saying he was not up to standard. I thought he was inconsistent on his players coming through the rucks. He made the decision on the knock on based on his AR then changed his mind after whinging (so it appeared). I’m not denying the Tahs wanted it more and the Brumbies didn’t trust their D, but inconsistency and what appears to be reactionary refereeing is frustrating

  • Damo

    So, we’ve got a player on the field and he has a split second to interpret one of the laws of the game. “I think I can catch that ball. Hang on, if I do catch it I might be half way down the field and I’ll be a bit of hero, but if I don’t quite make the catch the ball, and it hits the deck, I’ll probably be in the bin. I might just leave it alone. No, instinct always says ‘have a go'”
    Does my head in every time!

    • Richard

      Yep. And in not contesting the ball, gives up a try to the unmarked guy out wide and has to explain to his team mates why he didn’t do everything possible to prevent a try from being scored. The game has created a monster in how this rule is now interpreted. Dumb!

    • Whig

      Yep this rule is ridiculous. I can’t even imagine how it ever came to exist. And I’m a tahs fan.

      • Whig

        Ps – Damo, I would have up voted you, but apparently I’ve got to “sign in” first. Another ridiculous rule.

        • Nick

          I’ve notice this annoyance too. I think it’s contributing to less posts as well. Is there any possibility we can revert back to the old disqus?

        • muffy

          Also I can’t secretly up vote my (often hysterical) comments …

        • Nick

          This is actually my primary concern (upvoting muffy not my own…)

        • muffy

          Just log – you know you want to

      • Guy

        If you could slap down the ball, players would do it constantly as soon as the scrum half picks it up and when players look to be offloading. The game would go backwards

        And there is no way in hell Fardy was trying to catch that ball

        • harro

          It appeared to me that his palm was facing down and his hand was moving in that direction. I thought it was a yellow but didn’t like the process that lead to Fardy being carded

        • Guy

          Yeah, as a Tahs fan, I have tried to imagine it happened to us (the call reversal). I do like when officials accept mistakes and make corrections, and this is how I am looking at this right now.

        • Glnn

          you need to go back to the replay, his hand was at the side of the ball and was moving sideways reaching out. Wasn’t anything like Slap Down.

  • Bay35Pablo

    Joubert was pants. Period there where he spent about 5 minutes resetting scrums was a joke. He looked lost.
    And the 2 early engagement calls on us were confusing. Is that even possible with the new rules and the ref calling it?

    • Monk EyBoy

      Technically it is possible, if the a team shunts after “Set” but before the ball is in it is an early push. I thought there was no pause in cadence to check binds and stability on the “bind” before “set” so you arent going “re-gain” stability at the next call. The scrum should be still(ish) and staedy between each call.

    • Nutta

      What he was calling was that the front-rows were soft-engaging before the call to engage.

      Let’s be clear in that I think it is a stupid call, but under the engage protocol the opposing props are supposed to use their outside arms to both get a bind and concurrently hold themselves away from each other until the whole platform is stable and the ref calls set.

      It’s bollocks as they must either rely on stretchy fabric to keep 1,800 kilo apart, go head-on-head and rely on their necks to do the same (duh) or move their outside leg forward to buttress (meaning they must move it after engaging and in doing so destabilise the whole scrum).

      It’s idiocy.

  • Nutta

    Random observations:

    Great game and great intensity. The Tarts rung a bell to the whole comp with that performance

    Cararro for AAC. Folk keep calling him “tradesman like”. I say that is unkind. I say the guy deserves the Tah 13 spot as he defends well, runs the hole and actually passes

    Fardy was unlucky to get the yellow. But as a forward, given the usual preconceptions about speed, if you are tapping up then you are intercepting and if you tap forward or down it’s a knock down and that is that

    That being said, Fardy is by far and away the best blind-side in Oz at the moment although Sean Mc had a great game for the Rebs

    In 20min Pocock re-established himself as the go-to open-side in Oz. Hooper made a couple of great tackles but the early miss on Toomua was very poor, his constant Meercat-ing is disrespectful to his team mates and his other contributions simply don’t outweigh what Pocock brings to the table. And Palu makes 3 with Higgers on the bench covering

    Likewise Foley is the go-to 10. That being said I thought Ozzy Mike’s game for the Rebs was pretty sweet.

    I am liking the locks coming through. Rory Arnold and Adam Coleman especially. Big units who play hard and straight. Sam Carter was the best lock in yesterdays game, His workrate was fantastic and supports his Wobbly selection (in the absence of Douglas). And I think Skelton is adding meat & potato to his gravy nicely. When is Simmons expected to be fit again?

    Kepu is the clear national no3. There is daylight between him and 2nd. So Kepu needs to up his longevity as 50min won’t cut it. On straight form, Sio is the no1 over Slipper for mine and Moore wears the no2 backstopped by Charlie from the West. That being said, I really enjoyed Latte’s game.

    Nic White – buddy you hurt your team yesterday. Too much niggly off-the-ball shite and it clearly impacted your performance.

    Folau – what else do you say? I hope K’drani is ok.

    I thought the officiating in general was fairly inconsistent. You need to make your call quick, with confidence and move on even if history shows you wrong later. The more you agonise, the more agony it attracts. Examples: the hand-wringing over Fardy’s card, the constant tolerance of Donkey off-side after the Fardy yellow, the inconsistency over contact with players in the air, the refusal to check-screen for incidents later in the game after the early precedent was established with Fardy etc etc.

    Nice to see proper rucking techniques applied a few times especially to poncy Backs on both sides. No dancing or stabbing-in, but proper “get past the ball and churn feet”. Perfectly legal and very viewer-friendly.

    Last call – I am having a hard enough time coping with Beagles continuing involvement in the game at all let alone having to watch him pack at breakaway and drag on the outside leg of his prop. Lord Give Me Strength.

    • Chinese Dave

      This constant criticism of Hooper’s so called failings is bordering on the absurd. For three years now, he’s been meerkat-ing, not contesting the breakdown hard enough, running too far wide, etc. Now, you’d think that given those failings, his coach might have a word, maybe drop him to the bench for a bit, hook him in early for his repeated naughtiness. Yet, somehow, he keeps getting selected, for the Tahs, for the Wallabies, and keeps playing close to 80 minutes each game, and it’s not only Cheika, it was McKenzie too.
      Now, have a think boys. Could he possibly be following instructions from his coaches? Could they maybe see an upside to his ability to do those things that other 7s don’t bring to the game? Nah, surely he is just ignoring instructions, swanning around doing his own thing and profiteering from being a NSW player. Yes, that makes more sense.

      Bloody Hooper should be playing on the wing.

      • Nutta

        Your points are fair. We all play somewhere between our natural game and our coaches instructions. And to be fair, I recall a time the poor bloke was put at no12 by a coach for a time and that worked well didn’t it?!? However I feel Pocock brings more both as a player and a leader (and we have to be realistic about the clear absence of leadership in the Wobblies over recent times). It’s as simple as this: if Mars came to Oz tomorrow and we had to pick a side to play for Universal domination would you pick Poey or Hoops? For me, it would be Poey.

        • Chinese Dave

          If we were picking a side to save humanity, I’d probably pick neither :) But to answer your question more seriously, I agree Hooper isn’t a classic 7, but he doesn’t stand in isolation. He is part of a team structure, and performs a role within that structure. The role he plays within is shaped both by the demands of the structure and his personal ability to do some things well and inability to do other things well, and that in turn shapes the structure itself.

          Would the Tahs be a better team if you simply dropped in Pocock (who by the way, I admire greatly, both for his playing skill and character) instead of Hooper? I don’t think so. They have other players to cover his relative ineffectiveness at the breakdown (it is relative to very good players like Pocock and Hodgson, but by no means is it a glaring weakness), and they benefit greatly from his other abilities.

          If what you’re saying is that you prefer to watch a structure with a 7 who plays a classic role, I can’t argue, but this whole insistence that Hooper is somehow “winging it” (pun intended) is quite overdone.

        • Klaus

          Hooper is a quality player no doubt however the ease in which Pocock slows down an opposition ball is second to none also the break made by Folau, Pocock made the tackle on him and then the very next on on Phipps that work ethic to me is priceless especially in test matches. So for me it is more who offers more in Test match rugby and Pocock ticks more of those boxes than Hooper does.

        • Chinese Dave

          If the Wallabies can find the go ahead elsewhere, then I completely agree. Of course I would like a breakaway who is a real menace in the breakdown, can pilfer balls, tackle like a maniac and slow the opposition down (and Hooper is more than decent at that, to be fair, but I’ll readily admit Pocock is much better).
          It would be even nicer to have someone like (I hate to say this) Sir Richie who can do both.

          I’m no great coach, but it seems to me that the last two preferred the ability to keep moving past the gain line over the defensive ability, otherwise they would have picked Hodgson who is a fantastic classic 7. They may have made the wrong choice, I certainly don’t know.

          Personally, I think the Wallabies had a couple of really good games a long time ago (under Deans) with Pocock there and I would definitely like to see him be tried again, maybe even as captain (as long as that curse doesn’t injure him). But I’m anything but certain that they’ll play better as a team with him instead of Hooper. Wouldn’t want to be a coach…

        • Seb V

          The wallabies are certainly lacking strong ball runners, or any forwards that can bend the line. We need Hooper for this. But we are also lacking physicality in the ruck, the clean-out and the contact zone, We need Pocock for this. Fuck.

        • Klaus

          All these points are bang on and I agree. But you shouldn’t be looking for go forward from your number 7. You need your number 7 in there working and slowing the ball down so your defence can re-align and be set. Every game I watch Hooper play he put 100% effort in but I personally just hate watching a number 7 run away from a ruck to stand in the 13 channel which he does at least 4 times a game. Again thats my opinion and I am not asking anyone to change theirs.

        • John Tynan

          Well said Dave.

      • RobC

        hm.
        – Hoops vs Gill. Hoops, until Gill can find 120+kg backrowers and props and locks to take care of business
        – Hoops vs Hodgson. Hoops, who is fit
        – Hoops vs Poey. Hoops, until Poey gets back to 2011/12 form
        – Hoops vs Fuglistaller. Hoops
        – Hoops vs MacMahon. MacMahon. today.

    • muffy

      I find it hard to disagree with you on anything here, although I am not a fan of Skeltons cheap shots swinging arms and general grubness, There are better locking options.

      • Nutta

        Yeah, I saw the swinging arm. I admit that surprised me as I didn’t think he had enough wind for cheap-shotting! He is not there yet (for me). His scrum impact is no-where what it should be for a guy that size. But I think it is coming along.

    • Braveheart81

      Pocock got one pilfer in the 35 minutes he played but what else did he do exactly? He provided no go forward in a pack that was getting outmuscled and outenthused. I fail to see how he achieved much at all apart from getting through the game unscathed. He was often seen linking between the Brumbies forwards and backs but certainly they lacked penetration throughout the second half.

      Hooper missed a one on one tackle on Toomua which resulted in a try so on that basis didn’t have a fantastic game. He still topped the tackle count for the game (even though the Tahs made 30 less tackles than the Brumbies) and was the top forward for run metres from either team.

      • Klaus

        Easy to be the highest run metres BH when you stand in the centres waiting for the ball while your mates and the other teams forwards are getting stuck in.

        • Braveheart81

          Presumably he was somewhere close to the action seeing as he made more tackles than anyone else in the game.

      • RobC

        I think the main thing he did, was not get injured :)

    • RobC

      I thought the Brumbies midfield D was exposed by the Chief. Tahs did their homework.

      Was a tough game from Joubert to officiate. But not as tough as Gus Gardner for Sharks / Chiefs.

      Mike Harris? I thought he contributed markedly to the loss vs Lions. Due to missed kicks and lack of attack variety.

      • Nutta

        We will agree to disagree on the Mike Harris game. I watched it again last night (bored) and I thought he did well but perhaps I am judging lightly given I don’t really consider him a 10.

        • RobC

          I could also have been judging him harshly, for the same consideration. I believe (guess) JackDeb would have exploited opportunities somewhat better.

          The missed sitters (7 points) though were a key difference

  • Seb V

    Thought Toomua easily played better then Foley, didn’t see Foley do much at all. Other then that I think the Tahs out-played most of their opposite numbers.

    • Chinese Dave

      Yeah, completely agree! Other than scoring a try, converting all but one, hitting all the penalties, he did nothing whatsoever. Luckily the Tahs were able to overcome the absolute uselessness of their link from the ruck to the rest of the players and somehow score three tries. Great comment!

      • Seb V

        Not exactly a great try to rave about. His support play was great, but he’s a 10, I’d rather a good playmaker then a support player at 10. Beale was doing all the playmaking once again. Yes he kicked his goals, but other then that he just shovelled the ball along. Toomua kicked well, defended like a champion, and was solid all around.

        • Chinese Dave

          So basically what you’re saying is that the Tahs won the game with 14 men and a goal kicker.
          They must be really good, mustn’t they?

        • Seb V

          Mate, Why are you so defensive? I never said Foley had a bad game, I just said I thought Toomua played much better. You have said nothing to change my opinion and i doubt you will so get over it!

        • Chinese Dave

          I’m not being defensive, I’m merely pointing out how implausible it is for a team to score three tries against an otherwise good defensive team, tries that didn’t come out of broken play or flukes, while having a useless #10. I’m basically saying that the fact the Tahs scored three tries pretty much in itself is evidence that Foley played well.

        • Seb V

          I never said he didn’t. Do you not understand that? I think Foley played well but Toomua played better. You know just because they are on the losing team doesn’t mean they played worse then their opposite number.

        • Chinese Dave

          I must have been confused by the “didn’t see Foley do much at all” part… my apologies

        • Jack Mallick

          Toomua? The brumbies were outplayed, and a big part of that was foley controlling the game and field position – he linked well, set up play, kicked for territory, tackled well, took the ball to the line, slotted his goals. What else can he do??

          Toomua sliced through for the first try, knocked himself out charging up on folau, and what else?

        • Glenn

          With your Bromance and eyes for only Foley I not surprised you didn’t see anyone elses game. lol

        • harro

          More precisely, since Skelton is a ‘passenger’ and Hooper is a back, the Tahs beat the Brumbies with 6 forwards, 7 backs, 1 kicker and 1 passenger.

          How rubbish are the Brumbies? ;-)

  • Brendan Hume

    Good game of tough footy as should be expected by the top two aussie sides in a derby in good conditions. Scrum and lineout was pretty solid for both teams with the advantage shifting to and fro for the duration (probably Tahs with an edge on the shunt, Brums pipping them in the air). Biggest worry from an Aussie Rugby perspective was that phase play didn’t either team far (particularly the Brums). We’ll need to work harder on
    attacking patterns to get on the front foot. Solid defence and counter
    attack was the order of the day for the Tahs, which got them over the line. Brumbies ran out of patience or ideas with ball in hand.

  • Galty

    Anyone know of a link to watch a replay?

  • Klaus

    It was a great game of rugby if not the best game of Super rugby this year (coming from a Reds fan). I agree with some of the critics of Joubert that he missed a lot, he did. However the intensity of NSW allowed them to get away with the stuff they did. I thought Pocock was very good when he came on and will only improve in the future. If the Wallabies can bring that intensity to test matches we will go well this year. Well done Tahs and Brums on a good game of rugby.

  • RubberLegs

    The Tahs are a class act; that coach is perfect for them.

  • Fatflanker

    I’m a bit surprised the Waratahs opted to kick out to end the game rather than make a final, admittedly very unlikely, attempt to drive up the field for a bonus point try. The worst that could have happened was the Brumbies recovering the ball and scoring another seven points – still not enough to earn them a losing bonus point. I guess they were knackered.

    • harro

      It’s the second time they’ve made a bad decision at the end of a match, and both times Dave Dennis had already been subbed. Although, I thought he made a poor decision to take the shot early in the match when the Brumbies were down a man.

  • Toadflax

    It was an amazing game to be at and I felt it was in the balance until the end. I think that in the starting 15s there were 23 first and second string Wallabies – amazing. I have to say I am not a Joubert fan. He is so inconsistent. I am a Tahs fan by the way but can still not understand the Carter penalty (happy to be enlightened), thought the policing of breakdown was inconsistent as was the application of the slap-down. I thought Fardy did slap it down but so did Fanga 10-15 mins later. Is Nic White the most annoying little bas&*rd on the planet – I just wish he would pick up his panties and shut the f%ck up. Nice to see Lilo has his kicking boots on again. I think Kepu was an unsung hero – I would have given him MoM, although would love to see him on the paddock a bit longer.

    • Merrow

      I think you’d find some people have the same opinion of Phipps.

      • Toadflax

        Ha ha. Too true.

    • RubberLegs

      I thought Kepu was playing well. Sometimes he is happy just watching the action. Phipps and other players passed him the ball during the first half and he seemed to pleased to get the attention and he put on his best moves. He is usually shy and lets others have the ball as much as they want.

  • RobC

    Thanks! I thought there were three turn points:
    – Big busts by Kepu, JackPot, Hooper, a few forwards around 20′. Brumbies were forced to compress. 10′ later, backs score two tries from the time/space created.
    – 35′: Tahs finally trust their scrum system and patiently repel the Brumbies push. They then push a 2nd shove and win a dominating penalty. Tahs scrum didnt look back since
    – As mentioned above, Speight missed the corner thanks to Hooper fingernail try saver. End of the Brumbies raids

  • Johns

    Well you just used the word “pussy” which can be used for a females private parts… So you are sexist and holding back feminism…

    People need to grow a thicker skin. These days those words have multiple meanings and unless directed at the particular group are of zero offense to anyone.

  • Johns

    So does that me that people have to stop call props fat now? That effects body image issues. Stop saying kick like a girl because that’s sexist. If you have ever played rugby you know things get heated and banter happens.

    The slang was used against Nick White who has a girl friend so it was not used in that context. People keep saying its like calling one of the Islander boys a racist slur. But is not. The word wasn’t used against a person who it may offend. So not sure how that is Homophobic?

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