Waratahs hold on for 10th straight win over the Reds - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

Waratahs hold on for 10th straight win over the Reds

Waratahs hold on for 10th straight win over the Reds

The Waratahs have recorded their 10th straight win over the Reds, securing the 28-17 win in a scrappy contest. The Waratahs seemed to control the first half, with the much-hyped “all Wallaby” backline showing glimpses of their class in attack, breaking the line early whilst being backed up by a much improved forward pack. However, the Reds held tough, taking their chances initially to keep in touch with the Waratahs to set up what seemed to be an electric second half.

However, outside of a couple of flashes from both sides, the second half was disjointed, with both sides committing schoolboy errors and penalties that will struggle to bring back the crowd, which was small for what was called “one of the biggest rivalries in Australian sport” by the Fox Sports commentary team. The sides would then trade tries in the final 15 minutes, with the Waratahs emerging from the scrap with the win 28-17.

The Match

The Reds got off to a perfect start, regathering the kickoff and they earned a penalty inside the first 45 seconds, however, Bryce Hegarty pushed the kick to the right. Unlike the Reds, the Waratahs would not waste their opportunity at penalty goal, with Bernard Foley converting his attempt from right in front to put the Waratahs ahead 3-0 at 5 minutes.

The Waratahs would continue to press their advantage, with lovely hands through the backline putting them immediately back into the Reds half, and an ill-disciplined penalty from Izack Rodda provided Foley with the perfect opportunity to extend the lead to 6-0.

One of the main talking points from the game has to be the surface, with the cricket ground showing remnants of the Australian cricket side, falling apart at any sign of pressure, which should raise alarm bells for NSW officials since they have two more games on it and a plethora of other sporting fixtures in between.

The Waratahs looked the more dangerous side in the first twenty, with Jake Gordon looking certain to score before the 20th-minute mark before being stopped by a great cover tackle by Isaac Lucas, who looked solid in his run on debut.

Their pressure was rewarded with the sin-binning of JP Smith after he committed a personal foul by tackling Jake Gordon within 2 seconds of taking a quick tap in an offside position. The Waratahs would cross over from the resulting lineout, with a nice sequence of play from Ned Hanigan that saw him take the lineout and back up with a strong carry over the line to push the score out to 13-0.

The Reds would fight back after a couple of strong runs over the advantage lines from the forwards, with Samu Kervei bursting through some soft defence by Hanigan to reduce the margin down to 13-7 at 25 minutes.

However, the Waratahs dominated territory and seemed to control the game during the first half, continuing to press the Queensland line. They would earn a string of penalties and the easiest of penalty shots for Bernard Foley to push the lead out to nine points, with credit to Damien Fitzpatrick for excellent counter-rucking to cause the initial turnover.

Despite the dominance, the Reds would maintain in striking distance of the Waratahs, with Chris Feauai-Sautia bursting through the line after a Kerevi offload attracted the defence in, particularly Kurtley Beale, to allow Feauai-Sautia to cross untouched to leave the score at half time 16-12.

Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes

Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes

The Waratahs started the second half as a team possessed, with Curtis Rona charging over the line, breaking some poor Reds tackles to score with their first phase with the ball, with Foley missing the kick from the sideline to keep the score at 21-12.

From here, the game seemed to break down for a considerable period, resembling a suburban third-grade game rather than a Super Rugby contest, with both sides committing soft penalties and routine errors.

Queensland particularly seemed to be disjointed throughout the second half, especially in the backline who either overran their passes or threw them behind the ball runners, with at some stages a combination of both.

After realising they were struggling to put consistent passes together, they found a breakthrough when Bryce Hegarty booted ahead for Sefa Naivalu to cross in the corner to reduce the margin back to 21-17, finally reigniting the game.

However as they have done for the majority of the match, the Waratahs struck back straight away after a couple of strong runs from Folau and Hanigan put the Reds on the back foot, allowing Alex Newsome to slice through from a nice Jake Gordon pass and extend the margin out to 11 points.

The Reds would proceed to attack the Waratah line for the remaining 5 minutes, however, the Waratahs held on for a 28-17 win.

Concluding Thoughts

  • The unsung heroes of this victory will be the NSW forwards, who really showed improvement especially at set-piece time to continue to push the Waratahs to this victory, especially impressed with Harry Johnson-Holmes, who I thought had his best game in Blue
  • The Wallaby, I mean Waratah backline showed glimpses of their talent, I would rate the experiment of Beale to fullback and Folau on the wing as a pass, barely, with both seen out of position at times during the match, especially evident during the second and third Reds tries. The Waratahs still need to find a way to get Folau more included in their attack if they want any chances of competing with the Brumbies.
  • As for the Reds, they looked disjointed in attack at stages, with a lot of passes going behind the runners, stifling their attack at stages. They don’t seem to have a second option outside of Kerevi and they lacked rhythm without Petaia, they need to find a way to maintain possession, potentially looking to include Isaac Lucas more in their attack in future games.
  • Finally, the surface will come under severe scrutiny after this game, with the ground looking more like Bondi beach than the SCG at stages. If I was the Waratahs, I would be seriously nervous about the next two home games at the ground, considering that the ground is expected to hold AFL, NRL and A-League games at the ground in the next month.


The Turning Point

After a stagnant second half, the Reds seemed to re-ignite the contest after crossing with 15 minutes to go. However, the game was sealed 5 minutes later after a lovely ball from Jake Gordon put Alex Newsome in a hole with his first touch of the ball to secure the win.


Tough choice as no one player really stood out in this contest. This might be controversial, but Michael Hooper really stood up with a captain’s effort in defence, recording 29 tackles with 1 missed (according to Rugby.com.au, along with a couple of crucial plays to turn the ball over at the ruck at key times to help the Waratahs to victory.

Wallaby Watch

With a slew of Wallaby hopefuls playing in this contest, it’s tough to mention how every player performed. However, standouts were Hooper, Rona, Foley and Hanigan (Outside of the missed tackle for the Kerevi try he had a solid game, scoring a try and earning a couple of turnovers that resulted in points) along with the Tongan Thor Taniela Tupou and Samu Kerevi for the Reds.


Waratahs 28

Tries: Hanigan, Rona, Newsome

Cons: Foley 2

Pens: Foley 3

Reds 17

Tries: Kerevi, Feauai-Sautia, Naivalu

Cons: Hegarty

  • Happyman

    Frankly a poor game the Reds lost cohesion. Once again they were not rewarded for early scrum dominance and the work at clean out left much to be desired.
    Tahs did enough but against a more cohesive u it would have been flogged.
    This game exposes the stupidity of Quades exile.
    Lucas was also promising.
    Well done Hoss but you missed the points differential by 1.5. Lol

    • Hoss

      Yes , well, there was that.

  • mobay
  • Greg

    Thanks for the write-up.

    I was at the game. It was extremely scrappy with just a few dashes of brilliance.

    The Reds had many chance to catch and put the Waratahs away but kept fluffing them through careless errors. I think that the Waratahs got out of jail.

    • Huw Tindall

      Watching on TV I’d say it was the Tahs defence forcing a lot of the Reds errors. The defence was up and in their face all night. It seemed like the second half was 30 mins of the Waratahs defending. The big Reds forwards couldn’t make the dents I feared they were.

      Generally though a very scrappy game and maybe it’s the ref. The ruck was a mess all night which makes for a scrappy game.

      • Who?

        Has Glen Jackson ever reffed a good game? I can’t remember one…

  • disqus_NMX

    For all the predicted Reds forwards dominance, it seemed to me that it was the Tahs forwards that dominated.

    Reds seem to be going backwards at the moment. Are they missing Style’s forwards coaching?

    And the best part – Rebels 3 from 3, Reds 0 from 3, ha ha, how is that sitting with you Mr B Thorn.

  • idiot savant

    Hot air. The Reds (particularly the coach) are full of it. Thorn has bragged about how he has brought physicality, set piece dominance, working for each other, and a new culture of goody two shoes to the club. How did this work out?

    Reds great physicality. Myth. Absolutely dominated by the Tahs lightweight pack. Hanigan just blew them apart with his strength in scoring that try. HHJ drove Thor backwards. No Reds forward intimidated any Tahs forward.

    Reds great set piece 1 – scrum. Myth. Beaten by the Tahs lightweights. The Reds didn’t have the strength to push the Tahs off the ball when they missed the strike.

    Reds set piece 2 – line out. Reds were completely outsmarted (Thorn is the Reds lineout coach).

    Reds defence. Not in the same class as the Tahs at any level.

    Work rate. Compare HHJ’s tackle count to Thors. Not in the same class. Repeat across the forward pack.

    Culture. Victory for the Reds. More Tahs have been arrested.

    These are the things that Thorn has said he will deliver. Everything except culture is hot air. Its early days but Im getting a Michael Voss feeling about the Reds direction under this coach. Great player but really, is he smart enough to coach?

    Thor offered nothing last night. Scrum failed to dominate. He made no impact as a ball carrier. His work rate in defence was ridiculous next to his Tah opponents. Mafi must have been preferred by Thorn over Ready due to his Christianity because his line out throwing, scrummaging, work rate, rugby smarts, and breakdown work rate isn’t in the same class.

    Ive said it before the Tahs have the smartest coaching group and boy did it show last night. The Tahs played excellently to a plan. Instead of trying to run the Reds of their feet which the Reds may have prepared for they took them on in the forwards and beat them. The Tahs superior coaching at the breakdown was obvious. They ensured the Reds had slow ‘dirty ball’ while their own ball was secured much faster. I’ve said it many times before, the Reds forwards have very poor breakdown technique. Who is coaching that? The Tahs obviously have smarter analysts. Slowing up the ball worked well for the Blues last year and the Crusaders last week against the Reds. Where was the Reds analysis of the Tahs’s game? I would suggest they didn’t do any. Doesn’t anyone actually watch games? I predicted last year the Reds would get thrashed by the Sunwolves after watching the Moondogs on their kiwi tour unless they had the right game plan. And it came to pass alright.

    Line speed. Another great victory for the Tahs coaching. The Tahs were offside a lot tonight. That’s alright. All the kiwi sides do that until they are penalised. The Reds coaching wasn’t smart enough to play the same game.

    The Reds were outsmarted and outplayed by better coached players and the Tahs were unlucky not to win by more.

    The Reds are the dumbest team in the competition and that comes from the top. I bet no one at board or management level asked Thorn why one of the best lineouts in 2017 became one of the worst in 2018. Nowhere I have ever worked has allowed such a fall in competence not to be made a real issue at personnel level. We have seen the same thing with Cheika for years until recently. We should look to the AFL for guidance about best practice in the rope given coaches. Cheika would have been sacked 2 years ago in the AFL, and Thorn would currently be hauled before the broad for a please explain. But that’s where rugby is different. It’s a game for rich well connected people where you can get paid millions for past deeds like showing how tough you were at Marathon stadium in the 80s and real performance doesn’t matter. Thorn needs to be careful here. Read John 8.1 before you blame the players. Even Cheika has had the courage to admit mistakes in preparation (if not selection) in the past. And apologies for my own hot air but that was a reality check for the entire Ballymore outfit tonight.

    • Huw Tindall

      Off the long run IS and hard to argue with any of that. In my post just now I touched briefly upon the Reds and they are just rudderless on field without a general to marshal the troops. With such a young side it’s hard to expect that but they really need a seasoned pro at 9 or 10 to call the shots. They are all heart and effort, which is admirable, but they need some smarts. Looking at our stocks
      having Nick White and Matt Toomua at 9/10 would enhance this Queensland side no end. Hell even get Kyle Godwin back! Played a blinder at 10 for Connacht the other week!

    • Crescent

      The only quibble with the above is the god awful SCG surface never really allowed the Reds to try for any scrum dominance.

      I will also say bugger the SCG for future matches – too far from the action and a real atmosphere killer for the spectator.

      Only up side for the Reds was they never gave up. Put that attitude with a general to push them around the park and there would be light at the end of the tunnel.

      • idiot savant

        I dont buy the line that it was the surface that de-powered the Reds scrum. The surface was the same for both sides. If the Reds buy that it is a delusion that wont lead to improvement. What it does prove is that relying on a scrum to win super rugby games is a narrow and ineffective strategy. It also showed the Reds scrum is overblown. They were given a bath last week by the Crusaders.

        • Crescent

          Fair response – disappointed your initial post got marked as spam – it was a cracker.

        • idiot savant

          Truth is no defence….

        • Who?

          I mostly agree, but… Glen Jackson’s never understood the scrum. He’s never reffed a scrum well in his life. HJH went into every one of those early scrums with his right elbow dead vertical at the ground. The Reds were the only team penalized for dropping the scrum, even though that elbow is always the first thing refs look at, and the Tahs were dropping it more on their feed early in the game. After the Reds got overenthusiastic and shoved early (after the Tahs copped a FK for taking out the lifters – I’ve no idea how that wasn’t a straight penalty), the Tahs continued to keep the scrum too low for effective driving, but the momentum turned and they started to make headway. But before that point, the Tahs looked to be struggling.

      • OnTheBurst

        Agree. SCG is shithouse for rugby.

        Leichhardt Oval would get 20k for the Crusaders game!

        C’mon Tahs, tell the SCG Trust to shove it

  • Huw Tindall

    Thanks for the prompt write up Nathan! Appreciate it.

    In summary…the Tahs defence won them that game. I didn’t think I’d be saying that after last year. 182 tackles to 50. That’s insane. Also tackles success of 86% which is pretty good too. Nathan singled out Hooper with his 29 tackles and 2 turnovers. That is 60% as many tackles as the whole Reds team made. He got through so much work in tight. I don’t get how people think he swans out in the backs ignoring the tough stuff.

    All the forwards muscled up too with Hanigan and HJH getting plenty done again. Probably the best game I’ve seen young Ned play in a while actually. The reserve second rower Sinclair had a great cameo as well putting on some big hits in defence. Also when Miller went off injured the reserve prop O’Connor came on to play in the backrow for a bit. Finally, good to have Taf back. Trademark low chopping tackles and muscling up in close.

    After the strong defensive effort it was choosing to take the points that gave the Tahs a comfortable lead by the end. Again, who would of thought Hooper would be making those conservative calls. 3 tries a piece but 3 penalties to Foley plus 2 conversions. Hegarty didn’t bring his kicking boots otherwise would have been closer.

    KHunt was all energy again and secured a curcial turnover. Not afraid of the ruck is he. Partnership with AAC is solid too. Thought AAC did well out wide in defence as well reading the play well and coming in at the right time plus being a pest at the ruck.

    Beale and Folau experiment should continue. Didn’t get to see too much. KB wasn’t really put under pressure from the kicks and the lack of ball prevented Izzy getting into the game.

    I don’t know what to do about the Reds. Had so much territory in that second half but didn’t go very far. Credit to the Tahs defence I suppose as the Reds could sustain the attack and would cough it up in a tackle every 10 phases or so. Definitely lacking a general to lead the team around. Need an experienced 9 or 10 who can marshal them well. With so many young guys you just can’t have that experience. Duncan P was average at 12. Kerevi thought did well at 13. He carries that backline. And CFS and Sefa showed some good pace when they got a chance. Unfortunately those chances didn’t come. The Reds either played it really tight in the forwards or the up and in rush defence of the Tahs stifled them when they went wide. I dearly want the young Reds to kick on and win some matches but it’s not looking too good at this stage of the season. The Moondogs next week won’t be an easy one either. Although they lost to the Blues in Auckland today they are playing some really exciting high skill running rugby.

    Looking ahead a tough couple of weeks coming up for the Tahs. Away to the Brumbies in Canberra and then at home to the Crusaders. The forward pack will need to step up again if the Tahs are going to have a chance, especially against the Crusaders who are far and away the best side. They demolished the in the early match.

    • idiot savant

      Agree with all of this Huw. Hooper was immense. Simmons and Hanigan were physically dominant! Fitzpatrick is one smart footballer and HHJ will earn Wallaby gold if he keeps that up. Foley was also very good. All of these players showed big game class. The great thing about the Tahs was the the teamwork and the way every player played their role. They simply had too much class for the Reds who have been overblown in all commentary. The ordinariness of many of their players was evident tonight. I am just so impressed by how smart the Tahs are under this coaching group.

      • Huw Tindall

        They seem to have something good going on don’t they? Last year you could see the squad was really cohesive and a great attitude. Seems to have continued this year. Great addition of Steve Tandy as defence coach and Chris Whitaker on attack. Imagine if they had a pack that people actually rated!?

    • nmpcart

      Hegarty is 26, CFS and Kerevi 25, Duncan is 24, Naivalu is 27. Admittedly the halfbacks are young, and Lucas at 15 is young, but 5 out of 7 of the backline are over 24. The Hurricanes backline (apart from halfback) are pretty similar or younger. Jordie Barrett is only 22. These are players who have been professional athletes for 6+ years, so surely they have enough experience. The Reds seem to base everything around Kerevi charging through so defences shutting him down stifle the attack.

  • Hoss

    Oh what a beautiful morning. Oh what a beautiful day. I’ve got a wonderful feeling, everythings going my way.

    Sometimes ‘I told you so’ just isn’t enough.

    Welcome to Sunday morning, where natural balance and a zen calmness has befallen the east coast.

    Not only did we win, but:

    – Flanders physically dominated, Christ even Gene pulled off some huge hits
    – Spanners kicks went twice as far as usual, some of them past 45 metres
    – our set piece ruled
    – Lee Magors was awesome
    – and the nail in the coffin, an unwanted red , Genitals, was the Tah’s best and my MOTM

    I don’t want to be a poor winner and credit were it’s due, I thought the Queensland bus driver taking them to the ground was awesome and showed real glimpses of better times ahead. His parallel parking was awesome.

    • disqus_NMX

      Ha ha, bus driver to play 10 next week.

      • Bernie Chan

        Nah…we don’t need a #10. Flyhalfs are overrated…

      • Hoss

        Well his unloading and finding gaps was terrific.

        • idiot savant

          Well he wasn’t carrying any baggage. It was sent ahead to the Rebels, Tahs, and Brumbies.

    • Fatflanker

      The sheer rugby brilliance of playing these games in a sandpit to de-fang the opposition scrum says it all…just a shame Cheika will be limited to having only 15 Tahs on the field at one time!

    • idiot savant

      Fully earned Mr Cartwright. The chosen ones did the hard work and did it smart. One of the best games I have ever seen Hooper play. He played like a real 7, no sea gulling just in and under grunt chopping down the big Reds forwards all night.

    • Keith Butler

      About to say the same about Hoops ( through gritted teeth) as IS. He played like a real 7. Can’t recall how many scrums there were but the state of the pitch all but nullified the Reds pack. Reminded me of AAMI stadium before it was resurfaced. Advantage Tahs for the other games they have there. Other than that the Reds looked pretty ordinary.

    • John Tynan

      In my own mea culpa, I have to say that Flan-diddly-anders did actually have a good game, and made some physical impression, kept his feet in contact.

    • Huw Tindall

      The icing on the cake for me was waking up to a perfect 7/7 on the Super Rugby tips. This is how New Zealand rugby fans must feel on a regular basis.

      • Hoss

        Show off.

    • John Tynan

      yeah, yeah, yeah….

  • Custard Taht

    The jury may be still out in regard to Brad Thorn, but that is only because they are still loading up the car with everything not bolted down in the hotel. The verdict is decided.

    You know your offense is shite when you get outscored by a Foley led attack.

  • dsb

    A boring and disappointing game. Despite the Wallabies in the lineup and in stark contrast to the the skills, leadership and passion of the Rebs/Brums game. The commentators continued the bromance for the Tahs. There were very good players on both sides but not enough to make a difference. Both the reds and Tahs are going to be under pressure from some very good teams soon.

  • Damo19

    The Waratahs game was basically more assured and practised in terms of what they were trying to do in both attack and defense- which should have been the case given the time they have been together and the number of Wallabies in the lineup. But seriously, the skills execution under pressure by both teams throughout the game is lamentable. Can no one put a pass out in front of a ball runner?? Thorn’s game plan seems to be a bizarro world version of Robbie Deans “play what’s in front of you”, called “make it up as you go along”- and not in a good way. It really depresses me.

  • idiot savant

    Firstly I want to congratulate the moderator for removing my intemperate remarks. Thank you for saving me from myself.

    Secondly congratulations to the Tahs. The Tahs won almost every battle – set piece, breakdown, physicality, defence, handling, attack, kicking, rugby smarts, and critically coaching. The Tahs were simply too good.

  • Cameron Rivett

    The Reds’ obvious failure was simply to hold onto the ball. They also totally failed to capitalise on any scrum dominance they may have felt they should have had, perhaps due in part to the pitch coming apart under their feet. Kerevi is looking more like a world-class centre with every game he plays, he simply will not be tackled. Even his defensive stats are starting to see some improvement.

    The Waratahs took a strange 3 pointer 5-10 minutes before half-time when they had the Reds on the ropes and a second yellow card was imminent. Their defence was strong but the tries scored against it were still very weak, more work to be done there. Beale and Folau need a few more games to get their defensive positioning right, but Beale definitely seemed to enjoy having more space on attack. Rona NEEDS to be dropped from the team, he has no idea how to finish like a winger (though this week at least he managed to get the points).

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Well viewing the game I came away with a different view to most, but hey you guys and gals know me, so I wont change my view to concord with the masses.
    I thought that game was dogshit versus even bigger dogshit. A very low level of skills demonstrated by both teams, but the reds a fair bit worse. As a Rebels fan, I didn’t have a dog in the fight, but these are my views anyway. BL’s points in no particular order:
    – The dropped ball from both teams was pretty average. The Reds, it was just shite. Every time they were pressing advantage and gaining yards, guaranteed when within 15 yards of the try line they would cough it up. Soul destroying.
    – That SCG surface was bad. Infact I would say dangerous. The scrums could not fully drive their power from either side, because the traction just wasn’t there.
    – Glenn Jackson is a shit referee. Scrum time seemed like scrum lotto on decisions.
    – I thought Beale had a pretty average game to be honest, just didn’t know where to insert himself. In defence he was drifting all over the place.
    – Tahs defence went from really good to dogshit, in two phases. The Reds tries weren’t necessarily out of brilliant attack, but just total mind farts by the Tahs. Kerevi try point in case.
    – Foley had a great kicking game. Best I have seen from him. I reckon he almost hit 40 metres there at one point. A few defensive lapses but better than his usual rubbish.
    – KHunt had a really good game. I reckon that would have hurt Qld. But I thought he was one of the most consistent players on the paddock for the Tahs.
    – Reds are so desperately missing a 10. There is no one guiding them.
    This is not what we need to see out of our two oldest teams. For the Tahs amazing back line, it really didn’t fire. For the Reds amazing front row it really didn’t dominate as expected. Over all a disappointing game in my view. But it seems my view is out of accord with others. Over to you GAGR’s.

    • doohanfan

      I was at the game. 90 minutes of my life I will never get back, a scrappy low quality game with repeated schoolboy errors from each side, and a referee who perhaps because it is a world cup year seemed determined to impose himself on the game.

      I very likely am prejudiced against Foley, but if that is his best ever kicking game (I disagree, I think his best kicking and overall game was in the super rugby final they won) the Waratahs and the Wallabies if Cheika sticks with him as seems likely are in trouble. I still thought a bare ten metre game from one line kick was influential in one of the Reds tries when they got turnover ball after the subsequent line out, and don’t see any way a team can compete with the likes of NZ or the better northern hemisphere teams which a five eight who has such a popgun boot; Giteau did a fair bit of the kicking in the last world cup. I am firmly of the view that many schoolboy teams have a better tactical and line kicker than Foley.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Doohan fan, well am glad to see I am not the only person who is convinced it was a bad game. I agree with Foley’s kicking. I have always slated him for it. My most common saying on here is the fullback for the Wagga Wagga U15 D team can kick further than Foley!

        • doohanfan

          We are on the same wavelength then, although I possibly over-rate him. For my sins I have been a Waratahs season ticket holder for a decade, and frequently remark to the friend with whom I attend the rugby, a Joey’s old boy as it happens, that the Joey’s seconds five-eight likely has a better kicking game.

          My allegiance is to Australian ruby over NSW rugby, so in a world cup year I may have to support the Rebels this year. The Reds vs Waratahs game last year at the same venue last year was similar however, except for the Waratahs having that huge Fijian winger back then, and I think to some extent it is part of the nature of their contests to be scrappy.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep I hear you. I had been a reds fan for 15 years. season ticket holder, and the company I own was a corporate sponsor. No more. I moved my allegiance to the Rebels about January last year.
          Do you still ride?

        • doohanfan

          No, still follow the GP bike racing though.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Good to hear. I ride down from Brissy to the GP everyear! Gets harder as I get older, but still love going.

    • Hoss

      Pretty accurate description. Despite my shaningans any other team would have beaten the Crimsons by 30 last night. Gilbert was poor and badly exposed for that Crimson try on the wing where aroma had the inside man and Gilbert went for the intercept, not his man BUT most interestingly (on the replay) he doesn’t chase back at all and walks the moment he got beaten – interesting and also dumb, dumb,dumb. Dusty wasn’t sighted much. Good D and some surprising grunt from Flanders and Gene, I am a huge Holloway fan and he continues to put in the hard yakka,No show boating, just good Ol fashioned hard work – still
      want him at 8 though.Dempsey was quiet.

      For the Crimsons, I thought Kerivi was good, Rodda is the form lock in Oz
      at present and young Lucas looks a real live wire. I think Timu and Scott-Young have to start dont they ?? The abbotoirs hands let him down and Wright looks a good future.

      From a holistic Oz rugby viewpoint, yikes.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah true. I think there are a smattering of good plaeyers. And if those players are choosen in those postions, instead of the Ass Clowns Players POsition Cheese Wheel, as the selector. we may make the quarters.

      • From NooZealand

        Hi, just sent you my congratulations.

        • Hoss

          A dusky haired beauty. I love New Zealand when not playing rugby against them. But have thought about military actions during Bledisloe Cups…..

    • Greg

      See my comments below.

      I thought it was a poor game. The Reds coughing up possession when in striking distance was diabolical.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep bloody painful to watch.

    • Keith Butler

      Didn’t want to hurt Hoss’s feelings but you summarised it pretty well. You could have more fun watching paint dry. The pitch was a disgrace not fit for rugby but ok for cricket and footie. Perennial problem with Kearns and Kafe. Greg Martin just as bad on the Rebs game. I actually watched the 6Ns games with the sound muted and it was far more enjoyable.

      • Brisneyland Local

        On the Rebs gane I thought Morgan Tuirinui was a great addition to the commentary team. And early in the year or was it late last year, James Horwill had the mike for a bit. He was great too. Replace fuckwit Kearns, Kafe and Marto with those two and she will be apples.

        • Happyman

          Do yourself a favour and hit up his podcast the rugby ruckus. Really quite informative in breaking down the game.

          Agree the Fox commentary is pretty biased and turgid on almost every level.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Thanks Happy man will look it up!

        • Happyman

          Yes I spend to much time on the road podcasts have changed travelling. A professional just looks at the game differently

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah I am the same but I am in planes. I average 4 flights a week. Pods are the best.

        • John Tynan

          Agree on turinui.


      I shook my head the second Foley kicked an unrushed cross field bomb to Folou……which 1000% should have landed near or IN the huge 10m wide Ingoal area. …. but instead came down uselessly 8m from the line. Once again displaying the woeful skills of a primary PLAYMAKER! In my mind if that Tahs to had a decent link from its competent pack to its lethal backbone they would be a huge force in this comp.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Agree. But whilst Spanners is a protected species they will never know the difference.

      • Who?

        I didn’t pick that – was the in goal only 10m?! If so, why?!?! Why wouldn’t the Tahs, knowing they’ve got Folau with a massive aerial advantage over his opponents, demand the full length 22m in goal area..? That’s international standard. Surely the SCG could accommodate it..?

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Didn’t they paint the field in a different direction to usual? Might have been across the narrower section of the oval. Don’t know why they did it.

    • Who?

      Agree with everything, but want to highlight two things, and add a third.

      1. Glen Jackson. The bloke is the new Bryce Lawrence. He’s never reffed a good game. How is it a FK when a team removes the lifters and drops the jumper?! That’s a PK for dangerous play, every day of the week. How he decided that BPA didn’t strike for the ball is beyond me (I also don’t know why that’s a sanctionable offence) – BPA did have his foot up, but got the timing wrong. That’s not a penalty or FK, that’s a reset. HJH had his right elbow aiming at the dirt at all the early scrums, and the only team penalized for a scrum dropping was the Reds. And I don’t think any of the turnovers at the breakdown (and most of the penalties) were correct calls (lots of hands starting after the ruck was formed, or players winning penalties without ever having a hope of winning the ball, especially thinking Liam Wright).
      I come away from pretty well every game Jackson ever refs asking myself why I waste my time on the game. He’s really that bad.

      2. The Reds’ passing. It seems 25% of the passes are behind the man, 25% are too high, seeing the catcher at full stretch to reach the ball, 20% are dropped, and of the remaining 30% plenty are too close to the gain line or only just gathered. I rate McKay, but he’s clearly got a MASSIVE job to do here!!!

      3. The commentary team. So, we know Kearns and Clark have strong ties to the Tahs. But it’s a farce to see Kafe gleaming at Folau like a massive fanboy at half time (Kafe was a Brumby, he should hate the Tahs as much as a Qlder!), Mitchell started with the Reds but finished with the Tahs (and his best mate was on the field in Blue), and even Mr Horan seems to have forgotten which side of the border he originated.
      The bias from Kearns would be ok if it were counterbalanced in the commentary box. But it isn’t.

      The Tahs were worthy winners, they were more clinical with the possession they had, and they defended their hearts out. They were far smarter in a few key battles. Where the Reds were all effort no intellect (bar Kerevi and Lucas, Lucas looked good). But man, what a truly abysmal example of a game…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Who, agree fully. There were a number of decisions last night that made me go and get the law book off the shelf. I think Gleen Jackson is a drongo. Most of my Kiwi mates think he is the worst of the Kiwi refs by a mile (KRL Your opinion on him?).
        Yep Ryan has a lot of work to do. But what amazed me is when it clicked the Reds were over the line with little effort and resistance.
        I try to avoid the Fux commentary team. They are just shit. I have met Kearns a number of times at corporate events and even have sat next to him at one. Most of the time he seems a reasonable bloke. But by god when the tahs are playing and he has access to a mike he loses all rationalism and assemblance of independence. KAfe shouldnt be either coaching, commentating or anything. He is a biased drongo!
        Marto is biased towards Qld, but really is just a juvenile idiot. Fux, you can do better.

        • joy

          Fox is trying with Mitchell and Hoyles but both suffer from verbal conspitation.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep! Between Mitchell who sounds like he can barely string two logical words together, and then the others who just suffer from verbal diahorea, it is bad to listen to.

      • Braveheart81

        The law changed. If the team that feeds the ball can’t get a strike on it and it just stays there in the tunnel it’s a free kick to the other team. No reset anymore.

        • Who?

          I did check it. Because I thought the law might’ve changed. It says if you fail to strike, it’s a FK. It doesn’t say if you strike unsuccessfully it’s a FK, it says if you fail to strike. BPA got a foot up, but the ball bounced off his knee.
          Beyond that, I think it’s quite a poor change, because the ref’s got enough to deal with at the feed. He’s got to monitor binds/etc for dropping scrums, he’s got to monitor timing of the drive, straightness of the feed… Whether or not the ball is hooked is the last thing on his list. The Pumas had a policy not to hook for a long time.
          And it’s a poor change because the Tahs took a tap. I would’ve happily watched another scrum which lasted for 20 seconds where no one moved – sooner or later, some one will buckle, in the meantime, what a contest!!! The problem with scrum resets is when it just goes to deck immediately and there’s no contest, not when you’ve got 16 blokes giving their all for a long period. That’s just awesome.

        • Braveheart81

          The idea was both to reduce scrum resets and make it about restarting play which has always been the idea behind a scrum. Intentionally not striking as in your Pumas example doesn’t achieve that so they got rid of it.

          BPA might have tried to strike but he was unsuccessful. The onus is still on the Reds to strike for their ball and if it remains in the tunnel it is now a free kick to the opposition.

          Scrum resets waste a lot of time and are the most complained about thing in rugby, particularly amongst casual fans. Trying to reduce scrum resets seems like a pretty good plan to me.

          Anyway, you can be against the change but that’s what has happened.

        • Who?

          It’s hardly the first change WR’s made in recent times that negatively impacts the game. Still hate all six of the changes they brought in back in 2016.
          My point was that the Reds did strike for the ball, and the wording of the law says you must strike. It doesn’t say you must strike successfully. So it’s arguable that Jackson, already being busy trying to work out which of HJH and TT was constantly dropping the scrum, didn’t see the strike.
          I agree that resets take an inordinate amount of time, but that could be partially solved by blowing time off during the reset process. And whilst fans hate resets, I’d wager the biggest issue is when scrums eat worms. Not when the ball just doesn’t move.
          As mentioned, it’s not really any big surprise that World Rugby would have yet another arguably unnecessary change that doesn’t improve the game… They’ve become quite obsessed with reducing the contest in the game, and awarding a FK to get rid of a scrum is yet another example. A scrum is a contest for possession, a FK gives the option of removing that contest.

      • John Tynan

        Mate, that’s pretty accurate, the only thing I saw different was I’m assuming you are talking about the Reds lifters being taken out by an early drive – that was pretty shit work and I reckon the right call.

        • Who?

          Yeah, that’s the one. Early drive. I don’t see how that can remain only a FK when it means you’re dropping a jumper. That’s effectively tackling a player in the air, playing the man in the air, which surely should see it translate to a PK. Especially given it was on the 5m line – you could even argue it’s a warning for cheese.

        • Mica

          Fox commentary also said that the lifters just dropped Hocking. LOL. Unbelievable.

        • Who?

          Well they are all Tahs fanboys… Even Horan.
          Pretty hard not to drop a jumper when you’re being tackled!

        • John Tynan

          Sorry, misunderstood. I thought you meant the fault was with the Reds for dropping him, and the drive through/taking out didn’t happen.

      • Braveheart81

        That first one you’re talking about was given a penalty for taking out the jumper in the air. The Reds opted for a scrum.

        • Who?

          Was it? I was sure the arm wasn’t extended, it was a short arm… If it was a full arm, then my apologies to Jackson. Though I still wouldn’t rate him…

        • Braveheart81

          It’s a full arm penalty. He initially holds his arm up with a bent arm telling the players to stop as he stops the clock and tells everyone to back away. It is definitely a full arm penalty when he blows time back on and the Reds opt for the scrum. It’s at the 12 minute mark of the game.

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      BL, KHunt’s and Slipper’s (although I prefer JJ Cale) tales of redemption in their new colours make for an interesting parable. I wonder if Thorn still thinks he made the right move – both faith-wise and rugby-wise.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Through the arrogance of the elightened I am sure he still does.

  • Adrian

    A bit scrappy because of surface and earlier rain, but ok in my view. Good defence forced a few handling errors.

    Score almost exactly as predicted by bookmakers.

    I thought Reds were ok actually, and have finished each of their 3 games within striking distance of much more highly rated teams.

    I think that Qld need Duaganu on the field to score tries. I love Duncan P, but I think Qld would be better served with Kerevi at 12 and CSH or whatever his name is at 13. I thought Hegarty was good (apart from goal kicking), but that at times there were too many playmakers (Hegarty, Duncan P and Lucas) trying to do stuff. In 2018 there was no-one…. apologies to Stewart.

    NSW played as I predicted, and played pretty well given the conditions. I knew the pack were going to mix it up in set pieces and keep moving the point of attack. It worked well for a much more lowly rated pack.

    In the end, it was 10 highly experienced guys v 1 highly experienced guy, and they knew how to win.

    The game was very good for Australian Rugby IMO

    • idiot savant

      Good to see that glass of yours is still half full Adrian.

      I thought the most telling factor was the Tah’s line speed combined with fierce tackling which rattled the Reds attack and forced them into desperate offloads which often led to handling errors. It also exposed the lack of experience in the Reds as there was no steady head to calm things down.

    • OnTheBurst

      Mate you are the perennial optimist, but the Qlders played like turd last night. Kiwi teams would have put 50+ on them.

      Apart from Kerevi (undeniable class), Rodda and the new Lucas boy, the Reds just sucked.

      They need to flush that game ASAP and get on to doing something different, coz it ain’t working…

      • Brisneyland Local

        OTB, both teams played like turds last night. One less than the other. Kiwi’s would have put 50 on the Reds and 40 on the tahs!

        • OnTheBurst

          Don’t disagree the Tahs were poor BL. But they did enough to stay in front without being troubled.

          They showed some good glimpses but need to step it up if they want to be contenders this year.

          As for the Reds, shut the gate and save the furniture…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah catn disagree much with that. Hence why my money in the Aus conference is on the Johhny Rebs!

  • Greg

    3000 square metres of new turf by Friday!


    Maybe transplanting from next door!

    • Happyman

      One would suggest that given the scrums in Rugby League are the equivilant of Mungo foreplay the field will be fine.

  • From NooZealand
  • From NooZealand
  • Gottsy

    Not a great game to watch, especially after watching the Brumbies v rebels game.
    From a reds perspective, I think what we are seeing here is the culmination of everything brad thorn has been trying to achieve.
    Playing a young team that might not have the mental capacity to pull everyone together when things aren’t going well, stifling anyone that brings any real spark in attack, and seeming wanting to focus much more on a bash ball kind of game plan than anything resembling any kind of creativity.
    Not saying these things can’t be corrected, as rebuilding can take a while, but at the moment the things thorn is doing is not making a lot of sense. Maybe if he was a bit more transparent with what’s going on it might be easier to accept, but at the moment we can only guess. We looked ridiculously directionless, in every aspect. Our forwards weren’t working together, and were then dominated by hanigan and Simmons, I don’t think they have ever dominated anyone! I think the experiment with Hegarty at 10 isn’t showing too much promise, he made Bernard foley look like Carlos spencer.
    Our scrum was nullified, and it looked like nsw we’re adapting a lot better to the shithouse pitch, maybe they were expecting it to rip up a bit. I honestly don’t know how the ref could properly officiate it, and thought it was actually potentially dangerous to keep scrummaging on it.
    We’re going to have to get so much better, and with Thorn at the helm I don’t really see that happening any time soon. As for the tahs, I feel like they should have at least doubled the score they put on us, and have quite a lot of improvement in them.

  • 2bluesfan

    Well done Nathan, really got some good discussion going.

NSW Waratahs

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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