Waratahs v Reds: The Fest...The State Of The Union - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

Waratahs v Reds: The Fest…The State Of The Union

Waratahs v Reds: The Fest…The State Of The Union

My confidence is shaken. 20 minutes into the Reds game against the Brumbies I was feeling pretty good about being on the Red bandwagon. But then it all fell to pieces. Meanwhile, the Waratahs have notched three wins on the trot, even if one of those was against the Sunwolves.

So here then, are the key matchups.

The Packs

Simmo’s on the wrong side!

There is a massive difference in the way these two forward packs approach the game. The Tahs have a lighter, more mobile pack that aren’t that effective gaining metres in the tight channels but who will run and defend all day long. The Reds pack is huge, and they love the hard work in tight. They will be looking to barge straight through the middle of the Waratahs and make room for their backs to barge through the Waratahs midfield. The Tahs forwards will look to survive the first half hour of the Reds running at them and hope they run out of puff. With a five-three bench and all their locks starting the Reds will be hoping to wear out the Waratahs with tight work so the won’t have the energy to run free. The lineouts are fairly even but the Reds should have the upper hand at scrum time. In fact, the Reds will be cheering at every scrum called.


The battle of the opensides: Hooper v Wright

Liam Wright offloads to Brandon Paenga-Amosa

Michael Hooper has a long-term hold on the revered Wallaby seven jersey and Like it or not that’s the way it’s going to stay for the foreseeable future. But 20-year-old Wright, who is a more traditional seven, could be wearing that jersey in a few years time. Liam Wright is the odd man out in the Reds pack, at 97 kilos he’s dwarfed by every other player in the squad. He may not be as good as Hooper yet but he’s too young to know that. And ignorance can be a dangerous thing.


On the toe: Foley vs Lance

Bernard Foley

Or Beale? Foley and Beale share the Waratahs flyhalf/inside centre duties while Jono Lance does it all by himself. Especially with Kerevi at inside centre who’s not known for his distribution and kicking.

But once again the difference between the Waratahs duo and the Reds is stark. While Beale and Foley are hidden in defence Lance spends his entire game defending in the front line. In attack Beale and foley shine where Lance is competent. Foley and Beale will flatten up on quick ball but Lance tends to sit deep no matter what the situation. The Reds will be hoping their forwards and especially Wright can slow up the Waratahs quick ball and shut down the Waratahs pair but I’m not sure what they can do to improve the Reds shonky try-scoring record.

 


Overall

This game is a slippery slope for both teams in a race, along with the Brumbies, to catch the fast-starting Rebels. As always my heart is with the Reds and I can see them winning. But the most likely outcome is a Waratahs win after an early lead for the Reds. If the Reds were hoping to win the battle of the benches they’d be sadly mistaken with plenty of talent on the Tahs bench as well.

Lastly, a special mention of the biggest mismatch of the day. Good luck to 175cm 91 kg Filipo Daugunu up against the inform 195cm 123 kg Taqele Naiyaravoro. A tale of two wingers if there ever was one. Who remembers Rocket Rod Davies up against Samoa’s Alesana Tuilagi. Ouch!

 

NSW Waratahs

1. Tom Robertson (33)
2. Damien Fitzpatrick (37)
3. Sekope Kepu (113)
4. Ned Hanigan (21)
5. Rob Simmons (4)
6. Will Miller (5)
7. Michael Hooper (86, captain)
8. Michael Wells (21)
9. Jake Gordon (37)
10. Bernard Foley (93, vice-captain)
11. Taqele Naiyaravoro (38)
12. Kurtley Beale (116)
13. Curtis Rona (6)
14. Alex Newsome (6)
15. Bryce Hegarty (18)

16. Hugh Roach (35)
17. Harry Johnson-Holmes (6)
18. Paddy Ryan (97)
19. Tom Staniforth (6)
20. Jed Holloway (29)
21. Nick Phipps (62)
22. Lalakai Foketi (6)
23. Cameron Clark (12)

Reds

1. James Slipper (C) – Bond University
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – Sunnybank
3. Ruan Smith (run-on debut) –GPS
4. Izack Rodda – Easts
5. Kane Douglas – Norths
6. Lukhan Tui – Souths
7. Liam Wright – Easts
8. Caleb Timu – Souths
9. James Tuttle – GPS
10. Jono Lance – University of Queensland
11. Izaia Perese – Easts
12. Samu Kerevi – Souths
13. Chris Feauai-Sautia – Souths
14. Filipo Daugunu – Wests
15. Aidan Toua – Easts

16. Alex Mafi – Bond University
17. JP Smith – GPS
18. Sef Fa’agase –University of Queensland
19. Adam Korczyk – University of Queensland
20. Angus Scott-Young – University of Queensland
21. Tate McDermott – University of Queensland
22. Hamish Stewart – Bond University
23. Jordan Petaia – Wests

  • Mart

    Is it me, or are the local derby’s festival of hate etc a bit hard to get up for these days, as I’m so desperate for any Aussie team to win

    • John Tynan

      You can’t be from Qld then, Mart?

      • Mart

        On second thoughts…screw those banjo playing pricks i hope we smash em!

        • John Tynan

          That’s the spirit!!!!

    • Alister Smith

      I think its you Mart…really looking forward to this one.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      well at least one will in this game mate

  • John Tynan

    Who is the ref? Please not my old mate Angus…

    • Braveheart81

      You are 100% correct. Angus Gardner is the referee, Marius van der Westhuizen and James Leckie the assistants and George Ayoub the TMO.

      • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

        Jeepers. George, the Tahs’ 16th man.

  • Sevenwithasixonmyback

    Great analysis, Sully. Your observations on the forward packs are sharp.
    You have me anticipating a ding-dong battle between the tight-fives. Hoping that Reds fitness prevails and that battle continues well into the second-half. It would be a shame to have them peter out and look to slow play to catch breath.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Sully, Bravo Zulu on the write up my good man! Excellent job.
    Well GAGR’s this is my game of the round, and not just because I am a NSWelshman living in Qld supporting the Reds. Purely because I reckon there are a few surprises install for this game.
    BL’s random thoughts whilst shaving:
    – The Tarts plan A (Kick it to folau) has been thrown out the window. So now they must adopt plan B (Kick it to Beale). All jokes aside, even minus Folau, the Tarts have an impressive attacking line up.
    – Sully is spot on in relation to the Reds big ass strong gritty pack. they will want it in hard and tight. And we will hear all night “We’ll take the scrum thanks Ref!”. Here I think is the Reds chance to put runs on the board and potentially a Tarts player in the bin!
    – The Tarts only have two locks, so any damage done in the gritty fight may leave them more exposed in their line out and set piece. Also if their light weight front row suffers an injury, they will be in real strife rolling out their light weight reserves front row.
    – Robertson is going to get owned in this match.
    Look to be honest I didnt think the Tarts played that well against the Moon Doggies. The score should have looked better, and as it was, was flattering.
    The Reds on the other hand were great in the first half, then took their foot of the throats of the Brumbies and then got rolled. They had their bottom lip start to quiver when that decision of the try with the “Hand of god” moment went against them.
    The Reds have some injuries but so do the Tarts. I know that BT will have put the fear of god into them over the week as well.
    I am for once going to be an Optimist.
    Reds by a Penalty goal, after the hooter, from a dubious free kick!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      The biggest weakness for the Tahs is not that they have only 2 locks but also that one of them is Hanigan. While he’s improved a bit on last year he is still pretty much innefective at anything except balls thrown directly to him in the lineout. I think if the Reds muscle up, keep it tight and then unleash Kerevi at Beale and Foley they are in with more than a chance

      • Brisneyland Local

        I am hoping so! Mind you some of the Reds in a the back line are only just less turnstiley than Foley and Beale!

  • idiot savant

    Thanks Sully. I guess Thorn’s honeymoon is over. The Brumbies dished up lashings of reality last week exposing the limitations of Thorn and his team. The most worrying thing for Thorn will be their lack of mental toughness. Shipping 4 tries when you’re flat is probably OK but 7 is a bad sign, particularly to a side that has been one of the worst attacking sides in the competition for years. I guess what it revealed is that the Rebels aside, all the other sides the Reds have played so far have had limited attacks. The Tahs have close to the best attacking side in the competition so this could get ugly.

    Other limitations on show include the awful defence of the back 3, particularly Xfactor winger Daugunu. His wing is a turnstile for the opposition and its not going to be pretty when Nayarovoro runs at him. The Reds maul defence was equally woeful, allowing 3 really effortless tries in. Poor coaching and poor technique from the Reds there. Their other big limitation is how slow all their halfbacks are. Not one of them delivers fast ball off the deck, which means their backs are mostly getting the ball under pressure. No wonder Thorn has opted for big crash ball centres.

    I dont think their scrum will be a big factor, referee dependent. Ive noticed in recent weeks refs telling sides to play the ball if its available instead of penalising the beaten scrum. Ive noticed refs allowing beaten packs to screw the scrum because the dominant pack has the opportunity to use the ball. Which is a good thing for rugby but a bad thing for the Reds.

    If this match was between Thorn’s Reds and last years Tahs, Id say the Reds would win in a canter. But Gibson has changed the horse feed at Moore Park. Ive never seen a turnaround in attitude from the same side under the same coach like this. They all need to be swabbed. And Foley seems at last to be embracing sharing first receiver duties and adding value by being a playmaker in the 13 channel.

    Its hard to find any reason why the Reds wont lose and lose badly after last weeks performance. And then the Reds have the Chiefs. Thorn might soon start to feel stress for the first time in his life.

    • Christopher

      wow…. I don’t see the point in them playing based on the above.

      • idiot savant

        Well its based on last weeks performance. If thats not indicative of what the Reds are capable of, the Tahs had better watch out.

    • McWarren

      Wow IS. If you keep saying the Reds are shit and the Tarts are the greatest team on earth enough times maybe just maybe it will come true.

      Tarts have three wins on the trot but really they beat a woeful Rebels, an out of sorts Brumbies and were lucky at the Sunnies.

      The Reds were crap last week for all but the first 30 minutes. Before that they ran the Stormers very close in Cape Town and beat Jags (remember them?) in Argy. Have you wiped that Tarts performance from the memory banks?

      I’m very confident our forward pack can handle your hybrid fairies. That our scrum is better than yours. Our backs will handle anything the so call greatest attacking threats in the comp will throw at us. Let’s face it we only have to stop You getting the ball to Naiyovaro. He’s all you’ve got. I think Gibbo will deploy the Reds secret weapon Phipps into the game early enough for us to hit 50 points.

      Oh and nice try on the sudden irrelevance of the scrum. Spoken like a true follower of a powder puff pack.

      • idiot savant

        As Oscar Wilde once said, ‘true friends stab you in the front’.

        • McWarren

          But in reality Oscar was a fan stabbing from behind. That’s why he is now in hell.

        • Who?

          I hadn’t pondered the reality that The Mooch was referencing Oscar Wilde when he called himself a front stabber. :-0

  • Alister Smith

    Nice touch to add the home clubs after each of the Qld players names – thanks Sully for the article. I am a NSWelshman but played and lived much of my time in Qld during my playing days. For me the Waratah’s have always felt more like Sydney’s team rather than NSW’s and I am a bit torn as to the result. I am also a Brad Thorn fan, I think what he achieved as a player makes him the greatest convert of all, and I very much am invested in what he is building with this team. I noticed another comment that Thorn’s honeymoon is over. I am not sure he ever really had one to be honest. After the first hiding from the Rebels everyone was talking about a failed experiment and the stupidity of the Reds management for backing a rookie coach. I think the losses for the Red’s aren’t critical. Higginbotham has only played half an hour or so in the team this season and Timu is the form player and the front row replacements are excellent scrummagers. If the Reds can engage the Waratahs in the forward battle and dominate them then they will go some way to nullifying the obvious advantage the Waratahs have in the backline.

  • Hoss

    Smell that Tah’s fans – victory is in the air !!!

    This match always reminds me of the little brother, slightly dim, breast fed till 13, overly attracted to his cousins trying to get one over his big, athletic, intelligent, well appendage’d bigger brother in a wrestling match – its cruel to let him even believe his in the contest.

    I’am sorry northern brethren and southern traitors (you know who you are BL) but this will end in tears for you in a Blue Smashathon and have you return to your studies on how to spell the name of that cat-piss nectar you imbibe – XXXX.

    Tahs by 20+

    • Brisneyland Local

      So kind of you Hoss to label me a Benedict Arnold! By the way most of us Qld’ers dont drink XXXX. we leave that for the rednecks. It is kind of like most Aussie’s dont drink Fosters, because we know it is bloody terrible.
      You might be right on your prediction. But like last week with the Brumbies. You always have to be wary of teams who have just come off a flogging. especially one who has a ChuckNorris like mad man as their coach!
      As I siad yesterday after Dud Roodt’s comment. “Brad Thorn isnt hung like a horse! Horses are hung like Brad Thorn!”

    • McWarren

      XXXX tinnies on ice two days out.
      Swear jar first emptied to buy said tinnies now hidden.
      All blue removed from the house.
      Garden swept for Tahs.
      Hot cousin on alert.

      Bring it on Hoss my boy!!

      Reds by the width of a piece of sandpaper.

      • Hoss

        Love it Macca – see you back here Sunday for autopsy & bragging rights

        Here’s some salt for your wounds too – Hooper to be MOTM……………………

        Ouch !!!!

        • McWarren

          I’ve no doubt Hooper will get motm. He’s favourite to get it in the Rebs v Jags as well, as voted by Fox Sports,SMH and Cheiks.

          Talk Sunday about the latest no7 to be soon over looked for the Wallabies, and exasperate at Naiyovaro not being eligible for the Wallabies.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hahahaha love your confidence mate. I think the issue will depend on whether the Tahs can run it wide or if the Reds can keep it close. I’m just looking forward to them both smashing each other like you will be with the Canes against the Cheifs. May the best team win and not the luckiest or most referee favoured.

    • Adrian

      Yes, if NSW keep up fast passing, fast running and tackling from the dedicated back row of tacklers they’ll win well.

      My (minor) worry is lack of application caused by distraction caused by I$$ygate

      • Hoss

        Don teall anyone, but i reckon Izzy is a Blues Brothers fan and all along he is extracting the urine.

        Hes on a mission from god………

    • Ad-O

      LoL. Go Reds!

    • Ad-O

      I’d like to see the good guys (Qld) adopt an English style gameplan. Truck it up the guts, kick for touch, attack their scrum, and take 3 points at every opportunity. If it rains, even better.
      These Tah princesses shit the bed whenever they have to play against that while wearing Gold. Let’s see if the same applies when they’re wearing pastel blue.

      • Hoss

        Ad-O – its time like these i quote the greats

        ‘If you even dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize’

    • McWarren

      Well done mate. Two good teams I thought. Reds could have done with a ball player. Tahs took there chances.

  • Missing Link

    I hope there’s a lot of emotion in this game, kind of like when Damian Smith tried to punch Campo at the bottom of a ruck in 1996

    • Missing Link

      that memory got me youtubing… how about this to wet your appetite https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSZjAuNHOu0

      • onlinesideline

        lol – warrick waugh

        • Missing Link

          How good is it. like watching club rugby on TV :)

      • Greg

        Gosh there was some great running and tackling there!!

        Queensland would have been playing with 10 men with some of the coathangers today.

      • OnTheBurst

        Pretty disgraceful from Smith on Campo there

        #justiceforCampo

        • Funk

          C’mon… everyone knows Campo needs a punch in the face!!!

      • GeorgiaSatellite

        Thanks, Link. Geez, that Qld hooker shot-putted the lineout throws.

        • Who?

          Amazing to think how far the lineout’s come in the last 20 years… It was Michael Foley – former Tahs coach, former Force coach, specialist forwards/set piece coach.

      • John Tynan

        How good was Eales without a lifter?!

        • Who?

          No surprise – eagles are known for flying. :-P
          Don’t you love autocorrect? :-D

        • John Tynan

          That was quick! I thought no one would see it.

    • But Smith got red carded so no!

    • McWarren

      That was a request from campo’s team mates.

  • Gottsy

    Cheers Sully, good write up. The Aus derbies have been so hard to pick this year, which is a good thing for Aus rugby but not so good for our Reds!
    I’m looking forward to seeing Tui at 6, was calling for him to get a shot at back row last year, was hoping it was when we had a bit more depth in the second row though (still think it’s a shame Neville wasn’t used more)
    Fingers crossed the reds can manage to hold it together a bit better than they did against the brumbies, if it gets as loose as it did last week then poor old Filipo is in for a rough night

    • I’m concerned he won’t last the distance. I know there are two backrowers on the bench but all our locks are starting.

      • Gottsy

        Yeah I hear you. Injuries aside, I think all three of them are in pretty good shape, so hopefully it works as planned!

    • Alister Smith

      Not sure that the difficulty in picking winners in the Australian conference is necessarily a good thing for Australian rugby – it might just point to inconsistency across all teams

      • Gottsy

        Yes and no. They are a bit inconsistent at the moment but when any of the teams could win on the day, to me it’s a good thing

        • Alister Smith

          Certainly good from a spectator point of view. I guess what I meant to say was that, in terms of picking a Wallabies team, it didn’t necessarily, though could, be a good thing. It could be great competition for spots and a genuinely tight comp or it could be inconsistent teams etc. I think we are travelling OK at this stage, though sad to see the Reds fading since the second leg of their OS trip. The truth is though, in terms of Super Rugby, we won’t know a lot until we have played a few more games against the NZ teams.

        • Gottsy

          Agreed mate

  • Crescent

    This game is the one that worries me. The Tahs defence leaves a great deal to be desired. They leaked tries against the Sunwolves through some very poor attempts that simply should not have been so easy.

    The Tahs have simply not convinced me yet (as a Tahs supporter) that they are the real deal this year – maybe the scars from the last few seasons are still raw.

    I suspect that from set piece dominance, the Reds will be looking to send Kerevi, Timu and Perese in particular into the Tahs turnstile defence inside their 22 having drawn in enough players with some neat pick and go work in tight.

    The real factor will be which team has the worse discipline – yellow cards may well makes fools of us all.

    • Brisneyland Local

      That last paragraph is a really good point!

      • onlinesideline

        the last bit – “yellow cards…..” – could almost use that on a grave stone but add
        “but now Im in the sinbin of life – adios amigos “

        • Brisneyland Local

          You are onfire today!

        • onlinesideline

          lol – not really – I think I need a holiday

        • Brisneyland Local

          Maybe its that border line “I need a holiday ” Insanity that is producing your best material! ;-)

  • Brisneyland Local
    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Looks good at club level

      • Brisneyland Local

        Well you would hope that he would.
        Just being wasted!

        • Hoss

          Imagine him with the Ponies and some quick, quality ball from one D Pocock. Ok the Reds dont want him, but it smacks of spite not to release him to other provinces.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah I agree. I can understand it to some extent but you’d think the ARU would step in here and show some leadership. Mind you, maybe he doesn’t want to leave Queensland. I’d be reluctant to leave that and to have to actually work if I could get away with it and lets face it $600 million dollars, or whatever to play club rugby is a pretty sweet deal.

        • Brisneyland Local

          The only mistake you made there KRL is using ARU (RA) and Leadership in the same senence!
          They are not the NZRU!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Imagine him sitting of Willy G with the Rebs!
          What a waste!

        • Adrian

          I think Rebs his best fit.
          Reasons?
          1. Genia to control him
          2. Would get balls to wingers, instead of having brilliant winger on bench and journeymen inside
          3. Coach is not really part of the Oz old boys network. ie fresh start
          4. Crowds in Melbourne

        • Brisneyland Local

          Adrian, as always what you say, is logical and coherent! Cant argue with any of it!

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    So we have a team of Smurfs that can’t tackle against a team of Red(neck)s that can’t score tries. This could be a snooze-fest.

  • Jack Mallick

    The lack of hate coming out of both teams is concerning – even Paddy Ryan and Nick Phipps were almost polite about QLDers!

    Hopefully they read the comments on this site, light the fire in the belly

    • McWarren

      Paddy Ryan? Light a fire? Pfft.

      • Jack Mallick

        Too bad that big pack of Jane’s from QLD didn’t bring a bit of fire tonight. Hooper and Hanigan were all over them hahaha

  • BigNickHartman

    Good write up Sully. Looking forward to this Original State Series that has been going on for 100 years. My tip? Tahs by 73

    • Brisneyland Local

      Tell him he’s dreaming!

      • BigNickHartman

        wasn’t far off in the end…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well done Big Nick. I was farking way off!

  • John_R

    Pumped to see Tui at 6. Hopefully he kills it, and Cheik has a look at him there.

    Up the Tahs!

NSW Waratahs
@Only1Sully

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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