Ended up at Royals-Uni. Pretty expansive first half, with three well worked tries, going into the sheds at 14-5. Second half was reminiscent of the 2014 Reds-Brumbies game where the Brumbies won with only 22% possession; Royals were yellow carded twice, the second just as the first player came back on, and were stuck in their own 22 for about half an hour, but through some heroic defence managed to keep the Owls out. When they did managed to break out, they got right to the Owls line the first time, and won a penalty just past halfway the second (duly converted).
I'm used to seeing the Royals 10 (Pedro Rolando) at 9, and after they subbed off their 9 he switched back there, but he was instrumental to their win, a real calm performance under intense pressure. The Royals fullback was fantastic as well, and both 8s were the main source of line breaks. The Royals scrum and lineout were far superior, and they probably won twice as many pilfers as Owls.
This is also the second week in a row where I'd say the 2nds were a straight up more entertaining game, which is really great to see. I hope it keeps going like this.
I hate to keep being harsh on Dowsett, he's a Brumby, but this is the third time in four weeks that he's been outplayed by his opposite, and it would be four from four if he played against the Vikings. There was a good kick by Royals that he dropped, only for the Owls bench to shout "A better catch than your passing!". His passing is atrocious, and while kicking is obviously his strong point, even that has dropped off. And Cubelli and Frisby have shown how valuable the running game is in Super Rugby, and Dowsett has none. He was outplayed by Ashmore against Wests, Hawke against Queanbeyan, and now Hamlin against Royals. I'm not shocked that Dowsett wasn't even on the plane to NZ, and wouldn't be shocked to see another JID scrumhalf given a chance next year in his place when Dowsett's contract expires this year. As usual, I hope I'm wrong, and want to see him turn it on in the coming weeks, use the bye week to recover some confidence and translate it into performances.