David Wilson (68)
Did Hawera play?
Uni were horrendous in the first half but played a little footy in the second. Darra were solid but they didn't show enough to convince me they are premiership material. Dobson lads were good, Rocky was solid. Maybe Harawea makes them a different team. I can't see them getting past Vikings on that effort though..
Langtry is at RMC in the first few weeks of officer training, Uni lost two (maybe 3) players in a contact session at training on Tuesday night.
I think Tuggies might roll Royals with a surprising degree of ease to move into the GF as hot favourites.
I think Uni's might sneak past Darra if they haven't found a way to convince Hawera that holiday's are overrated.
Very pleased to note that in line with how great a season this has been, I wouldn't be even a tad surprised if both results were the opposite to my predictions.
Rugby wise, I feel as though Istanbul covered it all quite well in the above post. Royals' skill were not up to the task and they paid the price for poor ball retention and leaving themselves open to the counter; hoisted by their own petard.
The concerning thing for me was that I was hanging around the gate on the far side, and noticed many people being turned away if they didn't have the cash for the $10 cover charge. A good many seem to have just wondered over to Erindale and used the ATMs there, but I know many just left and didn't come back. The worst was when a guy was bringing two kids in, they were waved through, and then he was stopped for the charge. He offered $5, what he had in his wallet, but was denied.
If we want to grow the game, we can't have parents turned away at the gates when trying to bring their kids in, especially when they could just stay home and watch the Swans-GWS game. It's no good having ACTRU put as much money into the comp only for the clubs to turn people away at the gate. There should be a straightforward dilemma put to clubs: accept ACTRU financial support and have an open gate, or have a cover charge and go without ACTRU funding.
Wasn't a bad game. Vikings won it through defence for mine. In the first half the Viking defence was brutal and put Royals attack under so much pressure they couldn't get any rhythm and were often caught behind the advantage line. In the second half when Royals did start to click a little, the Vikings defence was desperate and managed to stop numerous tries. A great effort for the Vikings and deserved winners.
For Tuggies I thought Jackson Jordan Hope was best but Lolesio, Lonergan and Swain were all very good. Hyne was the best backrower on the ground and Robertson bagged a nice double.
For Royals- Mau and Lolohire were the best front rowers on the ground with both shouldering all the ball carries. Kimba had a crack at 7 and Carter had his moments but the Royals back row was generally ineffective and Selwood looked out of his depth against the Vikings locks. Pedro was busy but outplayed today, Bodman was great in defence, quiet in attack and threw a few loose passes. Muirhead seemed well off his usual standard but both Royals wingers tried hard with limited opportunities.
At the end of the day Tuggies took every opportunity and did the little things right. Royals the opposite- an early line out where Carter missed the call and didn't jump, a chance at a quick throw that BJ didn't take and Pedro getting forced in goal instead of taking a clearance kick.
I'm not a Tuggies fan, but can't complain about the 2018 JID. In 25 years or so it's without doubt the best season I have watched in terms of an even comp with no easy games and all teams a chance. Not sure if that was good management or good luck but really hope the ACTRU can do whatever it can to ensure that broad level of competition remains for future seasons.
Will done to Nick Scivener and the lads - commiserations to Royals- hope all party hard and enjoy!