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Stan Classic Matches discussion


Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
One of the absolutely brilliant benefits of the Stan subscription is access to a library of old matches through the professional era. I am not sure how much others have taken advantage of this source, but I love it.

Thought it might be fun to have a thread of random observations of random matches as you watch them. I've been doing a thing on twitter after a re-watch awarding 'best and fairest' points, just for the hell of it.

It's a real joy being able to go back and watch legends like Eales, Burke, Larkham, Lomu, Caucau, Joost etc as well as a few of those randoms such as Willie Carne at the Reds etc

Perhaps this might inspire you to go back and enjoy some of the classics


Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Nthn Transvaal v Waratahs in 1996

3 - Joost vd Westhuizen (just everywhere - such a leader)
2 - Adrian Richter
1 - Ruben Kruger

3 - Steve Talbot (can only ever remember his name, but he played damn well here)
2 - Matthew Burke (absolute class)
1 - Richard Tombs (not big but tough)


Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Free State v Brumbies in 1997

3 - Owen Finegan (best player on the pitch by an absolute mile)
2 - Brett Robinson
1 - Pat Howard

Free State:
3 - Rassie Erasmus (always one of my favorite Bok players, shees they had some backrowers)
2 - Naka Drotske
1 Hendrick Kruger


Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Reds v Nthn Transvaal in 1996

3 - John Eales (an absolute freak, kicked 7 from 7 and was king of the lineout)
2 - Dave Wilson
1 - Tim Horan

Reds really should have won a title in the 90s with the class they had in their squad.

Nth Transvaal:
3 Adrian Richter
2 Dannie van Schalkyk
1 Joost vd Westhuizen


Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Reds v Highlanders in 1997

3 - Toutai Kefu
2 - John Eales
1 - Brett Johnstone (a much underrated player)

3 - Stu Foster
2 - Anton Oliver
1 - Taine Randell

Battle of the wings (Jeff Wilson and Manassa Bari v Ben Tune and Willie Carne) was a joy to watch. Carne surprisingly decent.


Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Waratahs v Bulls in 1997

3 - David Campese
2 - Tim Gavin
1 - Matt Burke

3 Ruben Kruger
2 - Graeme Bouwer
1 - Krynauw Otto

Burke was classy as always and scored three tries (but did give up a couple) but Campese was just sublime. Just a brilliant remember at his class even at the end of his career. We were blessed to have him.


Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Reds v Crusaders 1998

3 - Dan Herbert
2 - John Eales
1 - David Wilson

3 - Daryl Lilley
2 - Mark Mayerhofler
1 - Mark Hammett

Dan Herbert played wing and it was one of the most impressive wing performances I've seen in a Reds jersey. Exceptional.

Dan Crowley close to a point but he should have been red carded for a shocking forearm strike to the head of a Cru player.

Damian Smith also should have been red carded for two shocking tackles.

Canterbury very average. What turned them around?


Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Reds v Waratahs 2000


3 - John Eales (just a freak)
2 - Chris Latham (still early Latho. Wonderful stuff but terrible stuff)
1 - Michael Foley (pint point throwing all night)


3 - David Lyons (stand out for the Tahs)
2 - John Welborn
1 - Nathan Grey


Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Reds v Hurricanes 1997

3 - Ben Tune (playing 13)
2 - Tim Horan
1 - David Wilson

3 - Jason O'Halloran (forgot how good he was!)
2 - Jon Preston
1 - Bull Allen.

Just a wonderful game of rugby played by two teams intent to excite.


Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Brumbies v Cats 1998

3 - David Knox (just unbelievably skillful)
2 - Pato Noriega (took it to the Cats big pack in the scrum and around the field)
1 - Sam Cordigley

3 - James Dalton (what a pest)
2 - MJ Smith
1 - Kobus Wiesse

A couple of interesting occurrences in this game.

1) Eddie Jones coached Brumbies. On one scrum close to the Cats tryline, Finegan fed the scrum while Cords hovered nearby (should've been a penalty I thought?). No 8 rolled around and basically the backs got in the way of each other to try to set up a rolling maul. Innovative but in the end the Cats got the penalty.

2) hooker Marco Caputo actually got penalised for repeated crooked throws. He was terrible


Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Reds v Brumbies 1997

3 - Shane Drahm (a clearly better player than Flatley)
2 - Dan Crowley (so mobile and a tough prick when not being illegal)
1 - Dan Herbert

3 - Pat Howard (creative and safe as a house when play was going to shit)
2 - Steve Larkahm (at fullback and just classy as)
1 - David Giffen really took it to Eales in the lineouts.

Rucks were a diabolical mess this game. We have it much better now.

Eales lost his cool twice which I've never seen.

Barry Lea had a cameo from the bench which was electric.


Trevor Allan (34)
I’ve been watching the 2013 Lions series recently (about halfway through the 2nd Test). Far out we missed out on having Ben Mowen around for a few more years. He’s a dynamo in this series - big, great at the breakdown, so busy in defence, and an unbelievable lineout operator. What I wouldn’t give for someone with his skill set running around for us at #6 now.

Slim 293

Nathan Sharpe (72)
I rewatched the Chiefs v Brumbies game from last year.........

Chiefs were at the time undefeated and on top of the ladder, hosting the Brumbies....... and the Brumbies put in what was probably their most perfect game of the year.

There were so many great performances - Kata smashing it on debut, Samu bursting through multiple defenders and bagging 2 tries, Valetini just bossing everyone who got in his way, Lolesio was playing like a seasoned test veteran and had a great combination with Simone... and Kuridrani changing up his running lines and stepping past defenders........

But one thing that stood out was Banks' speed and acceleration, and how he was able to burst through the Chiefs defence so often from a near standing start.

It does seem that with the injuries he suffered in between SR and SR Au last year he's lost some of that pace, and when someone asks what people saw in him they should be directed to go back and watch that game.