Welcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things
After last week’s round of Super Rugby it looks like it is going
to be a long season indeed for the Waratahs. After going in with the lead at
the break the side capitulated embarrassingly in the second term. Whilst the
Chiefs turned on a superb attacking display of Rugby to run in six second half
tries the Waratahs returned to their inept form that is becoming all too
familiar. Once again basic skills deserted the side in the second half with a
raft of schoolboy errors taking away any chance of a win for the home side.
Poor catch and pass, sloppy play at the breakdown and an alarming lack of
organization in defense was evident throughout. The Chiefs last try came from a
Waratah howler which summed up the Waratahs night. Kurtley Beale spilled the
ball after having a look as he tried to catch a pass to put in a clearing kick
and clear his own line. Beale and a couple of other Tahs players failed to
secure the ball after the error giving a turnover to the chiefs who made them
pay with a five pointer. In contrast the Chiefs showed everyone just how the game
should be played with skill and enterprise. After six rounds of the tournament
the Waratahs sit second last to the Sunwolves and have the second worst
attacking and defensive records as well.
One of the highlights at WIN Stadium last Friday was the form of
Shoalhaven junior Will Miller. Miller took Player of the Match honors in the
Brumbies big 47 – 14 win over the Sunwolves. He scored a first half try and was
busy all night in both attack and defense. Miller is the latest in a long list
of NSW players to make the move to Canberra and enjoy a new lease on life. The
Brumbies are once again leading the Aussie charge sitting equal second on the
full table and five points clear at the top of the Aussie pool.
What a great day was had by the rugby diehards who started the
day last Friday at the IDRU Season Launch and long lunch. A very healthy crowd
enjoyed a few drinks and a great meal and heard some wise words from the guest
speakers in particular former Wallaby coach Bob Dwyer and Waratahs coach Rob
Penney. Both coaches made similar comments in regard to the way Australian
teams have played the game of late. They made it clear that players should be
encouraged to play with their eyes up looking for space and to back their own
ability to take advantage of that space. In other words, to play what is in front
of them instead of taking the pre-determined structured approach. Dwyer was
scathing in his comments on the fact that the ARU had done away with their
Coach Development program some twenty years ago. In his opinion this move is
directly responsible for the dearth of quality Australian coaches in modern
Rugby. We also heard from Waratahs player Jed Holloway who reminisced on his
early days in a Shamrocks jumper as an eight year old before his family moved
up to the Yamba district where he honed his rugby game. A couple of interesting
fundraising auctions were held including a side of beef still on the hoof
courtesy of new IDRU Director Mark Freund. Let’s do it all again next year!
One disappointment last week was the Illawarriors loss to arch
rivals the Newcastle Hunter Wildfires. The Illawarriors started strongly
scoring three tries, going to the break leading 15 – 5. They were very sound
defensively and had Newcastle looking shellshocked. With the game being
basically a trial match for both sides a raft of changes were made at the break
and the second term took on a different look. This time it was Newcastle who
took the upper hand scoring three tries to nil to take the match 22 – 15.
According to new IDRU President Darin Croft, a Trophy will be struck and it is
hoped that this match will become more regular as it was in the past. There’s
no need to strike a new trophy. One already exists, hidden in a cupboard
somewhere in the Hunter region. The original plan was that the trophy would be
up for grabs whenever the two zones clashed in the run into the Caldwell Cup. The
Illawarriors went down to Newcastle several times during their six year run of
dominance in the Caldwell Cup and eventually the Cup stopped appearing at
Matches. Let’s find the original trophy and restore the tradition properly.
Do you think you can Beat the Rogue this year? Well the IDRU
Tipping Competition is on again this year with the comp getting underway in two
weeks’ time. More details next week.
Some positive signs from the Aussie sides in Super Rugby last
week with the exception of the Waratahs that is. The Reds went down to the
Crusaders even though they scored four tries to three. The Brumbies had a big
win over the Sunwolves and the Rebels got the points off the Lions. The
Brumbies are sitting sweet in equal second but all the others are still in the
bottom half of the table but showed signs of being able to improve their
position over the next few rounds. Let’s hope they all can build on last week’s
form. Six out of seven for me last week in what was a pretty predictable round.
My tips for this week: Chiefs, Crusaders, Blues, Reds, Sharks, Jaguares and
opinions offered in this column are the opinion of the author. They should not
be considered to represent the views of the IDRU.