Rebels brush aside SANZAAR speculation to upset Brumbies

Geoff Parkes Columnist

By Geoff Parkes, Geoff Parkes is a Roar Expert

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96 Have your say

    On a perfect night for rugby in Melbourne, the Rebels have stunned the heavily favoured Brumbies 19-17 in an upset that, for many, will be seen as having implications on the field as well as off.

    It has been a tumultuous week off the field for the Rebels, but owner Andrew Cox laid a stake in the ground on Friday night with a fierce attack on the ARU and its processes, and the players backed him up on the field tonight.

    To be fair, they were aided by an out of sorts Brumbies, who never approached the giddy heights of last week’s win against the Reds, but despite their dithering, and failing to take advantage of three Rebels’ yellow cards, tonight was all about the home side.

    The scoring was opened by an early Reece Hodge penalty, before Sefa Naivalu brushed through some soft Brumbies defence for a nice running try, in the 14th minute.

    ben-meehan-rebels-super-rugby-2017

    Soon after, the Rebels were reduced to 13, but the Brumbies didn’t take maximum advantage, scoring only once, to winger Henry Speight.

    They did add a pushover try to Jarrad Butler in the 33rd min, and despite a close shave when Naivalu was just pushed out by Tom Banks in the 40th min, took a narrow lead into half-time.

    The second half degenerated into an arm-wrestle, with both sides struggling throughout at lineout, and referee Jackson, whistling a number of penalty goals.

    The Brumbies edged ahead by 17-13 with a smartly taken try to Speight, off a solid scrum and sharp dart by halfback Joe Powell, but the Rebels kept chipping away and the huge boot of Hodge kept them in touch.

    It needed something special from the Rebels to break the mould, and it came with two minutes to go, when their scrum, which had been struggling for much of the night, pushed the Brumbies pack off their own ball, to earn a penalty.

    Hodge nailed the kick from 35m and the Rebels then finished the game on attack, courtesy of a final penalty attempt.

    Reece Hodge of the Rebels

    Post match Brumbies coach Steve Larkham was clearly disappointed with his side’s execution, and pointed to an unsatisfactory week of training as something he will have to address.

    Flanker Chris Alcock was a dynamo, and Rory Arnold ran strongly while he was on, but overall the side lacked the fluidity of last week, and paid the price for lacking some dash, particularly when they had numerical advantage. Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani was one to have a very quiet night.

    Meanwhile, in the other camp, Rebels coach Tony McGahan was understandably delighted with the win, saying that we saw “the heart of the club out there tonight”.

    Flanker Colby Fainga’a had another strong match, and captain Nick Stirzaker was sharp and tidy, particularly in light of dealing with some untidy ball. Like their opponent, the Rebels backline never quite got going as smoothly as they would have liked, although fullback Reece Hodge was a dominant figure in the match, with some booming punts, and nailing the kicks for goal that mattered.

    The crowd was announced as a disappointing 7,574, although it felt like many more than that – particularly when the Rebels hit the lead in the 79th minute, and held on from there, to great scenes of jubilation.

    As a spectacle, this match wasn’t exactly a shot in the arm for Australian rugby, but it was tense and rugged all the way, and the result will obviously be a huge boost for the Rebels as they now head to South Africa.

    Geoff Parkes
    Geoff Parkes

    Geoff is a Melbourne-based sports fanatic and writer who started contributing to The Roar in 2012 under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Union Conflict; The Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy, was released in December 2017 to critical acclaim. For details on the book visit www.geoffparkes.com. Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.

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    The Crowd Says (96)

    • April 16th 2017 @ 7:05am
      Quin said | April 16th 2017 @ 7:05am | ! Report

      I found this game to be quite entertaining, I’m happy for the Rebels yet really worried for Australian Rugby.
      I agree Geoff the game was hardly a great spectacle but it was two teams at similar levels duking it out.

      What concerns me however is that it has seemingly taken the threat of relegation for the Rebels to stand up and be counted, where have they been for the last 5 years?
      The Brumbies are the Australian conference leaders and they looked disinterested.

      Unfortunately nearly halfway into the competition and the top Australian team sits below the Jaguares on points and level on points with the lowest placed New Zealand team yet still are in the top four, the conference system and its failings are well and truly being highlighted at the moment.

      Standout from last night for mine was the Brumbies Jarrad Butler, he brings a different kind of energy to the team.

      • April 16th 2017 @ 9:36am
        Rebellion said | April 16th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

        Well done Rebels – look forward to watching you compete next year with a slightly stronger roster πŸ™‚

        No more 5 hour flights in 2018 !!!

      • April 16th 2017 @ 11:08am
        soapit said | April 16th 2017 @ 11:08am | ! Report

        i think the conference system could only be said to have failings if it affected who wins the comp. denying the 5th best nz team a single final appearance as a trade to guaranteeing a final appears in each country has more upside than down id say.

        • April 16th 2017 @ 11:23am
          taylorman said | April 16th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

          Well…of course you’d think that. Geez…

        • April 16th 2017 @ 8:33pm
          Pinetree said | April 16th 2017 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

          Soapit – It is when the 2nd, 3rd or forth best team get denied a fair chance to win the competition if they come from the same conference as the first. What’s fair about being 2nd or 3rd best team in the comp, but made to play an away game to give way for a poor team in a weak conference? This gives the top 2 teams on the table an easier road as they not only have home games, but their best competition has to travel more than they should.

          It should be the best 4 teams in the competition that secure the top four placing and get a home playoff, then 1 and 2 having a home game against teams better prepared to take them on in the finals, then the best team wins.

          But I see you would rather see the best 4 teams get comprised for representation of all conferences and weaker teams recieve home games, and not integrity of the best finals scenario.

          • April 16th 2017 @ 11:14pm
            Rhys Bosley said | April 16th 2017 @ 11:14pm | ! Report

            The constant narrow minded whinging New Zealanders on this issue is pathetic. You want Super Rugby to continue to develop your All Blacks and take on the cash through the broadcasting deal, but you won’t accept that compromises need to be made to ensure that Australian and Sourh African rugby isn’t economically ground into the dirt. Don’t you understand that if that happens, the whole house of cards falls over and you are worse off for it?

            Quit carrying on like children and just accept that you don’t always get absolutely everything your own way. The way you lot carry on you would think this has always been an issue, rather than just in the last two seasons, when your teams have done particularly well. Don’t sweat it, if the comp remains that one sided it won’t have a future anyway, so you won’t have to worry about the rest of us any more.

            • April 17th 2017 @ 12:59am
              taylorman said | April 17th 2017 @ 12:59am | ! Report

              Yes true Bos cos we all know that we watch sport purely to keep it alive. There are valid points to both arguments, one being that the top Oz side might lose to all NZ sides, get less points, yet qualify before them, or get home matches despite performing much worse.

              It’s not whingin!g, it’s called having a valid point, and besides, just how many handouts do you want?

            • April 17th 2017 @ 7:16am
              Pinetree said | April 17th 2017 @ 7:16am | ! Report

              Rhys – So having a opinion is whinging now, I guess that makes you a whinger too.

              Can I suggest that the conference system has negative effects for Australian rugby as well? At the risk of sounding like a whinger I will.

              When you make a path easier for one and harder for the other, what do you think the end results would be? It appears that a conference goes from strength to strength with a hard path, and the quality of rugby drops overall in the weak conference.

              Tman made a cracking observation years ago that the AB were going to get stronger and the Wallabies were going to suffer from having a stronger/weaker path in SR. This has proved correct, so how does the quality of rugby improve in Aus as this is surely a key factor in getting people to watch the games.

              Did the Brumbies home final against the Highlanders really do anything to improve the rugby in Aus last year, as it seemed that most had very little interest as they were reasonable sure that the Brumbies would lose. Does this create better revenue based on one home quarter, or does Aus teams doing better overall create more revenue?

              The numbers dropping off in SR seems to me to align with the introduction of S15 in 2011, and has rapidly got worse over the 6-7 years. How does this help Aus?

              The effect of the leg up to Aus became obvious when it was taken away in 2016, and the causation of this ended with very poor showings from Aus teams. The Wallabies have not benefited at all from the conference system, but the All Blacks……

              If you lower the bar for competition in SR for a country, that moves on to the national team and effects the integrity of the competition in SR. Nobody is a winner, except for the All Blacks of course.

              • April 17th 2017 @ 7:24am
                Pinetree said | April 17th 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

                Awaiting moderation, seriously? Was it because I used the same word as the person I replied to?

            • April 17th 2017 @ 7:37am
              Pinetree said | April 17th 2017 @ 7:37am | ! Report

              At the risk of double posting, I will try again with an edit to avoid moderation. If this works, then it would seem unfair that you would allow a word for one, but not another.

              Rhys – So having a opinion is wh!nging now, I guess that makes you a wh!nger too.

              Can I suggest that the conference system has negative effects for Australian rugby as well? At the risk of sounding like a wh!nger I will.

              When you make a path easier for one and harder for the other, what do you think the end results would be? It appears that a conference goes from strength to strength with a hard path, and the quality of rugby drops overall in the weak conference.

              Tman made a cracking observation years ago that the AB were going to get stronger and the Wallabies were going to suffer from having a stronger/weaker path in SR. This has proved correct, so how does the quality of rugby improve in Aus as this is surely a key factor in getting people to watch the games.

              Did the Brumbies home final against the Highlanders really do anything to improve the rugby in Aus last year, as it seemed that most had very little interest as they were reasonable sure that the Brumbies would lose. Does this create better revenue based on one home quarter, or does Aus teams doing better overall create more revenue?

              The numbers dropping off in SR seems to me to align with the introduction of S15 in 2011, and has rapidly got worse over the 6-7 years. How does this help Aus?

              The effect of the leg up to Aus became obvious when it was taken away in 2016, and the causation of this ended with very poor showings from Aus teams. The Wallabies have not benefited at all from the conference system, but the All Blacks……

              If you lower the bar for competition in SR for a country, that moves on to the national team and effects the integrity of the competition in SR. Nobody is a winner, except for the All Blacks of course.

      • April 16th 2017 @ 1:33pm
        Train Without A Station said | April 16th 2017 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

        Or maybe it wasn’t the threat of relegation.

        Maybe because the Rebels have had up to 16 players out injured, and all teams have had completely different draws, it’s not comparing apples to apples.

        • April 16th 2017 @ 2:15pm
          BBA said | April 16th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

          FWIW I Thought it rough that the Bulls only had their second home game in their first eight was rough too, the draw can be hell

          • April 16th 2017 @ 2:33pm
            Train Without A Station said | April 16th 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

            I just think it’s foolish to compare teams with such a different draw to date.

            Across a season it evens out though.

            For example I don’t think the Rebels play another of the stronger NZ teams.

        • April 16th 2017 @ 2:33pm
          Whakaata said | April 16th 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

          Isn’t that what he said Twas

          “What concerns me however is that it has seemingly taken the threat of relegation for the Rebels to stand up and be counted, where have they been for the last 5 years?”

          Seems a pretty straightforward comparison to me, he then asks where have they been for the last 5 years, kind of implies had they played like this every time they took the field there wouldn’t be any need for relegation. Kind of obvious the point of his comment went well and truly over some people’s heads.

          • April 16th 2017 @ 2:34pm
            Train Without A Station said | April 16th 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

            The past 5 years they’ve been continually improving and on the cusp of contending for finals the last 2 years.

            • April 16th 2017 @ 2:46pm
              Rebellion said | April 16th 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

              Wheras the Western Force have been a national embarrassment fighting neck and neck with the Kings for the Wooden Spoon yet they’ve won a couple of games this year and have been hailed as having ‘arrived’. Well, after 11 seasons I’d say that’s ‘too little too late’.

              • April 16th 2017 @ 2:46pm
                Rebellion said | April 16th 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

                Sorry, and the Sunwolves

              • April 16th 2017 @ 3:36pm
                concerned supporter said | April 16th 2017 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

                Hey Rebellion,

                How many Super Rugby Titles have the Sharks, Stormers & Cheetahs won?

                How long did it take the Highlanders, & Hurricanes to win a Super Rugby title>?

              • Roar Guru

                April 16th 2017 @ 5:40pm
                Charging Rhino said | April 16th 2017 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

                Sharks have contested the Super Rugby (Grand) Final 5 times though…. and. Add many semi-finals & playoff games.
                Stormers have also made many playoff and semi finals games and I think 2, maybe 3 (Grand) Finals.

                Cheetahs…. similar to Force although they did make the playoffs a few years ago in Super 15.

              • April 17th 2017 @ 11:49am
                Rebellion said | April 17th 2017 @ 11:49am | ! Report

                Concerned Supporter
                How many of these sides mentioned had played in finals series or grand finals?
                The Western Force have never even finished in the top half of the table. They must be regulars at the Freo pub

            • April 16th 2017 @ 2:47pm
              taylorman said | April 16th 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

              Yes they’ve definitely improved since starting, which kind of flies in the face of the criticism the Sunwolves and Jaguars are getting.

              It takes years to get a franchise going in this comp.

            • April 16th 2017 @ 2:55pm
              Whakaata said | April 16th 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

              You are having a laugh aren’t you?
              When have they ever been on the cusp of finals footy?

              2011 – Last
              2012 – 13th of 15 teams
              2013 – 12th of 15 teams
              2014 – 14th of 15 teams
              2015 – 10th of 15 teams – 10 pts adrift of the 6th and final qualifier
              2016 – 12th of 18 teams – 12 pts adrift of the 8th and final qualifer there were 7 pts separating them and the 11th placed team.

              Let’s not kid ourselves twas, the Rebels have never been on the cusp of the finals. They have never even finished in the top half of the season standings.

              Of their 6 seasons, they have however finished higher than the Force on no less than 4 occasions.

              • April 16th 2017 @ 3:01pm
                James P said | April 16th 2017 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

                In 2016 the Rebels finished 12th. They had a salary cap of just over 5 million (1 top up of under $200k)

                The Waratahs finished 10th and had a salary cap of $7.6 million (top ups of $2.6 million).

                It isn’t even vaguely an even playing field.

              • April 16th 2017 @ 3:04pm
                cuw said | April 16th 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

                maybe u need to look at just the auzzy conference , rather than the full table.

                just maybe they were near the top of that conference and witha couple or so good decisions , could have / would have topped the auzzy conference.

                much like the story of the Blues , i guess πŸ™‚

              • April 16th 2017 @ 4:27pm
                Whakaata said | April 16th 2017 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

                The closest the Rebels has ever got to the Top of the Australian conference was in 2016. it could be argued they have improved however they have not threatened the finals nor have the force who were closest in 2008f finishing in 8th, 2 spots outside of the playoffs.

                It does pay to note that the Reds and Force have both finished lower on the overall table than the Rebels in the two most recent seasons.

                Rebels – Season standing in the Australian Conference.

                2011 – they were last 10 pts separating them from the ACT in 4th.
                2012 – 4th 6pts ahead of the Force and 27 pts behind conference winners ACT
                2013 – 4th 5pts ahead of the Force and 27 pts behind conference winners ACT
                2014 – they were last 7pts adrift of the Reds in 4th and 27 pts of winners ACT
                2015 – 3rd 11pts adrift of 2nd place and 16pts winners Waratahs
                2016 – 3rd 9pts of second place Tahs and 12pts off winners place ACT (ACT lowest equal ) qualifier.

                The stats show that the Force is largely the weaker of the two sides however the Rebels have never been close to the finals, be it as conference winners/places or on an overall table.

              • April 16th 2017 @ 4:54pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 16th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

                Wow. So then most recent season was the closest they ever got to top of the Australian conference?

                That sounds like continual improving and on the cusp of contending for a spot…

              • April 16th 2017 @ 5:28pm
                Ryan said | April 16th 2017 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

                Are actually serious?
                Have you paid any attention to the current standings let alone the last few seasons?
                Has Australian rugby ever been at a lower point than it is right now?
                Has Australian rugby ever had teams collectively perform so poorly?

                If you feel getting within 12 points of the lowest qualifier is on the cusp of making it into the finals then I really do worry for Australian rugby.

              • April 16th 2017 @ 5:20pm
                Whakaata said | April 16th 2017 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

                You do realise that they are cutting a team from the Australian conference because it is weak right?
                You do realise the Australian conference winner in 2016 was the lowest ever right?

              • April 16th 2017 @ 7:23pm
                Jacko said | April 16th 2017 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

                Whakaataa its a big cusp

              • April 16th 2017 @ 7:26pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 16th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                Well it’s not that far a stretch.

                A close loss against the conference leader being a close win would have meant they were potentially only 4 points off topping the conference – 1 win.

                My point is 2 more wins could have seen them too the conference.

              • April 17th 2017 @ 7:41am
                taylorman said | April 17th 2017 @ 7:41am | ! Report

                ‘Two more wins’ in this comp is a lot bigger ask than it looks. That would have made the world of difference for many sides who were wanting a mere bonus point here or there. A whole ten points would shift a side from laughable to conference topping.

                Other than their wins Rebels were thrashed in all other games bar the Blues and Brumbies, so yes, they could have got two more but few teams win all their close matches, especially when they have many.

              • April 17th 2017 @ 9:38am
                Train Without A Station said | April 17th 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

                I’m not saying they should have made finals. I’m pointing out they were progressing towards finals contention.

              • April 17th 2017 @ 12:00pm
                Rebellion said | April 17th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

                This is the Western Force stats – a team who have been around twice as long as the Rebels. How pathetic is ’tis record:

                2011 – 12th of 15 teams
                2012 – 14th of 15 teams
                2013 – 13th of 15 teams
                2014 – 8th of 15 teams
                2015 – LAST of 15 teams
                2016 – 13th of 18 teams

                They were last in the Australian conference every year bar 2014 which was an aberration.

                It’s like watching Bernard Tomic when he’s having a bad day

              • April 17th 2017 @ 1:28pm
                Rebellion said | April 17th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

                And 2011 which was the Rebels’ first year – a tough ask for a new team to recruit quality players with test ambitions in a RWC year

        • April 16th 2017 @ 2:38pm
          James P said | April 16th 2017 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

          And the Rebels don’t get the million dollar top ups.

          The ARU must be the only sports organisation in the world to create expansion teams and give them a lower salary cap than the existing teams.

          • April 16th 2017 @ 4:53pm
            Train Without A Station said | April 16th 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

            That’s a simplistic comment that doesn’t consider the needs of the Wallabies though.

            The ARU are one of the only organisations in the world that manages a full season international side, and oversees a full season competition with domestic teams.

            The question is should we focus less on the wallabies to try and make Super Rugby work better for us?

            I don’t know the answer. But it seems like we have negatives whichever way we go.

            • April 16th 2017 @ 7:25pm
              Jacko said | April 16th 2017 @ 7:25pm | ! Report

              I dont understand how concentrating on improving the Super rugby doesnt also improve the Wallabies. Surely you improve both by raising the super standard.

              • April 16th 2017 @ 7:29pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 16th 2017 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

                improving super rugby means focusing it on it over the wallabies.

                Some of this may be more foreigners. That doesn’t help the wallabies.

                Another way may be removing Wallaby top ups and putting that money into the salary cap. Taking the control of who they contract away from the wallabies and handing to teams with different interests doesn’t help the wallabies.

                Not revolving super rugby around the test season doesn’t help the wallabies.

                Take a look at France for example. Run to suit the clubs more and it hasn’t helped then national team at all.

        • April 17th 2017 @ 10:48am
          PiratesRugby said | April 17th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

          The Rebels have never been on a level playing field. Good performance is not rewarded with national selection. Players get the message and leave for more lucrative work overseas. For example Jones, Pyle, Higginbotham and Alo-Emile. The Rebels players don’t get the lucrative ARU top ups like many of the the Tah players do. So, off they go. Add to that, we’ve had McMahon, Smith and Timani out injured for most of the year and you can see why we struggle. It also doesn’t help to have constant speculation about your existence. That’s been going on since our first year.

          • April 17th 2017 @ 6:21pm
            Train Without A Station said | April 17th 2017 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

            Pirates some of that is luck (Higginbotham – injuries), some not enough time to actually make it (PAE – signed in france before he was a starter) and some weren’t necessarily playing the role that was needed for the national team (Pyle).

            Jones was hard done by though. But he also stated 2 years before he wasn’t interested in leaving – then he got married, had a kid and his wife’s sister and brother in law (Mark Chisholm) were living in France at the time so may have come into consideration.

            That said it Mumm is on a top up and Jones was let go, that is absolutely pathetic selection choices.

    • April 16th 2017 @ 7:22am
      Milan said | April 16th 2017 @ 7:22am | ! Report

      Hi Geoff, when you talk about implications off the field, are you suggesting that the rebels win could be crucial in them remaining in super rugby?

      • Columnist

        April 16th 2017 @ 9:32am
        Geoff Parkes said | April 16th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      • Columnist

        April 16th 2017 @ 9:33am
        Geoff Parkes said | April 16th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

        Hi Milan (and Quin and tyrone)

        No, not at all, I don’t think winning one game should have anything to do with staying in or out of Super Rugby, and nor was it the case here. My comment was only to reference that there would no doubt be some who would read it this way.

        Tony McGahan was clear after the game that the result came because of the work put in by the team to extend the good periods of rugby they played against the Chiefs and Tahs, out to an 80 min effort. And while they weren’t always pretty last night, they certainly put in a real 80 mins and finished strongly.

        He said that the off field stuff was dealt with and put to bed on Tuesday, and didn’t provide any additional motivation, which I’d say looked about right.

        Also, you’d have to say that the Brumbies contributed to their own demise – certainly not ruthless enough when they had a numbers advantage.

    • April 16th 2017 @ 8:25am
      tyrone said | April 16th 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      I hope this has no impact, one win is not what the decision should be based on.

      Well done Rebels.

      • April 16th 2017 @ 1:55pm
        Melvict said | April 16th 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

        What is the decision based on?
        There should be an open scorecard with all 5 teams listed and the criteria on which the teams participation will be judged on. Part of the scorecard should be the amount of money ARU have pumped into those teams/areas to date and the return in terms of growth(grassroots/community, etc).

    • April 16th 2017 @ 8:59am
      Ryan said | April 16th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      I enjoyed the game but like others have said it’s one win.

    • April 16th 2017 @ 9:50am
      woodart said | April 16th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

      if these two teams were combined ,they would be a force……

      • Columnist

        April 16th 2017 @ 10:00am
        Geoff Parkes said | April 16th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

        They weren’t really getting along too well during the game woodart. Didn’t look like merger material to me…

        Nice line though πŸ™‚

      • April 16th 2017 @ 3:05pm
        cuw said | April 16th 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

        LOL , atm who wants to be force ???

        • April 17th 2017 @ 6:03pm
          Rebellion said | April 17th 2017 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

          I agree CUW
          Who wants to be the Force??? I’ve noticed a few people keep commenting that one win shouldn’t influence the ARU’s decision…how about over 11 seasons of deplorable results ???? I wish I didn’t have to put my two cents in so often it’s like Force fans are oblivious to their teams record in Super rugby.

    • Roar Rookie

      April 16th 2017 @ 10:52am
      Kirky said | April 16th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

      The Brumbies ran all over the place last week helped by a very poor Reds display simply because they had all the ball they wanted, ~ Yesterday they didn’t have that luxury and although the Rebels didn’t play anything out of the ordinary, they didn’t need to and it was a game of who ended up as the best of a bad lot as they were really both very ordinary, unstructured much.

      Pleased for the Rebels though as all we ever hear by most is ‘how good the Brumbies are as opposed to other teams in the Aussie’ conference’, ~ the Brumbies are a very ordinary team at best and if they are regarded as the best Team in Australia then the problem with Rugby in Australia already there, has just been exacerbated by a stink display by that so called ”top team”.

      The Reds were as usual awful and the Kings played well under the circumstances as they are a team with a ”gun at their heads”, I admire them and could very well have won that game had there been a few more minutes on the clock!

      The game for me was the Hurricanes and the Blues, it was power rugby indicative of the vast difference in the Kiwi rugby as opposed to the Australian sides, another level.

      I wonder if someone could enlighten us as to the reason Beauden Barrett got yellow carded as there was no ”knock down” of the ball that I could see, I think it’s a combination of the stupid rules/laws being forced upon the players and the over officious nature of the Referee on the day, (the old I’ll have no problem sending off the World Rugby Player of the Year whatsoever”, kicks in as it gives him a few moments to gloat over his ‘brave decision’.

      For whatever that rule/law is there for, it needs to be chucked right out as it’s ludicrous at worst as no player deliberately knocks the ball down it’s a combination of going for the ball and accidently probably slipping out of the players hands, it was the same last week to the same player and on both those occasions they were not deliberate either,~ either school the Referees up or dump that stupid law/rule, Barrett is not a dirty player, but they were the very same things they used to ping Richie for, anything at all to demean these brilliant players.

      • April 16th 2017 @ 11:23am
        Johnny J-Dog said | April 16th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

        Kirky, why don’t you just say “I know that the article is about the Rebels, but did you guys know that Kiwis are really good at rugby?”.

        • April 17th 2017 @ 6:07pm
          Rebellion said | April 17th 2017 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

          Kirky,

          We know the kiwis are good at two things.

          1. Rugby
          2. I’ll give you a hint…what is Willie Ripia notorious for???

          Well done

      • April 16th 2017 @ 12:32pm
        Zero Gain said | April 16th 2017 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

        “The Reds were aweful and the Kings played well”. Ha, ha, good one, Kiwi.

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