Brumbies down Waratahs in Super derby


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    The Brumbies have clinched the Dan Vickerman Cup with a watershed 28-12 Super Rugby victory over the NSW Waratahs in Sydney.

    Two tries in two minutes midway through the second half, including a scintillating effort from winger Henry Speight, blew an otherwise dreary derby wide open as the Brumbies recorded back-to-back away wins over the Waratahs for the first time.

    The four-tries-to-two triumph was also the Brumbies’ record ninth straight win against Australian opposition, leaving the ACT outfit top of the conference after a week in which their very existence came into question.

    But it was a forgettable night for the Waratahs, especially flanker Jack Dempsey, who was taken from the field on a medicab and in a leg splint after landing awkwardly in a heavy tackle early in the second half.

    The Tahs’ forward stocks were further stretched when Test prop Sekope Kepu, in his 100th match for NSW, failed a concussion test after copping a head knock.

    The score was locked at 7-7 before the Tahs lost Dempsey and Kepu.

    Two minutes later, the Waratahs had all but lost the game too after the Brumbies’ reserve hooker Robbie Abel profited from a rolling maul and then Speight won the sprint to his own chip kick to give his side a 21-7 advantage.

    A maiden Super Rugby try to replacement half Jake Gordon briefly gave the Waratahs hope before Speight swan-dived over for his second five-pointer to put the issue beyond doubt.

    Without Wallabies playmaker Bernard Foley for the fourth straight week, the Waratahs still managed to draw first blood, with prop Tom Robertson burrowing his way over in the ninth minute.

    Reece Robinson’s conversion gave the Tahs a 7-0 lead, but the sides went to the break all tied up after Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani powered over under the sticks 11 minutes before the break and Wharenui Hawera converted.

    Once again faltering at the set piece and handing over possession as they did in their two defeats in South Africa, the Waratahs lost their way in the second half and now find themselves languishing near the bottom of the ladder.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (65)

    • March 18th 2017 @ 11:03pm
      Dontcallmeshirley said | March 18th 2017 @ 11:03pm | ! Report

      Two hours of my life I wish I could get back. What an awful game of rugby.

      • March 18th 2017 @ 11:48pm
        Frisky said | March 18th 2017 @ 11:48pm | ! Report

        Try watching some NZ teams.

    • March 18th 2017 @ 11:47pm
      Frisky said | March 18th 2017 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

      Dear Mr Pulver, I am a bit confused. May I please ask you three questions?
      Q.1 Is it your job to improve the quality and strength of Australian rugby?
      Q.2 Your solution is to eliminate Australia’s most successful team, the side that has turned far more raw talent into Wallabies?
      Q.3. How much do they pay you for this incisive analysis?

      p.s. What was the result of today’s match between the soon-to-be-cut team and your favourite franchise? Oh, the same a state the last 8 meetings. I see.

      thank you for your time.

      • March 19th 2017 @ 12:29am
        Hello Everybody. said | March 19th 2017 @ 12:29am | ! Report

        May I speak on behalf of Mr Pulver?

        A1) No, my job is to improve the state of rugby as a whole. The improvement of quality or our ability to put out higher quality teams will surely come with that eventually but it is not the ultimate goal, merely something that will come naturally as the game grows.
        Think of rugby as a company that sells TVs. We want to sell as many TVs as possible to improve value of the company. Selling the highest quality TVs is not the only way of increasing the companies value. Sometimes we must sell low-end TVs to be able to eventually sell high-end sets.
        The A-league is doing very well in Aus but if you compare the quality to the biggest clubs in Europe…well, lets just say that the quality of our clubs is pale in comparrison.

        A2) Our solution is not yet decided but shifting or merging a team from the low growth area into a potential high growth area may make sense. As I have stated, the improved state of rugby in Aus as a whole is our goal. We will make the choice that best gets us heading for that goal. I understand that will upset some fans and some of those fans will be the ones making that decision. To think sacrifice is not part of the solution is an error in judgement.

        A3) They pay me to pay others to do the analysis. I and others then take the analysis and advice and make decisions to grow the game and improve the state of the game in Aus. I think…no, I know you cant possibly understand how this works and the processes we go through so your frustration is understandable.
        Its true that as the CEO I am ultimately responsible for the decisions made but dont make the mistake of assuming I and I alone decide these things without a great deal of input by many others who work very hard to keep rugby union in Aus growing and the state of the game improving.

        I thank you for your letter and a chance to talk to a fellow rugby fan.

        P.S. Are you crazy!? My fav team is the Canes but dont tell anyone.
        All jokes aside, the result is not the point is it? We want to grow the game, not play favs with who won what when.

        • Roar Guru

          March 19th 2017 @ 7:07am
          taylorman said | March 19th 2017 @ 7:07am | ! Report

          Aah see you let yourself down at the end there.
          We know Pulvers fave team isnt the Canes…

          Its the Blues!?

        • Roar Guru

          March 19th 2017 @ 11:55am
          Rob na Champassak said | March 19th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

          I am saddened to admit that this kind of deeply flawed reasoning is very likely exactly the train of thought embedded at ARU HQ.

          Instead of thinking ‘how can we fix our underperforming clubs?’ they are asking ‘how can we prop up our underperforming clubs?’.

          A club is more than the sum of its parts, and redistributing players and coaching staff from the side that gets cut among the remaining four franchises will have very little effect on the overall quality of each of those teams because the underlying structures remain the same.

          To put it plainly, ‘they wouldn’t know what to do with it’. Half the teams in Australia could swap playing rosters with the Highlanders or the Hurricanes and they would still underperform. And more to the point, I bet the Highlanders management could get more out of their swapped-in Aussie squad than the Aussie club ever could.

          The problem in Australia is bad management. Regardless of who gets cut, this will become painfully obvious over the coming years as three of the four remaining Australian teams remain rooted to the lower half of the table and more players leave the trainwreck that is Australian rugby for greener pastures overseas.

          • March 19th 2017 @ 1:13pm
            Hello Everybody. said | March 19th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report


            “Instead of thinking ‘how can we fix our underperforming clubs?’ they are asking ‘how can we prop up our underperforming clubs?’.”

            Where on earth did you get that from?

            What they are thinking is “how do we best grow the game in Aus”.

            To suggest otherwise is false.

            • Roar Guru

              March 19th 2017 @ 6:38pm
              Rob na Champassak said | March 19th 2017 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

              You can dress it up however you like, but their strategy is flawed.

              Underpinning it is the assumption (and it is an assumption) that cutting a team will lead to improved performance among the other four clubs.

              But why would it? Because the remaining four clubs will do a perfect job of taking the best components of the dumped team and do a perfect job of assimilating them into their own teams?

              It won’t happen. The Aussie Super Rugby clubs are underperforming not because they don’t have the cattle, but because they are not being run or coached effectively.

              When the ARU uses their magic bullet on the Brumbies, Rebels, or whoever, then the remaining teams will simply absorb the handful of players who don’t go overseas and continue to churn out mediocrity until such time as they get a brilliant coach who comes along and papers over the cracks for a season or two like Cheika did.

              • March 20th 2017 @ 1:01pm
                Hello Everybody. said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

                Oh Im not dressing it up the way I like but you are.

                Im stating what their goal is and you are the one twisting it and making it what you want.

                So please dont do that, make Im doing something that Im not whilst you do the very thing you accuse me of.

    • March 19th 2017 @ 12:09am
      Jock Cornet said | March 19th 2017 @ 12:09am | ! Report

      Pulver would be at the 6 nations. What problems. Why do we need to improve grassroots and develop club rugby for? Maybe to improve the quality of super rugby. Pulver has to go.

      • March 19th 2017 @ 12:31am
        Hello Everybody. said | March 19th 2017 @ 12:31am | ! Report

        I think Pulver is doing an excellent job.

        • March 19th 2017 @ 9:11am
          WBGL said | March 19th 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

          Yes he is….for every other rugby nation than Australia……

          • March 19th 2017 @ 1:22pm
            Hello Everybody. said | March 19th 2017 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

            Ah such wisdom.

            Pulver is doing a very good job in a very difficult situation.

            Those who have absolutely no grasp of how difficult it is may think otherwise but the truth is that it aint easy.

            • March 19th 2017 @ 10:20pm
              WBGL said | March 19th 2017 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

              Yes, it’s not easy, but that’s what he’s paid to do. If he can’t or is not capable, resign and let some one else have a go. It’s that simple. And the money is good as head of the ARU, so he needs to earn it.

              • March 20th 2017 @ 1:03pm
                Hello Everybody. said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

                And he is earning it.

                You expect miracles and when they dont happen you think those that dont deliver are not doing their job.

    • March 19th 2017 @ 12:16am
      double agent said | March 19th 2017 @ 12:16am | ! Report

      Australian Rugby hasn’t had so little talent since the 1970s.

      • March 19th 2017 @ 12:48am
        Hello Everybody. said | March 19th 2017 @ 12:48am | ! Report

        No, thats not true.
        Remember many players are in Europe or Asia and the talent is clearly spread too thin domestically.

        Aus doesnt have the talent for 5 teams if you want to have strong teams.

        • March 19th 2017 @ 12:06pm
          Akari said | March 19th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

          “the talent is clearly spread too thin domestically.”

          That applied to NZ during the super 12 phase but then they re-assessed/restructured following the 2007 RWC loss and found a way around their ‘problems’, including skills, etc. The ARU must persist with the 5 teams and grow the talent. NZ has shown how it could be done and Oz must come up with their own solutions.

          • March 19th 2017 @ 1:35pm
            Hello Everybody. said | March 19th 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

            Yeah NZ only won 7 of the 10 Super 12 titles. They really struggled.

            NZ had its talent spread thinner than all both Aus and SA. They dominated the comp as far as titles and competed very well through the season.

          • March 19th 2017 @ 1:35pm
            Whakaata said | March 19th 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

            It looked like New Zealand’s talent was spread thin because Aus and South Africa had strong teams due to having less. Their talent was consolidated. With Expansion it has shown that it was a bad move and unfortunately teams are going to go and the reality is it’s highly likely one of the Aussie teams will go because their current status quo is unsustainable.

    • March 19th 2017 @ 12:25am
      Jock Cornet said | March 19th 2017 @ 12:25am | ! Report

      Apparently these guys are professionals. Give me the amateurs any day over this crap.

    • March 19th 2017 @ 12:37am
      The Electronic Swagman said | March 19th 2017 @ 12:37am | ! Report

      Just watched the sub-standard Waratahs followed by the scintillating Highlanders v Hurricanes. Memo to Michael Cheika – objectively observe the skills, athleticism, size and versatility of Ardie Savea and then compare it to your No 7 Michael Hooper.

      I truly am not sure if Hooper even sees himself as a forward any more.

      Then if you really want to get depressed watch our international half back, Nick Phipps.

      • March 19th 2017 @ 12:55am
        Hello Everybody. said | March 19th 2017 @ 12:55am | ! Report

        Is that the multiple winner for Australias best player M.Hooper?
        Is that the same Hooper that got nominated for the worlds best player?

        As I said to another, if a guy is winning awards for being the best and you dont think hes very good, its not all the people deciding the awards that are wrong.

        • March 19th 2017 @ 11:00am
          MH01 said | March 19th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

          Trump became president. Keep chirping away about awards mate…..yawn

          • March 19th 2017 @ 2:05pm
            Hello Everybody. said | March 19th 2017 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

            I will stop chirping on about all the evidence from everyone who matters in rugby if you stop backing your argument up with nothing….NOTHING….nobody who matters anywhere in rugby agrees with you on Hooper….nobody.

            He is selected by those who know better. He wins awards from those who know better. The general public have no say.

            But as you point out, Trump was elected by the general public, people like you and me.

            Fake news?

            But Im sure all the coaches and players are wrong.
            Maybe we should let them know, us who really know whats up.

            • March 19th 2017 @ 4:36pm
              soapit said | March 19th 2017 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

              no worries. just dont expect to carry much weight with those who are able look at the detail of how these awards get achieved.

              • March 19th 2017 @ 5:04pm
                Hello Everybody. said | March 19th 2017 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

                Yeah, us who know better right?
                Better than the international coaches right?

                All those awards won by the likes of Carter and co were just a sham.

                I often find if my opinion differs to all of the evidence, and I mean absolutely all of it, what I do is claim its all a sham because, like you, I know better than international coaches, club coaches, players, opponents and…well everyone. Its all fake news.

                Hooper doesnt do his job but hes got magical hypnotic skills that convince his coach not to drop him. He must do this because players get dropped if they are not doing whats asked of them so he must be some kind of wizard or at least be able to bend matter to his will. Thats why he gets selected when not doing his job. Clearly we know this Soapit but his magic is strong and he seems to have power of over every coach hes had.

                Those awards for being the best player are a sham. I know this because I disagree with the results.

                So in conclusion, its all a conspiracy. Hooper was selected as Australias best international player and club player multiple times but we all know that my opinion overides that. Even when he was selected as one of the best players on earth my opinion still trumps that.

                His selection, without fail, by every coach hes ever had at the professional level is not because hes good its merely because hes a magical mind altering being.

                Dont expect us who know better to listen or pay attention to anyone or anything.

                Its all wrong, fake news.

                Awards should be decided by a few people who cant understand why Hooper even gets selected because they are the real experts.

              • March 19th 2017 @ 5:22pm
                Hello Everybody. said | March 19th 2017 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

                soapit said
                ‘no worries. just dont expect to carry much weight with those who are able look at the detail of how these awards get achieved’

                Theyre achieved through consistent high performance, like all awards.
                However I do know that those who dont rate Hooper will try to undermine everything that suggests hes quality no matter how absurd that may seem to those who are not determined to rationlize extreme bias against him.

                I mean seriously, to claim all his awards and nominations, his selection by Deans, McKenzie and Cheika is all wrong and Hoopers not very good.

                You guys cant see what youre doing or how extremely biased and irrational that is?

                I find that quite incredible.

                Hooper will keep getting selected because hes very good.
                You guys should try and figure out why hes considered so good.

              • March 19th 2017 @ 5:48pm
                MH01 said | March 19th 2017 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

                Exactly. The awards system is flawed, you just have to look who made the top 5, and how the points are awarded. Though that would mean some common sense.

              • March 19th 2017 @ 5:59pm
                Hello Everybody. said | March 19th 2017 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

                Common sense?

                Surely you jest?

                Youre saying that suggesting all the awards are shams is common sense?

                No, suggesting that all the awards are shams because you dont like the results is something but it aint common sense.

                Common sense is accepting that Hooper wins multiple awards and selectio without fail for a reason.

                Ya think?

      • March 19th 2017 @ 6:31pm
        Hello Everybody. said | March 19th 2017 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

        Here are the facts.

        M.Hooper has been selected at 7 by J.White, M.Cheika, D.Gibson, R.Deans and E.McKenzie to name a few. Nowhere else, only 7.
        He gets selected there because he does what the coach wants him to do. Thats how coaches do things, they select players and coach them to do what they want. If players dont do what they want, coaches drop them and pick somebody else. Thats how it works.

        Yet the endless comments about how hes not a 7 and he doesnt do what a 7 should.
        If he doesnt then he wouldnt be picked there and he wouldnt stay there.
        Yet coaches ALWAYS pick him there.

        M.Hooper has won almost every award at every level since he turned pro including Aus club player of the year and Aus International player of the year.
        He has not yet won world player of the year but he was nominated for it in 2015.
        All these awards are decided by different people in different ways.

        Yet people keep saying these awards won by greats such as McCaw, G.Smith and D.Pocock are sham awards that mean nothing.
        They say this purely because they dont understand why Hooper won.
        Its not because these awards are shams its only because they dont like the result and therefore the award must be a sham. Rather than question their own opinion, they attack anything that contradicts it.

        Its clear that Hooper wins awards and is considered one of the best players in Aus, if not the world by international level coaches and players.
        Its also clear that those who disagree dont understand rugby well enough to grasp why he is considered to be so good.
        Thats the key here. Those who go against so much evidence, awards, selections, nominations etc simply dont understand.
        Its not that all these coaches are wrong. Its not that all of the players are wrong. Its not that all the awards are a sham.
        Its that people dont understand why people who know more than them disagree.
        So instead of trying to grasp why that is they turn it around and act as if it is all of those top rugby brains that dont understand, those awards are a sham, they dont know what theyre talking about those international coaches….

        Its quite surreal tbh.

        I think I will go with what I see and what 100% of who matters say rather than listening to somebody like that.

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