Is 2018 the new 2014 for the Waratahs?

Michael Essa Roar Guru

By Michael Essa, Michael Essa is a Roar Guru

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433 Have your say

    It was a time to remember.

    A time when ‘Brexit’ sounded like a word one would use to associate with a dog biscuit.

    A time when everybody wondered whether Prince Harry would ever actually settle down.

    More importantly, it was a time when at least one of the Australian Super Rugby franchises could match and often better its New Zealand counterparts.

    Yes, that’s right, it was way, way, way back in 2014.

    We could be talking about many other ages of the past 20 years, but I’d like to draw a comparison with 2014 because it is the Waratahs that have once again shown similar promise.

    I recall that year fondly. The Tahs began and finished as the best side in the competition, with consistent results throughout. They were so good they did not draw criticism in regards to their coaching, skill level or results. Yes, it was a perfect season for them, capped off by a perfect performance in the final.

    Waratahs players celebrate after defeating the Crusaders in the Super Rugby Final

    AAP Image/Daniel Munoz

    Cue the keyboard warriors – and rightly so, because most of that last paragraph is false. Despite a great start and finish, in the final the Crusaders were allowed back in the game. Rugby rarely goes to script.

    Much like 2018, NSW in 2014 were heavily criticised throughout that year. For the first half of that season, most people were completely writing them off with their usual anti-Waratah bias.

    This continued right up until the eve of their grand final victory, when right here on this website, Scott Allen wrote a piece illustrating exactly why the Waratahs could not possibly beat the Crusaders.

    This was despite the fact that the Tahs had built their season nicely. They’d had a couple of bad results along the way but ultimately stuck to their guns, kept on improving, and were deserved title contenders and, ultimately, champions.

    Do you see where I’m going with this?

    Part of their successful 2014 season was an unexpected loss to the Blues, but the catalyst for that championship tilt was a game in Sydney against the Highlanders, when they blew them off the park by a then-record amount. I recall that season they went across the ditch and rang their cowbells in the dressing room before going out and hammering the Chiefs. It’s all starting to sound familiar? Perhaps with the Chiefs I am getting ahead of myself.

    My question is whether history is repeating itself?

    I am not locking them in as certainties for this year’s championship, rather, that for the first time since 2014, they could do it and so there is no reason as a fan not to back them.

    We as a fan-base need to see the team we support as a season’s entity. I don’t expect my side to be clear-cut favourites from the outset, I expect them to improve as the season progresses and from time to time have the odd hiccup. A 29-nil loss to the Lions will all be forgotten come July.

    I expect to look at other indicators, not just results, along the way to give me bearings as to whether this could be a successful season.

    Are they staying in an overall positive for and against? Are they scoring well-constructed tries? Have some of their losses been relatively close? When they’ve lost, have there been some statistical positives like run metres or possession stats?

    If the answer to most of these questions are yes, you can start to dream.

    On that note, it is time to start believing in the Waratahs as genuine title contenders. Let the naysayers continue their negativity, but true fans should not let that stop you being positive. That’s what will draw the crowds and that’s how we can play our part.

    Sure, these past few games have seen just the one victory, but the fact they could have just easily been three victories, against teams full of All Blacks, is promising.

    I will go as far as saying that this is the best form the Waratahs have been in since the second half of 2014. They are demonstrating the same spirit, the same style of performance, and if they can keep improving, I can see them holding the trophy up once again.

    I may be right or I may be wrong. I don’t care. I’m just enjoying getting positive once again about their chances and I urge you to join me.

    State of Origin 2 is here, with the Blues looking to wrap the 2018 series up and the Maroons hoping to keep it alive and force a decider. Follow along with our NSW vs QLD Origin 2 live scores and blog.

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    The Crowd Says (433)

    • May 22nd 2018 @ 2:55am
      Ozinsa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 2:55am | ! Report

      Please don’t. As a Tahs fan I’d really prefer a realistic view of the world – we’re mid-table quality and will qualify for the final due to a weak conference. Anything beyond that is a pleasant surprise

      • May 22nd 2018 @ 8:48am
        Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 8:48am | ! Report

        no we’re top 3 quality at the moment and by seasons end I can see us being no1.

        Don’t care who’s right or wrong.

        Just that we shouldn’t discredit the tahs as the default stance to take.

        I’ve only genuinely beiieved them capaable of winning the comp once before. That was 2014,

        Even in 2008/2005/2002 it was always in the back of my mind that they weren’t capable of beating the no 1 side, in all those cases the Crusaders.

        This year I can see them beating anybody, as I did in 2014, and in fact I believe by seasons end the only thing that could cost them is not having a home final.

        • Roar Guru

          May 22nd 2018 @ 8:59am
          Wal said | May 22nd 2018 @ 8:59am | ! Report

          Top 3??

          Which team of the Crusaders, Cheif, Hurricanes, Lions or even the Jaguares do you place them ahead of.

          I think the cart just lapped the horse.

          • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:08am
            Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:08am | ! Report

            You may have noticed that the top 3 is made up of the top of each conference.

            They are in the top 3.

            In reality though at the moment the 3 best form sides in the comp are the Crusaders, Jaguares and the Waratahs. In that order.

            By seasons end it will be the Waratahs, Jaguares, Crusaders, in that order.

            Both the tahs and jaguares are building niclely. The Crusaders have peaked.

            • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:20am
              BBA said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:20am | ! Report

              Bit harsh on the Hurricanes with the least losses in the comp to not make the top 3 on form.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:29am
                Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:29am | ! Report

                They almost lost to the lowly reds.

                They look like flat track bullies to me, I think they’ll score plenty of tries and top the regular season, but they’ll be there for the taking come semi finals time by a tougher side like the Crusaders.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:38am
                BBA said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:38am | ! Report

                Which team hasn’t had a result that they were lucky to win?

                At the end of the day they are unbeaten in the NZ conference so they have had some good wins.

                You could also use that argument against any team, re a bad performance i.e. Warratahs against the Blues.

                While I don’t disagree that the Hurricanes could be vulnerable in the playoffs, as is any team, they would be in my top 3 of which sides would I like to play the least in the play offs.

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 9:50am
                Wal said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:50am | ! Report

                Only 2 matches ago the Tah lost to the lowly Blues.

                If we are all honest all teams have been a bit up and down this season.
                It pretty tough to call a team who have only won 1 of their last 4 a top 3 “quality” .

                A good match against the Highlanders and 20 good minutes in Chch. is heavily offset
                60 appaling minutes against the Crusaders, 80 minutes of mediocrity against the Blues and a hiding from the Lions is hardly the sort of form guide to have them

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 10:23am
                Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:23am | ! Report

                Wal it is not just about results.

                The way they are constructing tries at will against quality opposition is what I’m talking about.

                Its the brand of rugby they’re playing that has me excited. The refereeing, the bounce of the ball, etc is what cost them against the Blues and the Crusaders.

                Odds are they won’t continue to be so unlucky.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 10:39am
                Ben said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:39am | ! Report

                “Wal it is not just about results.”
                Yeah actually winning games is so over rated….

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 10:57am
                Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:57am | ! Report

                With the conference system and the bonus points system yes winning isn’t everything.

                the fact that the Tahs picked up 2 losing bonus points against the blues and the crusaders may be enough to see them finish 2nd on the table and that may in turn be enough to see them win the title.

                so… next

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 12:08pm
                BBA said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                I am certainly not a Canes fan but your arguments are very selective. I certainly believe the Warratahs are in with a chance, but certainly don’t feel their chances are higher than the Canes.

                Support your team, cheer on their strengths by all means.

                However, if I was a Warratah fan I would be supporting them because I lived there and they represented me. I would hope they win but them winning shouldn’t be conditional on my support, and unfortunately, to me, that is where rugby gets it wrong in Aus.

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 12:16pm
                Wal said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                “Its the brand of rugby they’re playing that has me excited. The refereeing, the bounce of the ball, etc is what cost them against the Blues and the Crusaders.”

                Yes Moody should have been sent off. And almost without doubt, the Tahs would have won if he was.
                But to lose once up 29-0 doesn’t make a good read of form, is playing against 14 going to be their game plan for the rest of the season? nor does beating the Blues at home. A team who had won only 2 of their previous 9.

                The Tahs are definitely on the improve but they are yet to prove anything at all.
                To post them as on better form than a team on a 10 match winning streak, is pretty laughable.

            • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:40am
              Pinetree said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:40am | ! Report

              It is laughable to call the “Tahs in the top 3 performing teams, when they have only won 2 game outside of their conference, and have 6 teams with more wins than them. To omit the Hurricanes in the top 3 is mind blowing!

              The ‘Tahs have certainly made a big improvement this year, and they may well end up 2nd on the table, because of the conference system, but to win the comp seems a bit too tall a mountain to climb this year.

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 11:08am
                PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

                agree they not in the top 3 performing teams yet and may never be, however no reason for Essa or others to not dream since their performance has been steadily improving.

                Initially I didn’t think they would beat any NZ teams, lost a close one to Blues, lost another close one to crusaders where the ref made major errors costing them, and them smashed the highlanders.

                Now I dare to believe they could beat the chiefs. That is one big turnaround.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:40am
                Pinetree said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:40am | ! Report

                To be honest Peter, there is no reason why the Tahs can’t make the final if they claim 2nd place on the table, as they probably won’t play a kiwi team till then. But I don’t give any team outside of the Canes and Crusaders much chance to win. The Tahs may even end up a top three team by the end of the season, but you could say that about a few teams at the moment.

                The Tahs have a good outside chance as anyone in the top 8 barring the Canes/Crusaders, and Tah fans should have hope like Highlanders and Chiefs fans. I am just not a fan of over hyperbolic statements 🙂

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:43am
                Fionn said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

                Who would the Tahs have to play? I feel like it would be brave to say they’re favourites against either the Lions given the Lions beat them 29-0 at home (admittedly, they’re a vastly inferior team when they don’t have Marx, and I’m not sure when he’s back) and Jaguares seem to have the perfect game to play against the Waratahs also.

                I don’t give any teams that aren’t the Canes or Crusaders much of a chance either. Are they likely to have to play one another before the final?

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:51am
                Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:51am | ! Report

                The way the finals works is that the Crusaders and Hurricanes can not meet in the final as they are going to finish 1st and 4th respectively, due to the conference system.

                If they both win their quarter finals they will play each other in the semi final.

                The Waratahs are set to finish 2nd because the SA conference have all played one or two extra games and this will probably allow the Tahs to real them in on the table.

                This is important because as the 2nd place side they will host a potential semi which gives them the advantage to make the GF.

                Now I’m betting on the lower ranked NZ team causing an upset in the semi, which would see the waratahs host the Grand Final.

                If that happens as I predict, well than that gives the Waratahs a huge advantage as a home finalist.

                If it doesn’t work that way and they make a final played in NZ I still give them a chance as they showed v the Crusaders they can perform in NZ. But it starts to become more likely that they’d lose in NZ.

              • May 25th 2018 @ 1:32pm
                Jumbo said | May 25th 2018 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

                Just shows how flawed the system is, should be a canes v crusaders final. We can all see that.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:54am
                Fionn said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:54am | ! Report

                Yeah, that’s conceivable.

                So if the Tahs win the conference who are they likely to play in the quarters?

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:55am
                Pinetree said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                Fionn – if the Tahs get 2nd on the table, they will play in the QF, either the Jags,sharks, Rebels, stormers, Bulls, or even the Lions if they don’t top the conference. Does that narrow it down for you…

                The Crusaders will most likely play the Canes in the semifinal.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 12:00pm
                Fionn said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

                It does, actually, it means they’re not likely to get a Kiwi team 🙂 .

                Can we imagine the rage on these forums if the Waratahs hosted the final against the Crusaders or Hurricanes 😛

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 12:06pm
                Pinetree said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

                Just to clarify further, winner of QF 1, which is 1 v 8, will play winner of QF 2, which is 4 vs 5. Hard to not see the Canes and Crusaders making 1 and 4 on the table.

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 12:06pm
                PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

                Fionn – Marx is out of the june series and at best will be back just after the england series at worst he would be back for the super rugby final.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 12:08pm
                Pinetree said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                The rage would be epic Fionn lol

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 12:13pm
                Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

                It is highly likely that the waratahs will not play a NZ side again until the final, after this weekend of course.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 12:18pm
                BBA said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

                The rage will be epic, Fionn, if the Kiwi team loses in the situation you were describing. It will just be hugely vitriolic until the result is known, and if they win.

                However as a balanced kiwi, if that did happen I would say that’s what the draw is designed to do, help out the weaker conferences in the pursuit of generating greater TV viewership (and therefore more moolah for all). Its not about determining who the best team is as that would involve a round robin where everyone plays everyone home and away, and that aint happening. Accordingly we have to accept compromise.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 12:22pm
                Fionn said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

                Well put, BBA. I agree. Personally, I would prefer a round robin, but that is exactly what the conference system is designed to do, as you say.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 4:11pm
                cuw said | May 22nd 2018 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

                @ BBA

                ” Its not about determining who the best team is as that would involve a round robin where everyone plays everyone home and away, and that aint happening. Accordingly we have to accept compromise. ”

                well even a round robbin with home n away matches – it does not guarantee the final outcome.

                in fact i think it is rubbish to play final rounds after a straight up home n away league – just give the cup to the table topper , as it is done in footy.

                for eg – have u seen what has transpired in top 14 France?

                in their system 3 and 4 play 5 and 6 to qualify for the semis and the right to play 1 and 2 .

                well in the KO 1/4s , both 3 and 4 lost out to 5 and 6. Toulon lost to Lyon ( other match i cannot remember ) .

                now semis will be 1 and 2 vs 5 and 6.

                imagine that in super rugger 😀

                again i say – there is no need for final round in a league – it is just to please these TV companies.

                imagine asking Manchester City to play a semi against Liverpool ? after they topped the league with 100 points 19 more than second placed Manchester United or 25 more than 4th placed Liverpool. DUH

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 6:34pm
                BBA said | May 22nd 2018 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

                Agree with you 100% Cuw in fact that is what I meant, if everyone plays home and away then the winner is the most consistent and best team no need for playoffs, they again are the compromise because TV likes finals and will pay more if they have one, so again compromise.

                I accept compromise if it means I can see the best players at my local sports ground.

              • May 23rd 2018 @ 12:44pm
                James said | May 23rd 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                Is this the same team that a few weeks ago were going to put their coach on a boat back to NZ and put all their players on performance payments contracts?

                Strange how a win can change opinions.

                Before we start talking about GF the Tahs have to play a QF and SF first and based on previous performances a win is not a given.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 22nd 2018 @ 10:46am
          Paul D said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

          I was going to leap to your defence about what is a fair article about what could happen. Nothung wrong with a bit of positivity for a change. But you have over reached with suggesting we’re top 3 on form.

          The Tahs are a chance to go on and win it from here, but it won’t be because they are necessarily the top team of the year. Just that once finals are on, anything can happen.

          Do they have one more poor game in them before the end of the year? Not a single game on the run home is certain.

          • Roar Guru

            May 22nd 2018 @ 10:55am
            Train Without A Station said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report

            And it’s not like they were slow starters and have finally hit their straps.

            The Waratahs are 1-3 from their last 4.

          • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:02am
            Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:02am | ! Report

            performance v results

            that old debate

            • Roar Guru

              May 22nd 2018 @ 2:14pm
              Ralph said | May 22nd 2018 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

              “The guys are training really really well, and I am sure on game day they will give 110%”

              It’s the kiss of death, as the deer in the headlights called ‘performance’ gets run over by the run away bus called ‘reality’.

              Although, I am loving the enthusiasm Mr Essa.

        • Roar Guru

          May 22nd 2018 @ 3:07pm
          Timbo (L) said | May 22nd 2018 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

          Head of the kiddies table. puts you at number 3 in the conference system. But take off the sky blue monocle and you see them in position 6 with less than a win over the Sharks and Jaguares and only 2 over their conference rival.

          • Roar Guru

            May 22nd 2018 @ 3:37pm
            PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

            to be fair they also have 1 game in hand over sharks and jagueres and 2 games in hand over the lions.

            • Roar Guru

              May 23rd 2018 @ 1:39pm
              Timbo (L) said | May 23rd 2018 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

              Can we agree that they are not tearaway victors and can get knocked out of the finals by the Rebels if they suffer a couple of bad games?

        • May 24th 2018 @ 8:38am
          Vesi Tagoiagea said | May 24th 2018 @ 8:38am | ! Report

          Thats why they beat the Lions 000000-29

        • Roar Rookie

          May 25th 2018 @ 3:15pm
          Kirky said | May 25th 2018 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

          In 2014 the Tahs got lucky no doubt about that, and didn’t the Crusaders almost win? ~ The Crusaders from memory were dudded by the Referee in awarding an admitted (by him), incorrect penalty allowing Foley to kick that mickey mouse penalty!

          Ashley Cooper scored two tries with Foley kicking a total of seven penalties, missing one, unfortunately the incorrectly awarded one, he didn’t miss!

          Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes not, but luck was with the Waratahs in that game, way it goes!

          I can’t for the life of me see the Waratahs beating the Chiefs tomorrow as the Chiefs have four All Blacks back in the team including Charlie Ngatai, which im my mind constitutes a very strong side and considering they are playing at home, the Chiefs should win!

          The Waratahs have won one game in the last four and that does not indicate an in form team at all, and the game won was against 14 men for 60 minutes and another player for ten minutes so in effect for a fair period of time they played against a team hobbled by red and yellow cards, so in theory they should have won easily and they did!!

          With 13/14 men off the Park for the length of time they were, gaps were open all over the place for opposition to run through which is what happened, and the Highlanders being the good side they are would in normal circumstances never have let those gaps appear, but it was an unequal contest!

        • May 26th 2018 @ 9:42am
          Vesi said | May 26th 2018 @ 9:42am | ! Report

          keep dreaming

      • May 23rd 2018 @ 8:55am
        Joseph said | May 23rd 2018 @ 8:55am | ! Report

        Here we go.. Essa is back. After 1 win against a 14-man (13-man at one stage) Kiwi side in almost 2 years (at home) and you think they are top 3 material?
        Yeah, right.
        Let’s see if they can back up with an away win against the Chiefs first, aye!

        • Roar Guru

          May 23rd 2018 @ 1:42pm
          Timbo (L) said | May 23rd 2018 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

          I think the Chiefs are on the decline at the moment and ripe for the picking.
          I predict a close match with the crowd booing Folau whenever he goes near the ball.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 25th 2018 @ 3:34pm
            Kirky said | May 25th 2018 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

            On the decline!!! jeezuz’ it wouldn’t do the Waratahs any good if any of the Chiefs read that statement!

            On the decline, I don’t think so!!!

    • May 22nd 2018 @ 3:03am
      Malo said | May 22nd 2018 @ 3:03am | ! Report

      They will make the top 4 the Tahs, and then we can just hope. The rest of the Oz conference may as well just enjoy the sausage sizzle.

      • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:43am
        jameswm said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        They should make the top 3 by winning the conference. And if they finish above the Lions, top 2. That puts them in a strong position to make the final.

        If they beat the Chiefs I think this is very likely. even if they don’t, they’re a good chance to sweep their conference again, which could be enough for a top 2.

        • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:19am
          Fionn said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

          ‘top 2. That puts them in a strong position to make the final.’

          Jeez, James. Beaten 29-0 at home by the Lions, lost to a Blues with two wins and wracked with injuries, choked from 29-0 up against the Crusaders (admittedly, I cannot see a way that they possibly would have lost that if Moody had been red carded like he deserved to, or even yellow carded) and then had a very good win over the Highlanders (caveat of the red card).

          I’m not saying that the Tahs can’t win but goodness the levels of optimism from one win over a Kiwi team in almost two full years is a bit much. Optimism is one thing, but jeez.

          • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:23am
            Cynical Play said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

            there you go again… choke. Derogatory term. Close loss is a close loss. I guess the Brumbies wouldn’t know

            • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:29am
              Fionn said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:29am | ! Report

              Can you seriously not comprehend the difference between a close loss and a choke?

              I’ll put it this way. If the Tahs lost 31-29 but didn’t blow a massive lead – say, if the two teams took turns scoring it isn’t a choke. E.g. the close loss to the Blues was not a choke.

              If a team blows a lead of 29 points to lose the match (especially if they fail to score any points) then it is a choke. Likewise, when the Cheetahs blew a 41-24 lead against the Highlanders in the last 5 mins to lose 41-45.

              By the way, what does the Brumbies being poor have to do with anything? You’ve used this point a couple of times, and I’m still unsure what your point is.

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 11:40am
                PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:40am | ! Report

                agree it was a choke, it was still in their hands despite one-eyed refereeing.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:59am
                Phil said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:59am | ! Report

                Fionn,I really don’t think that was a choke.Even at 29-0 up I was certain the Crusaders would come back at them hard,and that’s exactly what they did.I can even recall the Kiwi commentators saying that the Tahs were not really missing tackles,just that the Crusaders support play was outstanding,which it was.They were relentless in their comeback,but probably would not have been so without Moody on the field,but that’s another story.
                Give some credit to the Crusaders for the comeback(a bit like Faldo v Norman in the Masters!).

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 3:26pm
                Malo said | May 22nd 2018 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

                No choke it was 29-19 at the break. Crusaders and Hurricanes are very beatable

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 1:52pm
                Cynical Play said | May 22nd 2018 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

                Fionn it is an overused and derisive term and you have used it repeatedly recently in Tahs analysis. In this case, the top team in the comp, expected to win, actually won. And you call it a Tahs choke. You deride the Crusaders in their excellent come from behind victory.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 2:00pm
                Fionn said | May 22nd 2018 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

                Cynical Play, it’s an analytical term to describe when a player/team gets into a winning position and their performance level collapses and they go on to lose. A match can be both a choke by the person who loses and an excellent comeback by those who win. One does not preclude the other.

                In the 00 Australian Open Daniela Hantuchová was up 6-0 2-0 against Ivanovic and went on to lose the match. It was an excellent comeback by Ivanovic, but a terrible choke by Hantuchová also.

              • Roar Guru

                May 23rd 2018 @ 1:50pm
                Timbo (L) said | May 23rd 2018 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

                Didn’t seem to be a problem saying that the Rebels Choked after being 3 tries in front of the Tahs in the Alianz Frying Pan.

                The return match in sunny Melbourne will be the litmus test. Lose that and and it puts them in slot #3. Lose another and they are chasing the 5th wildcard.

                I think it is too close and too far away to call the winner of that game. Assuming the victory would be arrogant and disrespectful.

                I think the Jags will win SA.

          • May 22nd 2018 @ 1:01pm
            jameswm said | May 22nd 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

            Yes. If they finish 2nd it puts them in a strong position to make the final. Don’t see how much of what you said counters that. They had a bad day out against the Lions – it happens. They looked clearly better for 15, the Lions scored, the Tahs looked better again, the Lions scored, then they panicked a bit.

            Don’t agree they choked against the Crusaders. The Crusaders got going, and the Tahs tried desperately to hang on. Getting elbowed in the throat and letting in a try is not choking.

            • May 22nd 2018 @ 1:18pm
              Fionn said | May 22nd 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

              Does it put them in a strong position to make the final?

              If they finished second (and it is an if, but definitely possible) hey’ll likely have to beat a team that thrashed them 29-0 in Sydney. Not sure your explanation really fits given that 80 mins they were scoreless, scoreless for 50 mins against the Crusaders and very poor against the Blues. That’s one very good match out of the last four (vs the Highlanders). Not saying you’re wrong but it’s a lot of optimism for one win. However, maybe that sort of optimism is what Aussie rugby needs right now…

              ‘Getting elbowed in the throat and letting in a try is not choking.’

              That’s true. But there was a lot more to that loss than a single try that shouldn’t have been scored. An inability to hold onto the ball, attack, build any sustained pressure or to dominate defensively for 50 minutes had a bit to do with it….

            • Roar Guru

              May 22nd 2018 @ 2:27pm
              Ralph said | May 22nd 2018 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

              They blew a 29-0 lead and couldn’t score a single point after 60 minutes.

              Waratahs missed 25 tackles,
              Made 23 kicks in play when they desperately need the ball (only 41% possession),
              Had 91% ruck completion (failed to protect their ball),
              Their kicking game in general play was so poor they ended camped in their own half,
              Kicking through the ruck, off sides in their 22, taking players in the air – their discipline was poor,
              Kepu was lucky not to be pinged off the paddock at scrum time.

              The Waratahs contributed a lot to losing that game.

              All they had to do was play percentages footy for 60 minutes and keep the score board ticking with penalties.

              Couldn’t do it.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 2:56pm
                Taylorman said | May 22nd 2018 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

                Messa put all that down the ref, easy game this prediction. They outperformed the Blues yet lost and the lions 29-0 massacre was a ‘hiccup’.

                Gotta love that huge one eye.😆

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 4:40pm
                cuw said | May 22nd 2018 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

                not forgetting the fact that they could have still won it at the death if Foley kicked a penalty.

                i think that penalty against whitelock was around the 76 minute mark….

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 5:46pm
                Taylorman said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:46pm | ! Report

                True, hes there to kick the winning goals, and has done from there on big occasions. Thats another choke because hes well capable of making those kicks. And that was the ref trying to help…twice. So really interesting blaming the Ref huh?

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 5:54pm
                Ed said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

                It is the ref’s fault Taylorman.

                Last Saturday was the second match this season where the Tahs conceded fewer penalties than their opponents, 7 to 9. Their other match was 5 to 6 against the Rebels, and they had one tie, 10 each with the Brumbies. The rest have seen the Tahs on the wrong side of the ref. Before last weekend the Tahs gave away 11 penalties on average and were awarded seven.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 7:44pm
                Taylorman said | May 22nd 2018 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

                7 to 9, 5 to 6 and 10 each. Wow, Proof right there.

      • May 22nd 2018 @ 1:19pm
        Jason Vorhees said | May 22nd 2018 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

        The Waratahs will massacre the Bumbling Reds coached by that Kiwi dummy Thorn and get a bonus point. 5 points
        ( lock that in).

        • Roar Rookie

          May 22nd 2018 @ 1:56pm
          piru said | May 22nd 2018 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

          Jason Vorhees talking about massacres….

        • Roar Rookie

          May 25th 2018 @ 3:43pm
          Kirky said | May 25th 2018 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

          Jason V!!

          Brave words there!

    • May 22nd 2018 @ 3:17am
      Chris Love said | May 22nd 2018 @ 3:17am | ! Report

      Gee we need it don’t we? Please stay injury free. All the tahs need is a scrum that holds its own, doesn’t need to dominate just don’t give away scrum penalties. A line out that wins as much ball as it loses. From there they have the back line that can go all the way.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 25th 2018 @ 3:45pm
        Kirky said | May 25th 2018 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

        The Waratahs backline is not in the same league as the Chiefs, so going all the way as you say, is, well, debatable!

    • May 22nd 2018 @ 4:00am
      Taylorman said | May 22nd 2018 @ 4:00am | ! Report

      Oh dear, here we go. Give an inch, take a thousand miles. Main question is, how will they get there without Joubert? 😂

      • May 22nd 2018 @ 7:43am
        Cynical Play said | May 22nd 2018 @ 7:43am | ! Report

        How do Cusaders get there without Okeefe?

        • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:29am
          bluesfan said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:29am | ! Report

          Around 8 Tittles and counting – the combined Australian team’s have only won a total of 4 comp’s over 22 years of trying!

          So I think that the Crusaders can win without O’Keefe!

          • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:24am
            Cynical Play said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:24am | ! Report

            Mate they’er a sure thing with him

            • Roar Guru

              May 22nd 2018 @ 2:28pm
              Ralph said | May 22nd 2018 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

              Well I think that when you pay a ref that much money you are entitled to get a return for your investment.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 2:35pm
                piru said | May 22nd 2018 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

                Deleted due to user’s inability to identify sarcasm

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 2:47pm
                Ralph said | May 22nd 2018 @ 2:47pm | ! Report


              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 5:09pm
                Paulo said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

                The real question is how the Tahs do it without Joubert?

        • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:38am
          Ken Catchpole’s Other Leg said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:38am | ! Report

          To be fair Cynical, while OKeefe deserves scrutiny, he has taken more than his share of the heat deserved by others, notably TMO Aaron Paterson.

          • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:26am
            Cynical Play said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:26am | ! Report

            He deserved more than scrutiny. He is a serial offender and should be removed form NZ games.

            • May 22nd 2018 @ 4:07pm
              Jacko said | May 22nd 2018 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

              And gardener is a serial offender too so no Aus ref…no NZ ref so ita\s all SA refs for the final i guess

          • Roar Guru

            May 22nd 2018 @ 5:39pm
            PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

            KCOL , CP – You will be happy to learn ex Chiefs player Glen Jackson is the ref for the Chiefs game AND the TMO is none other than Aaron Paterson.

        • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:46am
          jameswm said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

          Do we have a Kiwi ref in NZ for the Chiefs game? That may not help, esp if it’s O’Keefe who misses half of what happens.

          • Roar Guru

            May 22nd 2018 @ 5:44pm
            PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

            NZ Ref Glen Jackson who played for the chiefs for 5 years (nice local boy) and the TMO from the crusaders game Aaron Paterson.

            Nice set up

            • May 22nd 2018 @ 5:48pm
              Taylorman said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

              Perfect. 👍🏼
              We’re actually better at playing the game, not reffing it.

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 5:53pm
                PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

                great for the game, good work by Lydon Bray on appointments, he has done a great job on the optics and image of the game.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 7:10pm
                Paulo said | May 22nd 2018 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

                Most people are fine with it, there only seems to be a few bitter souls on here that can’t deal with it.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 8:57pm
                Jameswm said | May 22nd 2018 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

                Non-neutral refs are not a good look.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 9:44pm
                Paulo said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

                No, but if they did the job right, then no one would care. I dont care if a ref is neutral or not, I just want them to do a good job. Neutral refs screw it up all the time too, look at Joubert gifting the Tahs their one and only SR rugby title. If he had done his job right, the Tahs would have 0 titles and the Crusaders would have 9 or so. He is just criticised for making the wrong call, which he has admitted. Being neutral or non-neutral has nothing to do with it. People just want to make it out it’s a thing when it doesn’t have to be. Get the right calls on the field, everyone is happy… well except for the team that loses, but you know what I mean.

        • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:58am
          SP said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:58am | ! Report

          They’ve got other refs on the books

          • Roar Rookie

            May 22nd 2018 @ 5:11pm
            Paulo said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:11pm | ! Report

            I think you mean, ALL the refs on the books. And the judiciary too, just incase anyone does end up there, we get them back right quick.

        • May 22nd 2018 @ 10:04am
          Taylorman said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          They havent got there yet. That wasnt a final so no big deal. Any team with aspirations of winning this comp will easily qualify for the finals.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 22nd 2018 @ 11:00am
          piru said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:00am | ! Report

          How do Crusaders get there without Okeefe?

          Well… they are historically the most successful super rugby side, perhaps they’ll manage by being good at rugby?

          • Roar Guru

            May 22nd 2018 @ 11:09am
            PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:09am | ! Report

            aided by refs not catching their dirty play though last 2 weeks.

            • Roar Rookie

              May 22nd 2018 @ 11:19am
              piru said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

              Yes because they only ever win because the refs favour them, as with all kiwi teams.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:26am
                Cynical Play said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:26am | ! Report

                look away Piru

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 11:43am
                PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

                is it so hard to admit the 2 cards that were missed didn’t have a significant impact, and indeed would have probably lost one if not 2 , so saying they were aided seems very true.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 11:47am
                piru said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:47am | ! Report

                Is it so hard to accept that sometimes calls go against you without it being an international conspiracy?

                You’re a ref Peter, you should know better

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 12:08pm
                PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                i said aided by refs not catching their dirty play never said it was a conspiracy

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 1:45pm
                Taylorman said | May 22nd 2018 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

                Sure its not hard to admit that.
                Certainly easier to admit that the saders have won many titles without needing the Refs help. Can the Tahs say that?


              • May 22nd 2018 @ 7:46pm
                Jacko said | May 22nd 2018 @ 7:46pm | ! Report

                No Tahs were sent off so he must have missed all their dirty stuff too eh?

              • Roar Rookie

                May 23rd 2018 @ 1:06pm
                piru said | May 23rd 2018 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

                No Tahs were sent off so he must have missed all their dirty stuff too eh?

                Definite punches being thrown by one of their locks (didn’t catch who) but nothing said, funny that no one has brought this up

            • May 22nd 2018 @ 12:41pm
              bluesfan said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

              So if the Crusaders are a dirty side – what does this make the Brumbies.

              Losing another player in the weekend because of Foul Play, bringing down a maul illegally and getting a yellow card?

              Think the Brumbies now have players out for a combined side for a total of 8 weeks vs. Crusaders who have lost players for a total of 4 Weeks.

              Do you think the judiciary is fixed in the Crusaders favor as well?

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 5:23pm
                piru said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

                No no, when the Aussie sides cop a sanction it’s because they were hard done by, it’s only warranted when a Kiwi gets done, and then they are lucky not to get more due to the conspiracy

                Come on man, you know this

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 5:52pm
                MitchO said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:52pm | ! Report

                In my experience good players don’t get pinged for playing offside etc – over the edge of the rules. when they get old and lose their edge a bit they do start to get pinged or pinged more often. Given the ref is the sole judge of fact and time I am comfortable with this.

                The kiwis generally speaking are the best rugby players going around. In keeping with my experience they seem to get pinged less often than the Aussies – whom mostly are inferior players.

                Some of you may have a different experience but this comment is true of mine.

                I had a south african coach thirty odd years ago who said when a kiwi side gets in trouble they are masters at killing the play and slowing things down [so they can regroup]. He wasn’t bitching about it. He just wanted us to be better tight forwards and improve our techniques. Gotta clean those rucks and protect that ball and/or interfere a bit.

                Think of the things the uncultured don’t do so well. Always try to touch the opposition half back even if you can’t hit him. Just so he knows you are there. Always chase to the end. Don’t turn your back on a penalty. Try not to look hurt or tired. Etc etc.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 5:47pm
                bluesfan said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:47pm | ! Report

                The sad thing is that actually is the viewpoint of a lot of the readers on this blog site.

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 5:50pm
                PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

                brumbies are a cynical side as well, I don’t count that as dirty play though, just che@ting.

                I note you don’t mention all the cynical play outside the dirty play that got suspensions from the crusaders.

                Yes high tackles are dangerous and deserve suspensions but most are not dirty unlike striking to the head.

                Besides I didn’t actually say they are a dirty side, that is unusual for them, though elsewhere I have said they are becoming one (becoming doesn’t mean they are yet).

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 7:16pm
                Paulo said | May 22nd 2018 @ 7:16pm | ! Report

                You do like to play the word gymnastics Peter, I will give you that. This one almost trumps your call that all 4 refs were kiwis for the crusaders game, so the Tahs were hard done by, but your not saying it’s a conspiracy. Then why mention all 4 were refs unless you think they worked together in some way, either proactively or passively. If they worked together, that’s a conspiracy.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 7:49pm
                Taylorman said | May 22nd 2018 @ 7:49pm | ! Report

                Exactly Paulo, lets all find ways to scramble and take the moral high ground. Pff. What you dont see is kiwis leading the way on the moa!ning.

                Every week theres massive ref moa!ning by one set of fans. Even the hit on Dagg really only got mentioned retrospectively when article after article, lead by none other than Lordy turned on Okeefe and Moody…who got the lesser sentence.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 7:52pm
                Jacko said | May 22nd 2018 @ 7:52pm | ! Report

                peter have you checked the cards stat for the season…Aus sides have given up 21 yellows….from 4 sides….NZ sides have given up 22 yellows…from 5 sides

                That makes Aus teams dirtier than NZ sides…officially…And then of course all the yellows the refs DONT give to the Aus sides due to bias is also bad…hehehe

              • Roar Guru

                May 23rd 2018 @ 1:54pm
                Timbo (L) said | May 23rd 2018 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

                I think Rory was unlucky.
                How does the tallest man on the field tackle the shortest one who has ducked under the tackle.
                Rory was bent horizontally at the waist when he made contact.
                I didn’t see intent or negligence.But due to the nature of contact, still red.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 25th 2018 @ 3:47pm
        Kirky said | May 25th 2018 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

        T/Man ~ Ouch!!! mate!

    • May 22nd 2018 @ 5:08am
      John said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:08am | ! Report

      One victory against a 14 man outfit (13 for a period) and we’re already drawing comparisons. Is Hanigan the new JackPot?

      This is almost as pathetic as when we started calling for Wessels to be the next Wallabies coach a few months back.

      • May 22nd 2018 @ 6:22am
        Taylorman said | May 22nd 2018 @ 6:22am | ! Report

        Yes Pots was a massive loss after 14 and key to the title. They havent got close to replacing him. Tahs have found ways to score but have serious lapses if focus that yield up to 31 unanswered points and not just the once. They need to sort that out as come finals time they cant ship points like that.

        • May 22nd 2018 @ 7:37am
          freddieeffer said | May 22nd 2018 @ 7:37am | ! Report

          Yep, plus, they are still guilty of going to sleep for periods in the game. This was evident last week when the Highlanders were down to 13 players. The Tahs took their foot off the pedal, dropped their incisiveness and intensity, and ran around the park in training mode instead of upping the ante and punching holes in the defence everywhere. Didn’t see killer instinct when it was handed to them on a plate.

          • May 22nd 2018 @ 8:49am
            Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 8:49am | ! Report

            they won by 29 points didn’t they?

            • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:30am
              bluesfan said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

              And yet they also lost to the Blues and at home…

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:41am
                Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:41am | ! Report

                They’ve outperformed all 3 NZ sides they’ve played.

                The law of averages says they won’t continue to be so unlucky

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 12:06pm
                bluesfan said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

                Ah that outperform thing right – where they have lost 2 out of the 3 games.

                Hate to imagine what underperform means

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 1:51pm
                Jerry said | May 22nd 2018 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

                How did they outperform the Blues?

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 2:09pm
                piru said | May 22nd 2018 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

                How did they outperform the Blues?

                The vibe

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 3:55pm
                Jerry said | May 22nd 2018 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

                Tell Messa he’s dreaming.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 5:12pm
                cuw said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

                @ PIRU

                am just wondering – from the style of writing , if ” Michael Essa ” is also RTT and Rugby Tragic Too ??

                there is a lot of similarities to the arguments seen in the Folau essay by DL.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 10:13pm
                Taylorman said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:13pm | ! Report

                Of course its the same. No two posters praise the tahs in the most ridiculous same manner. RTTs ramble about Folau got his alter ego messa all excited to come out and write the Tahs article. Its that obvious. The frequency, tone, dismissing of opposition or blame all RTT Essa traits.😂

              • Roar Guru

                May 23rd 2018 @ 8:29am
                rebel said | May 23rd 2018 @ 8:29am | ! Report

                RTT on the weekend:

                “This year has a 2014 feel about it.”

                Nek Minnit

              • Roar Rookie

                May 23rd 2018 @ 1:07pm
                piru said | May 23rd 2018 @ 1:07pm | ! Report


                I’m dead sure he is mate, same thoughts, same arguments to authority and same style of writing.

                He doesn’t seem to realise it though so maybe we should keep it quiet, not good to wake up a sleepwalker etc

            • May 22nd 2018 @ 4:09pm
              Jacko said | May 22nd 2018 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

              The view out your window is a very strange one Mr Essa

          • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:45am
            jameswm said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:45am | ! Report

            Highlanders should actually have been down to 12. Blatant yellow for a no arm dive tackle at TN’s legs on his 2nd try.

            The thing about playing well in patches is this – what if they get it together and put it together for a full game? Doesn’t this make them potentially dangerous?

            • May 22nd 2018 @ 10:26am
              Objective said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

              Spot on James about the no arms “tackle” on TN.

              Add to that :
              -Should have been a YC and strong case for a pen try against H 13 for the deliberate knock down at 48 mins – W player already through the gap with a 2 on 1 overlap 10m out.
              -Rona’s no try should have been overturned to try (41 mins)
              -Dixon’s try was equally if not more obvious obstruction than the PK against Kepu

              So, whilst an improvement over O’Keeffe, some fairly compelling evidence that kiwi refs can’t always make the tough calls against their countrymen…..

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 10:45am
                jameswm said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:45am | ! Report

                Yeah the 2nd Landers try was the same as the Tahs no try a few minutes beforehand. Cannot understand how they distinguished them.

                Can;’t remember the other knock down.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 10:58am
                Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:58am | ! Report

                Yes both were text book truck and trailer and were both identical.


              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 10:59am
                piru said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

                compelling evidence that kiwi refs can’t always make the tough calls against their countrymen

                Hard to see what this has to do with him being a Kiwi, if you’re suggesting bias or a conspiracy have the stones to come out and say it

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 11:03am
                piru said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:03am | ! Report

                Yes both were text book truck and trailer and were both identical.


                Well.. no.

                Kepu changed direction and then wrapped up a player trying to make a tackle

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 11:11am
                PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:11am | ! Report

                wrapping up a player is not an issue when it is a maul

                The detachment and changing lanes looked about the same amount in both.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 11:30am
                piru said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report

                Is it not obstruction to restrain a player attempting a tackle?

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:43am
                Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report



                they were exactly the same infringements.

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 11:45am
                PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:45am | ! Report

                Piru I said maul.

                If it was considered the same maul like the highlanders one (despite both detaching and same sideways movement) then it is not an issue.

                He ruled changing channels and hence not a maul and yes obstruction, on the highlanders one they took out players as well but he ruled he didn’t change channels and as such was the same maul.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 11:50am
                piru said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:50am | ! Report

                That’s exactly what I’m saying Peter – I don’t understand the complaint here – is it that he should have ruled truck and trailer for the Landers as well?

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 12:08pm
                rebel said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                Got to love an objective list.

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 12:11pm
                PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

                Piru – Both mauls looked very similar so either both tries stood or both disallowed is the argument.

                The ref ruled one changed channels the other didn’t , despite both looking like moving off to the side the same amount.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 12:22pm
                piru said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

                I’m going to have to find replays I think as that’s not how I recalled it

              • May 23rd 2018 @ 12:15am
                Objective said | May 23rd 2018 @ 12:15am | ! Report

                Then do us all a favour & save us from your inaccurate comments till you’ve actually looked. When you’ve seen the highlanders change lanes for the Dixon try, come back to us.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 1:03pm
                jameswm said | May 22nd 2018 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

                piru yes – the Lander try they broke ofrf the maul and the guy in front of the ball is obstructing. Should have called penalty there too.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 5:49pm
                Shane D said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

                The ball didn’t emerge from the maul or ball carrier didn’t disengage from the maul. Once the maul has formed it doesn’t matter if part of the maul separates as long as the ball carrier remains bound to players who were part of the original maul.

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 5:58pm
                PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

                Shane D – Both tries looked like legitmate mauls , no truck and trailer, both tries should have stood IMO.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 6:22pm
                Shane D said | May 22nd 2018 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

                Gidday Peter. Agree I couldn’t see too much wrong with either.

            • Roar Guru

              May 22nd 2018 @ 2:32pm
              Ralph said | May 22nd 2018 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

              Highlanders should have been down to 5. Or 2 even.

              Clearly what is wrong here is the laws of the game. We should simply pass a rule that Waratahs automatically win all games.

              Whilst we are fishing things we could legislate a sell out crowd as well.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 5:36pm
                Dennis Hopper Jr. said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

                Yes Ralph. All I’m hearing is a massive ego driven culture of entitlement saying we, the Waratah supporters, deserve to have everything go our teams way.
                The Crusaders now have, along with all their other records, the biggest deficit comeback win in SR. Ergo, the tahs have the record for the biggest choke.
                Every season, stacked with Wallabies and what have they achieved? The best under achievers ever. Ever.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 8:59pm
                Jameswm said | May 22nd 2018 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

                The judiciary disagrees with your comments b

        • May 22nd 2018 @ 11:42am
          Daveski said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          I think they’ve amended their style rather than trying to replace him. Wells or Miller arent going to be Jackpot, Fitzgerald is not TPN and Staniforth and Simmons combined dont weigh as much as Skelton.

          But they’ve had three pretty good performances in a row against Kiwi teams ( admittedly only one win ) and have the game breakers to trouble the best teams. I’m still not sure about their defence or the ability of their starting or replacement front rows to gain parity at scrum time against the better packs.I think Vui is a bit of a weakness at that part, although having him, Latu and HJH running around like backrowers in the last 20 minutes is a plus.

          I’m with the author… I was pretty negative on my team 6-8weeks ago but i am come around to thinking they’ll make the finals and then make a real nuisance of themselves.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 22nd 2018 @ 10:51am
        Paul D said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        No, Hanigan is not the new Pots. But the Tahs aren’t playing a 2014 style either.

        They have opted for light and mobile, which has been derided by many, myself included at times. But hey! Its gettting the job done. Where they have lost it hasn’t been because of being outmuscled, merely where they have mentally lost the plot themselves. Keep that under control and anything is possible.

        • May 22nd 2018 @ 10:59am
          Michael Essa said | May 22nd 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

          well said Paul

          • Roar Guru

            May 22nd 2018 @ 2:33pm
            Ralph said | May 22nd 2018 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

            No, no, it was the ref I tell you.

            All the ref.

        • Roar Guru

          May 22nd 2018 @ 11:46am
          PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 11:46am | ! Report

          they were outmuscled by the crusaders second half, and by the lions.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 22nd 2018 @ 12:18pm
            Paul D said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

            I disagree. Not finding touch and constantly giving the ball back is what cost them. That and being down to 14 for 20 minutes.

            • Roar Guru

              May 22nd 2018 @ 12:30pm
              PeterK said | May 22nd 2018 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

              agree kicking the ball away didn’t help either

              But they had no counter to powerful physical forward play

              • Roar Guru

                May 22nd 2018 @ 2:49pm
                Ralph said | May 22nd 2018 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

                Maybe how they played had a very small part to play – but really I don’t think we should go passed the ref as the main issue.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 4:12pm
                Jacko said | May 22nd 2018 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

                of course always is when an Aus side loses…..but get 1 win in 40 and they are on target to win the comp…

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:01pm
                Jameswm said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

                Kiwis never complain about the ref. 2007 anyone?

              • Roar Rookie

                May 22nd 2018 @ 9:51pm
                Paulo said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:51pm | ! Report

                Ahh, that was 11yrs ago wasn’t it? Just want to make sure you didn’t make a typo. And the actual AB response, being well documented, was to get their ‘stuff’ together and endeavour to be better at all facets of the game and win by such margins as to take the ref out of the equation. Something the Scots should have done in RWC ‘15.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:44pm
                Taylorman said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

                Yes James, 11 years ago, not this week and last week and the week before. Its a regular item.

          • May 23rd 2018 @ 5:47am
            Ed said | May 23rd 2018 @ 5:47am | ! Report

            The Tahs tight five, starting and bench, ran a combined ten metres against the Saders. Little ballast when taken into account the smallish backrow they have too.

    • May 22nd 2018 @ 5:56am
      BBA said | May 22nd 2018 @ 5:56am | ! Report

      Well they certainly have the best chance to win from the Australian conference, can back you on that.

      And after the Chiefs game they are playing inter conference games so do have a good chance of finishing up as high as second, which would give them home run unless the #1 seed falters.

      Alright Im convinced its the Tahs to lose.

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